After the long wait of 14 years since the last Dino-thunder at the box office with Jurassic Park III (2001), Universal Studios’ decision to bring back the extinct franchise, pays off well, especially when Hollywood’s struggling with fresh storylines and relying heavily on reboots and sequels.
With a mighty $500 million plus opening weekend, Jurassic World has already overhauled the year’s highest grosser, Avengers-Age of Ultron. Although reboots and sequels do churn millions for the production houses, they come with the baggage of high expectations from the audiences. The new name behind the camera, Colin Trevorrow orchestrates Jurassic World with some stunning visuals and over-the-top special effects with the dinosaurshowever the fourth installment to the hit franchise somewhere falls short of Spielberg’s showmanship crafted way back with the original Jurassic Park (1993).
So let’s find out what are we in for with the $150 million budgeted mega dino-adventure flick, Jurassic World.
After all the previous movies failed to build on John Hammond’s vision of a successful Dino-theme park on the idyllic Central American island of Isla Nublar, 22 years later, the re-brandished theme park as Jurassic World under the ownership of Simon Masrani (played by our home-grown Irrfan Khan) flourishes as the best-theme park the world and tech could offer. Playing second-in-command here is the profit-oriented corporate-geek Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) who heartlessly eyes the park as a money-making business with dinosaurs as merely ‘assets’ in her ledger.
Colin doesn’t disappoint us with all the showbiz the amusement park has to offer, paying attention to the details and making Jurassic World feel like a realistic part of the near-future. One can’t help but marvel at the various attractions crafted in the first half an hour of the movie including the sequence of the Mosasaurus, a giant aquatic beast that feasts on a Great White shark for amusement and puts the beast that terrified us in Jaws to shame.
To top it all we have the charming hunk Chris Pratt play an ex-Navy cum-raptor trainer who makes his entry taming his pet Velociraptors (yeah the intelligent man-hunters of the previous films). Just when all seemed happy-go-lucky for the park with over 20000 visitors, we have a genetically-engineered 50 foot Indominous Rex (I-Rex) breaking out of her containment and then it’s all hell breaking loose on the island. Bred as an added ‘Wow’ factor to the theme park, the I-Rex carries the show as the film’s main antagonist chopping humans and scratching the mildly-adorable brachiosaurus and devouring anything on its path giving us some nervously-gulping and gripping moments as she goes on a blood-thirsty killing-spree.
Adding complications to the plot we have Hoskins’ (Vincent D’Onofrio) absurd idea of testing the Velociraptors as a military weapon against the I-Rex. With a plot far from being flawless and original and less with character-driven play, Jurassic World does play upon its sole strength, the dinosaurs. From the Velociraptors to I-Rex to even the leading hero of the franchise, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, it is the Dino-thunder that hooks you right till the end.
With a 124 minute running time, Jurassic World is crisp on visuals with flaunts state-of the art CGI and special effects sequences. The earnest detailing in bringing the dinosaurs alive is certainly the high-point where Jurassic World scores. Although Spielberg relied on the robotics for the earlier installments, the advent of modern animation techniques renders a greater depth into the dinosaurs. From the texturing of their scaly skins to the depth of their animated eyes, every dinosaur comes out alive.
Speaking about the dinosaurs, the world-famous paleontologist, Jack Horner, who has consulted on all four Jurassic Park movies spoke to the press about an argument on how the dinosaurs should look in the movies. Horner stated that“I wanted the dinosaurs to be full of color and feathery. Spielberg wanted them dark and leathery. So in Jurassic World, I convinced them to add some more color to the dinosaurs. There could be pink dinosaurs for all we know.”
However amidst the entire visual spectacle on display, Jurassic World does fall short in satisfying the Jurassic Park franchise experience.Apart from John Williams’ original background score playing more than a few times, the connection to the previous movies remains unexplored. Colin does play with the callbacks here especially bringing in the franchise star dinosaur, T-Rex into action and throwing in some raptor hunting sequences but fails to deliver the horror-genre experience Spielberg’s Jurassic Park movies played with. Also with no lead character in mortal peril, the nail-biting experience is somewhere missed.
The loosely-written plot circling a genetically-engineered predator has been explored more than a dozen times in Hollywood and so Jurassic World doesn’t offer anything new to the plate. The climax too tidies up neatly in a predicable way.
Supporting the lead cast, Jake Johnson adds a bit of humor in times of serious scenes, Vincent D’Onofrio disappoints bringing in his greyer shades especially after his brilliant stint as King Pin in Netflix’s Daredevil series. Chris Pratt brings his charming gravitas to every badass scene he is in, while Bryce looks too frozen in her forced chemistry with Pratt. The kids Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson add their touch and to everyone’s surprise Irrfan’s meaty role comes out well in spite of his strange accent.The writers and filmmakers make the characters less dimensional in order to focus on more on the set-pieces and action sequences.
In spite of lacking certain key aspects, Jurassic World is an enjoyable treat that relieves the dino-experience in true sense. Recommended!