Thursday, 9 July 2015

Jurassic World (2015) - Fantasy Film Review

So I finally got around to watching Jurassic World recently, going into it my expectations were low but I hoped that based on the rave reviews it has been getting everywhere that I would be proven wrong.

Set 22 years after the catastrophe that struck the original dinosaur theme park; Jurassic Park a new park was built on the same island, this time called Jurassic World, and this one is actually running successfully. In order to keep visitor numbers high a new attraction has been created; a genetically engineered super dinosaur that is even bigger than the fearsome T-Rex. Unfortunately this new intelligent dinosaur soon predictably escapes its enclosure at the north end of the island and it is down to the employees of Jurassic World (including Chris Pratt as Owen) as well as evil company Ingen to hunt down and destroy the monster before it reaches the resort area at the south of the island where thousands of people are gathered oblivious to the doom that is heading for them.

Starting off mention has to go to the two children who find themselves stealing a far too big a chunk of screen time. First is Zach (Nick Robinson) who plays a moody, brooding stereotypical teen but he pales in comparison to his younger brother Gray who is intensely irritating and is made up of 90% stupid haircut. Every single time I saw this kid I wanted to dive into the cinema screen and punch him, him and his brother both were the Jar Jar Binks of Jurassic World, they go on zany adventures and you just know that nothing bad whatsoever is going to happen to them. In fact out of the main characters barely any good one dies, the body count is made up mostly of nameless goons from what I recall.

Of the other characters, well Chris Pratt is ok here, but the female lead Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) manages to last the whole film wearing high heels, even managing to outrun a T-Rex at one point while wearing the damn things, so stupid! To be fair though her characters arc over the duration of the film was actually quite good. A lot of the characters here are wise cracking film types, none seem like fully fleshed out characters really, and yes, some of the wise cracks and one liners did actually make me laugh out loud, even the irritating kid made me laugh at a few points.

Onto the dinosaurs themselves; I have not seen the original films for quite some time but I remember being blown away at the time by the depictions of these prehistoric beasts, now, and maybe it is due to this being the fourth in the series but the dinosaurs didn't really inspire any sort of awe in me. I remember as a kid going to watch Jurassic Park at the cinema with my parents, the scene with the T-Rex in the rain stuck in my mind as being scary, not in a fearful way, but in an exciting sense, full of tension and drama. Now maybe it is because I'm now older but there were no even remotely scary parts in this film, there was no misery, no horror, the film as a whole had far more of a family movie type vibe to it with jokes and sunshine never being too far away. The new super dinosaur doesn't have much impact on screen, not helped that he is hardly ever seen, I get that to build up suspense at first you would not show him fully, but when at the films conclusion you still hardly even witnessed him much then something has gone wrong.

On the other side of the coin are the raptors and T-Rex, these fearsome creatures were pretty much the dinosaur based bad guys of the first few film but here they have been nerfed to the point where you may as well call them good guys. The raptors have been trained from birth to follow Owen's commands which was a cool idea admittedly, but the T-Rex just briefly appears, does his bit then vanishes again without causing any trouble to the humans.

As a sequel Jurassic World is decent as it does reference the first film a lot, even going back to previous locations from that film which I really enjoyed, as did I enjoy the nostalgic reworked classic theme tune that played every now and again, the films score was not bad at all, the FX are also decent enough though there is a strange lack of blood when people getting eaten, nothing special but it did its job. It strangely sometimes feel like a remake; a theme park where the dinosaurs escape, two children lost in the chaos, dodgy Ingen and research being stolen are all familiar themes. There was a lot of stupidity with this movies plot, but it was purposeful so is not fair to hold that against it.

I think my problem is that I went in hoping for more of a horror film and instead got a family film. This is my fault as it was never going to be horror but I still felt a bit deflated, maybe my memories are rose tinted, I shall have to re watch the previous one to find out. There are some quite exciting sequences here; I loved the huge dinosaur fight that takes place, and one of the death scenes was pretty fun, but overall it was sadly pretty much what I thought it would be.


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