“We spared no expense”. No, you didn’t ‘Jurassic World’.
The fourth film in a two-decade-old franchise finally resurrects the majesty and wonder of the original ‘Jurassic Park’.
‘Jurassic World’ shows us a dinosaur theme park for the 21st Century in a blockbuster for the 21st Century while reminding us that bigger is not always better and that sometimes nothing beats the original, the ‘old school’ nostalgia.
There are really only two negatives for this film so we’ll get those out of the way. Firstly, ‘Jurassic World’s use of CGI is not only overused but it is a little unrealistic as well. The few scenes that use practical effects stick out because they are so good, so realistic it makes you realise how false the post-production inserted dinosaurs seem by comparison. Secondly, one subplot in particular comes off as a bit unnecessary, involving a villainous human character who is confusingly evil for no apparent reason. These are the two largest flaws in an otherwise fantastic romp that reimagines the wonder and terror of ‘Jurassic Park’ with loving adoration.
It goes without saying that the dinosaurs (and pterosaurs and mosasaurs (FYI: not dinosaurs)) are awesome but of course that was the easiest part for ‘World’ to get right. The final climax pays off so well, I’d argue it is one of the best final acts in any recent blockbuster, alongside last year’s ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ and 2013’s ‘Pacific Rim’, but going into details would spoil the awe of it for those yet to see it. Director Colin Trevorrow, a fan of the original, did a great job at paying homage to the one that started it all.
Bryce Dallas Howard’s character, Claire, is well-written and consistently portrayed, and undergoes the main arc of the film. It is possible to see shades of sexism in the way she is portrayed, mainly to do with the camera’s focusing on her legs a bit too much but its nothing like people are condemning it for, especially not concerning the character herself being too feminine: that’s who she is supposed to be; she’s allowed to wear heels if she wants to. Meanwhile Chris Pratt’s Owen is a bit of douchebag but oozes plenty of swag to make up for it. The kids aren’t fleshed out nearly as much but then they aren’t the main characters.
Now to the meta stuff. ‘Jurassic World’ is hypocritical of itself just like ‘Jurassic Park’ was. Trevorrow shines a mirror on our spectacle-hungry, short-attention-spanned selves and declares the blockbusters of the old days, the attractions that used to draw crowds, ‘extinct’ because that’s not what people want anymore. And ‘Jurassic World’ manages to give people the spectacle of now with the heart of then. The film’s central plot revolves around the escape of its newest hybrid attraction, the Indominus Rex, an unstoppable monster that is ‘Jurassic World’ itself. It’s what people want and, while it might not eat us, it is consuming the wonder and authenticity that movies like ‘Jurassic Park’ used to represent. This is what makes ‘Jurassic World’ stand apart from the first two sequels. It is such a clever girl.
Finally, I’m just going to add that the portrayal of the park itself is so hilariously spot on with what a modern dinosaur theme park would look like. The product placement is laughably brilliant, the cameos are exactly attuned to our own materialism and the attractions are as Jurassic Disneyland as they come (except the Mosasaurus perhaps, that’s more a Seaworld thing).
Hats off to Colin Trevorrow for crafting a self-aware blockbuster that, while not an instant classic perhaps, people are going to rewatch for decades to come in their living rooms.
READ: Daniel’s Review