I had pretty high hopes for summer movie season this year. So far I haven’t been let down. Unlike some people I had few problems with Avengers 2, Mad Max: Fury Road blew away all expectations and Insidious: Chapter 3 was fun for what it was. If there were any movies I was worried about they are Terminator: Genisys and Jurassic World. It takes quite a bit for sequels to work and with their earlier movies being bonafide classics my expectations have been kept in check. Could a return to Jurassic Park possibly live up to expectations? Well there was no gymnasts so we were off to a good start.
Ignoring the other two sequels Jurassic Park (now called Jurassic World) is a fully functioning theme park. With twenty two years of operation and declining attendance John Hammond’s successor orders for a new attraction to be created. Things go awry when the new dinosaur escapes captivity. Park manager Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) and raptor expert Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) have to stop the dinosaur and save Dearing’s visiting family.
If you read my defense of Jurassic Park 3 a big reason I dug the movie was the fact that it was a more of a summer blockbuster trying to be a grand epic. Jurassic World takes this idea and executes it to perfection. Whether it’s an aerial attacks from Pteranodons or just seeing the park run there it just feels like a spectacle. The excitement ramps up once the Indominus Rex escapes captivity. Not only is it a killing machine but it’s a straight up bastard. Sure it’s silly to see but I was totally in once it not just killed another dinosaur but it broke it’s neck like a kung fu movie villain. The dinosaur attacks in general have a certain mean spiritedness to them that make them a blast to watch. Then there’s In Gen. The shady, evil corporation wants to train raptors to use in was. That’s right they want to use raptors to send into war zones. That’s an amazing movie idea right there. The fact that there were kid character kids that didn’t irritate me is just the icing on the genetically modified cake.
If there is a weak point in the movie it’s probably the human characters. They feel like caricatures of real characters more than anything else. The only character to really develop is Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire and it’s a fairly basic “Learns how to enjoy family and not obsess about work” arc. Sure dinosaurs make it better but I can’t really say it was done better or worse than other movies. There’s also the romantic subplotbetween Claire and Owen. I don’t mind it happening it just felt forced.
Those wanting a movie that will match the original will no doubt be disappointed. The movie lacks the technical achievement and the endearing characters in the first film. Luckily it more than delivers when it comes to dino destruction and plain old fun. With some great direction from Colin Trevorrow and state-of-the-art CGI Jurassic World is everything you would want out of a spectacle. Good luck Terminator: Genisys, you have a lot of catching up to do.