June 12, 2015
Dir. Colin Trevorrow
Prod. Frank Marshall and Patrick Crowley
Genre: Science Fiction Adventure
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins, Vincent D’Onofrio
****WARNING: This post will contain spoilers for Jurassic World! If you have no yet seen the film, STOP READING NOW****
After everything that happened in Jurassic Park on the three islands, would you still build a theme park full of dinosaurs? Apparently someone would because that’s exactly what happens in Jurassic World. Twenty-two years after Jurassic Park, a dinosaur theme park called “Jurassic World” has been opened by InGen on Isla Nublar. Because the first three trips went so well, right?
While visiting their aunt Claire (Howard), who is the manager of “Jurassic World”, Zach (Robinson) and Gray (Simpkins) Mitchell are thrust into a fight they never expected to be in: one for survival. For shortly after their arrival on the island, InGen’s latest dinosaur, the Indominus Rex (a hybrid of several types of dinosaurs) escapes and begins terrorizing the park. While other guests make it to the ‘safety’ of the resort, Zach and Gray are trapped, running for their lives from the D-Rex. Claire enlists the help of Owen Grady (Pratt), the Velociraptor trainer and a man with whom she had one date, to find and rescue them.
All the while, a man named Vic Hoskins (D’Onofrio), the head of InGen’s security team, is organizing a way to take the Velociraptors to use them for military missions. The idea of course being that they train the Velociraptors to go after the ‘enemy’, to hunt and track and do things humans never could. Yeah, because you know that’s going to work out really well.
I absolutely loved this film! The first thing I thought after I watched it was that I couldn’t wait to review it. 2015 so far is a really good year for films and new shows.
One of the first things that became apparent to me as I was watching and, if you look pretty much anywhere online, many others noticed this too, “Jurassic World” bears a strong resemblance to “SeaWorld”. The Indominus Rex has been bred in captivity, it’s completely alone all the time, it isn’t able to hunt for it’s food like it’s natural instincts would be telling it to, and all this has led to it being incredibly dangerous and hostile. It starts killing other dinosaurs for sport and it kills pretty much anything that crosses it’s path. Why? Because it doesn’t know any better. People did this to it and people paid the price for it. Sound familiar?
I loved this parallel. It was fictional film (obviously) and it was fun and enjoyable and tons of people went and saw it, but it dealt with something real and got a lot of people talking.
It also really showed what a difference it can make to have a respect for the animals when they showed Owen working with the Velociraptors. He has them trained, has been working with them since day one of their lives, but he still knows they’re wild animals. He respects that and realizes where the boundaries are and he follows those. This results in them not killing him. But what happens when someone breaks those boundaries and disregards that respect? They get eaten.
Jurassic World did a fantastic job at showing the differences between how creatures are treated and what the outcome of those treatments are.
Something else I loved about this film was characters and the dynamics and interactions between all of them. Each character was an individual and none of them were like the others. None of them were perfect which made them far more relatable to people watching which, as I’ve said in past reviews, is important, especially in a film that contains a lot of fantasy and unrealistic elements.
Not going to lie, I really liked that, at the time of casting, none of these stars were huge A-Listers who was on everyone’s movie watch-list. They had their own follows, now many people know Chris Pratt from Guardians of the Galaxy, but before that he had a huge following from fans of Parks and Recreation. Similarly, Bryce Dallas Howard was known for the various films and shows she did, including appearing as Victoria in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Vincent D’Onofrio’s most recent credits include The Judge and playing Kingpin in the Netflix series, Daredevil. There’s a lot of superheroes/villains in this film isn’t there?
The list doesn’t stop there thought. The two youngest stars of the film had their own following which is rapidly growing as they rise to stardom. Nick Robinson can currently be seen on Melissa & Joey, but I’m sure many people also know him his role in the film Frenemies. Meanwhile, Ty Simpkins has a crazy long list of credentials for a thirteen-year-old, including playing Harley in Iron Man 3 and playing the lead role of Dalton in the first two Insidious films.
But why am I telling you all this? Because one of my favourite things about movies is when they don’t cast a ton of super well-known actors. Sometimes it seems like when a big-name actor is cast in something, they were only cast for their name and not because they could actually help make a great film. Ben Affleck in Daredevil anyone? Like, if the plot is interesting, the special effects are well done, and you actually spend time promoting, it doesn’t matter what names you have tied to it.
And I think they knew that. This was a Jurassic Park film! Tons of people were going to see it, they didn’t need to cast some hotshot film actor who had billions and followers just to draw attention to it. And they didn’t which I’m happy about. It shows that you can make a great film with hard work and an awesome cast, it’s not just about the $$$$.
And this was a great film. I went and saw it in 3D and it was actually like there was a giant dinosaur running straight towards me! I know people have been complaining about how the dinosaurs weren’t realistic because actual dinosaurs had feathers, but really? If they showed what Velociraptors actually looked like, they wouldn’t be nearly as terrifying. Watch the video below to see what I’m talking about.
So yes, the dinosaurs were large and scaley and half of them probably didn’t look at all like what they actually would have looked like. But you know what? For the two and a half hours I was in the theatre, I could almost believe there was an island out there with a dinosaur theme park on it. And frankly the dinosaurs were much more believable than the fact that Claire was able to sprint through mud in those heels she was wearing.
Now of course, this wouldn’t be a Jurassic Park film without music. The theme for these films is one of those that you can never forget. Everyone knows the Jurassic Park theme even if they haven’t seen the film. Sitting in that theatre and hearing it being played during Jurassic World was incredibly nostalgic. I never in my life thought they would make another Jurassic film and I was so excited when they announced the new movie.
Hearing that song at different points in the film was actually really emotional. It doesn’t matter how old you are, Jurassic Park takes you away from your world and into one that I think we would all be simultaneously amazed and terrified by. I never thought I would hear that song again in a new film, not knowing what was coming. But there it was and it was beautiful.
All in all I thought Jurassic World was amazing. Just like the scientists in the film, they took what they knew and what they had from the first three, and they made it even better. They advanced it without taking away from the things that have always made these films special. The cast did a phenomenal job, the music and special effects couldn’t have been better, they managed to get an important message while still keeping it entertaining, and I will definitely be seeing the next one when it comes out.
Have you seen Jurassic World? What did you think?