Jurassic World Review

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Jurassic World is an ambitious reboot that doesn’t quite capture the essence of the original

‘Jurassic World’ is the 2015 attempt at continuing the lineage of films following on from the 1993 Spielberg powerhouse, ‘Jurassic Park’. Directed by Colin Trevorrow, we are taken into a modernized version of a park that captured the hearts of so many, while scaring the rest out of their wits.

The film instantly brings viewers into a new world, a world of awe, excitement and enjoyment; the fulfilment of John Hammond’s vision from the first film. Once the two brothers, Zach (Nick Robinson) and Grey (Ty Simpkins) Mitchell arrive at the park it’s almost straight into the ‘monster shows’, where an enormous crowd watches on as genetically created dinosaurs showcase their abilities and mere existence.

Without difficulty, one can guess what follows; an upheaval of a stable working environment, where turmoil ensues, the dinosaurs escape and then create almost uncontrollable havoc.

I dearly loved the first film (sadly I can’t quite say the same about the second and third instalments), and was anxiously anticipating the new release. When planning this review, I didn’t want to showcase the downfalls of the movie in comparison to the triumphs of the original, however I don’t think I will be able to hold back. To put it simply – with it being a ‘Jurassic’ movie, I was disappointed. Most of what I enjoyed and appreciated from Jurassic Park didn’t resonate well here.

The Dinosaurs Themselves

The awakening of the T-Rex, past and present. Image taken from etonline.com
The awakening of the T-Rex, past and present.

Image taken from etonline.com

To the CGI team… you have failed. These animals look fake, disproportionate and not comparable to Spielberg’s archaic yet masterful animatronics. There was too great of a reliance on computer generated visuals; I was glad to see the rare occasion when something clearly wasn’t CGI. The over-saturated landscapes took over and created an unnatural tone and environment.

On a positive note, I was impressed by the sheer variety in species and style of the dinos, constantly being treated to never-before-seen types, all with their own abilities and strengths. I found the last chapter of the film riveting, with an incredible array of ‘Pteranodon’ (flying dinosaurs) literally picking up and fighting over humans, to the legendary and memorable final battle. A showdown between the Indominus Rex, the newly created beast of a monster that is a freakish amalgamation, and the classic but still all-powerful T-Rex from Jurassic Park. Seeing Bryce Dallas Howard’s character urge for the opening of a mysterious cage to be opened, coupled with her use of a red flare, I knew I was in for a treat. The ageing T-Rex slowly but surely barged out and attacked the flare, just like in the original – a very pleasing homage and addition to the film that I was not expecting!

The Characters

Leaving this movie, I had bold opinions on all the characters. Chris Pratt was highly commendable and played a fantastic role, truly showcasing his talents and following up on a great performance in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. I cared for him, enjoyed when he was on screen, and found his sense of humanity and integrity to really shine. He had a true moral compass, trying to protect such a badly raised and treated species (the dinosaurs), and save lives, wanting to “evacuate the island” as soon as there was danger.

chris-pratt-jurassic-world
One of the only decent characters in the movie.
Image taken from businessinsider.com

Conversely Bryce Dallas Howard’s character was stale, forthright, strict, ran away from dinos in high heels (how?) and was commercially driven to the point where I was becoming frustrated on behalf of Dr. Alan Grant. At least the doctor recognised the need to “show a little respect” to such a powerful species; living, breathing and moving animals, not “assets” as they are described by Dallas Howard. The kids were laughable – I felt no connection to them whatsoever, only considered them to be idiotic and stupid for their poor decision making skills and the attempts at humour expressed through these characters.

There are no instances, like in Jurassic Park, where I sat there and felt like there was an extra element being added to the film in times of conversation. In my opinion, one of the best scenes of the original movie is when the crew are sitting and eating dinner, discussing plans and thoughts on the park and the re-creation of dinosaurs; something that can sound boring but is wonderfully portrayed by the characters. Not even once is there any dialogue or conversation in Jurassic World that is in any way profound or memorable. I feel that the movie would have benefited if the annoying sub-plot of the weeping and emotionally shattered mother was left out completely, as it would mean I, along with most other viewers, would have one less issue to complain about.

Product placement

As Dr. Ian Malcolm originally put it, the makers of this film “patented it, and packaged it, and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox”. Too many times were shiny Mercedes-Benz cars, which are ‘luxury’ cars meant for a pleasant cruise down Hollywood Boulevard, seen zooming along a dirty, muddy and windy jungle road. Too many times were people listening to ‘inconspicuous’  Beats by Dre, drinking Coca-Cola, eating Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and wearing Converse All-Stars. I don’t usually become embittered from the occasional shot of product placement, but when there are YouTube videos and articles being made just to shame the film because of it’s overuse…then I become annoyed. Even Jimmy Fallon and the Tonight Show had their very own moment of fame!

As negative as the above may have been, I can confidently say that this is a ‘decent’ Jurassic movie. It’s better than Lost World and III, but as an ‘exciting and gripping’ action and monster movie. Whilst lacking great moments such as the kitchen scene in the original, Jurassic World will definitely give you a thrill when you are watching two Goliath-like dinos trying to kill each other. The music remains consistently solid and I had some great moments of joy and nostalgia hearing the classic tune and theme of Jurassic Park.

Overall, there is definitely fun to be had in this film, however the hype was over-kill and the quality and authentic feel of the film just isn’t on the same level as the 1993 take on the praised Michael Crichton’s novel.

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