22 years after the original Jurassic Park failed, the new park (also known as Jurassic World) is open for business. Located on the same island of Isla Nublar, the resort is much more than a prehistoric safari ride – a full blown theme park, hotel and mall are all featured. But attendance is falling, so the park scientists come up with a radical solution: create a new, genetically modified dinosaur. In a surprise to absolutely nobody, the dino escapes containment, and it’s up to a small group of experienced workers to stop the rampage.
In his first major role since his breakout performance in Guardians of the Galaxy, Chris Pratt proves that he’s more than a one trick pony. In Guardians, his character required him to be tough, yet laid back enough to crack the occasional joke. Here though, Pratt is a straight-faced, get the job done professional who’s an absolute joy to watch. The same can’t be said for the majority of the other characters, namely Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire. Unlikeable from the outset as a workaholic who puts her career ahead of her family’s safety, she never redeems herself or appears to see the error of her ways. The same feeling applies to her nephews too – brothers Zach and Gray are devoid of any personality or flare for us to care about their wellbeing. On the other hand, Vincent D’Onofrio is casting perfection as the human villain, with sound reasoning behind his actions.
As for the newest dinosaur, it’s a bit of a let down. Sure, it’s one huge mean badass dino, but so is the T-Rex. There’s not a lot here that sets it apart from that iconic beast. Well, maybe one feature – camouflage. But as quickly as its introduced it’s gone, never to be seen again (pun not intended). If it wasn’t for the supporting CGI raptors and other various creatures, the Indominus Rex wouldn’t be any where near as menacing as it appears.
The park itself is infinitely more impressive than that seen in the original. The board walk shopping area, which to the cynics like myself exists here only to cater to the lucrative product placement aspect of marketing, still manages to give a resort like feel, and the opening of the unforgettable gates coupled with the now-infamous theme music is undoubtedly a goosebump inducing highlight.
Another area where Jurassic World excels is its references to its predecessors. There’s a lengthy (and crucial) sequence that will bring the memories flooding back that incorporates parts of Park, and surprisingly doesn’t feel cheap or shoe-horned in.
Overall though, while flawed and mainly throwaway, we should just be thankful that Jurassic World succeeds in being passable.
Awesome to see the park again
Chris Pratt shines
Clever and necessary references to its predecessors
Majority of characters unlikeable