Friday, June 19, 2015

Review of Jurassic World

I went into the theatre with very low expectations, but left thinking that this movie was much better than it had any right to be. That in short is Jurassic World, the fourth installment in the Jurassic Park film series.

Jurassic World starts 22 years after the events of Jurassic Park, with the dream of billionaire John Hammond now realized. Jurassic World is a fully-operational theme park island, full of dinosaurs for kids and adults. However operating a theme park with living dinosaurs is very expensive and the park’s team of scientists led by Dr. Henry Wu (B.D. Wong) engineer a new species of dinosaur in an effort to attract lucrative sponsors and increase attendances. As expected, it is a terrible idea with the new dino, Indominus Rex, soon breaking free of its enclosure and heading off on a homicidal rampage across the island.

As I said earlier, this movie is much better than I expected. I think director Colin Trevorrow must be a fan of the series because he knew just what to do. He paced the movie well and managed to film a summer blockbuster that’s also a character-driven movie. Sure there are scenes of carnage but it’s never mindless and it always works in the context of the movie.

The film is also ridiculously funny in parts. Look out for a scene when Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) turned back to help Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), only to have Claire running right past him without a care. It had the whole theatre laughing. The chemistry between the two leads is also the reason why the romance between Owen and Claire works. You can see quite clearly why these two very different people may fall in love despite been chased by man-eating dinosaurs.

I also love the way the movie paid homage to the original film, part of the movie even took place at the original headquarters of Jurassic Park. Outside that, the story is also very close to that of the original. Man’s ambition creates great things but with greed, arrogance and hubris, our ambition also creates chaos and death. That’s just the way we are.

Of course, the film is not perfect. The main villain Vic Hoskins’ (Vincent D’Onofrio) idea of using raptors as weapons in the U.S Army is stupid. I understand that suspension of disbelief is needed for a movie about dinosaurs but the idea is so out there, there’s almost no redeeming quality to it. I mean the army doesn’t even use lions or tigers and this character wants them to use raptors? That’s not crazy, just stupid.

On the whole however, Jurassic World is a very good movie. The deft hand of director Colin Trevorrow gave us a wonderful adventure film that’s accessible to all and it’s a worthy sequel to the original Jurassic Park. I was never a huge fan of the Jurassic series, but this movie made me look forward to the next movie in the series.

That’s just how good Jurassic World is.

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