Jurassic World ***


I have to admit that I have been looking forward to a fourth film in the “Jurassic Park” franchise for many years. I was one of the few people who actually liked “Jurassic Park III”. I thought “The Lost World” was flawed yet someone enjoyable. I did have a few worries about the making of a new film in this series, especially over a decade after the last instalment. Time has not been kind to franchises that wait this long. Now we have “Jurassic World”.

From the opening seconds of this film I knew it was going to be a drastically different franchise going forward. Right away we witness the birth of a new species of dinosaur. We get to see it emerge from it’s egg and see the world for the first time. I can recall the wondrous moment in “Jurassic Park” when the characters held a baby Raptor after watching in awe as it emerged from it’s egg. Practical effects were used to create the tiny being with teeth. This time the tiny breathing life form was completely a CGI creation. Those are the times we live in.

Now as much as I enjoy visual effects I have found myself nostalgic for practical effects in recent years. I have found CGI to become too dominant on the screen making everything look like animation. Too much CGI robs the action and events in a movie of it’s realism in my opinion. That is not to say that “Jurassic World” is ugly looking or fake. Quite the opposite actually. Compared to “Transformers” this is a masterwork. I am just saying that I have been longing for a time when computers were not used to create everything we are looking at.

So did I enjoy “Jurassic World”? I actually did. It is a fun thriller that comes with a gut punch of nostalgia. Is it as good as “Jurassic Park”? No way, but then again how could it be?

I will say that it was great to see John Hammond’s dream finally come true. “Jurassic World” features a fully functioning Dinosaur theme park on Isla Nublar where it was always intended to be. The park looks amazing by the way. It totally make me think of the Universal Studios theme park. All the dinosaurs are on display in some truly unique ways.

I loved the Sea World type setup they had for and under water creature. But just when you think the attraction is over, all the seats lower down to reveal a giant aquarium. I also really liked the Gyro-spheres. They seemed like a disaster waiting to happen but they are fun to look at. Imagine walking around a dinosaur filled field in a giant hamster ball.

The newest attraction is a hybrid dinosaur called the Indominus Rex. It is meaner and nastier than anything they have debuted at the park. It also has some unexpected traits that eventually help it escape it’s pen and wreak havoc on the park. What would a “Jurassic Park” movie be without over zealous corporate types that do not understand the power of nature, resulting in the deaths of many people?

Now who are the lucky cast members who get to run away from these monsters? First is Chris Pratt who plays Owen, the main game keeper for the island. He has developed a relationship with Raptor’s where they sort of listen to his commands. This attracts the interest of Vic Hoskins played by Vincent D’Onofrio. Vic is a military guy who dreams up a plan of using the Raptors as weapons. Then there is Bryce Dallas Howard character, Clair, who is the parks operations manager. She of course makes all the wrong choices.

Now make no mistake. “Jurassic World” is made for modern audiences who crave relentless action and CGI effects. The last half of the film is almost non stop in both departments. There is not much time for the characters to stand in awe of the amazing creatures around them. In a summer where movies featuring large scale disasters created by computers, “Jurassic World” fits right in.

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