There was a firm understanding at the end of Jurassic Park that inviting visitors onto an island crawling with dinosaurs is a TERRIBLE IDEA. Lord only knows who bribed whom to make this nightmare a reality, but it’s 20 years later and here the park stands. Souvenir shops and all. There are two things I learned watching Jurassic World: 1) it will be a long time before I look at Sea World the same way, and 2) those jaegers from Pacific Rim may not be such a bad idea…
After a few years of successful business, the classic dinosaur world just isn’t entertaining people anymore. The manager and owner of the Jurassic World theme park therefore plans to unveil a bigger, faster, smarter attraction. With more teeth. Meet the Indominus Rex (I’m totally serious), a hybrid of everyone’s favourite t-rex mixed with other classified DNA. The beast should be ready for public viewing in three weeks’ time but for now its lonely cage needs refortifying since the walls aren’t quite high enough. Operation’s manager, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), is ordered to seek consultation from Owen (Chris Pratt), the park’s velociraptor trainer and researcher, on the potential dangers of this new attraction. Owen, like the rest of us, is one forehead slap away from abandoning humanity to their own shocking stupidity.
To top it all off you must be asking, “What would a dinosaur movie be without innocent children in jeopardy?” It just so happens that Claire’s nephews, Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson), are visiting for the weekend. It’s hard to guess what happens next… I’m pulling your leg. No it isn’t. Looking back at Jurassic Park, how many parallels can you spot? Children trapped in a car? Check. Lost in a jungle? Check. Chased by velociraptors through a no-expense-spared facility. Check and check. The biggest difference in Jurassic World (aside from the mutant whose genetic makeup makes her the perfect predator) is that the woman traipsing through the jungle in search of the lost children does so in a silk suit and designer heals. Looking at a truck full of emergency supplies and knowing what it would feel like to be in Claire’s literal shoes, I recommend that a pair of flats should henceforth be included in all S.O.S. kits.
Jurassic World isn’t the kind of movie that requires a lot of brain power. It’s the kind of movie that was born from a committee of writers sitting around a table saying, “We have dinosaurs, we have fancy tech, we have Chris Pratt – what would look cool on screen?” The answer is big dinos fighting bigger dinos (and getting eaten), military personnel in the jungle (getting eaten), expensive equipment (also eaten), and perhaps a few people… getting eaten (twice over, George Lucas-style). If one thing’s for sure, Jurassic World’s dinosaurs are absurdly well-fed. There’s only one catalyst in the movie: the hybrid breaking free. Everything else is an escalation of that one bad call. And no one on the production team shies away from showing that gigantic, sniffing, blinking head as many times as possible.
The main characters in Jurassic World have SO MANY near misses it’s inhuman. The plot tries to introduce personal problems from divorce to loneliness, but nothing really sticks. Watching dinosaurs attack humans who totally had it coming, however, is the sweetest flavour of satisfaction. Jurassic World may be an attack on obese America (you don’t have to be fast… just faster than the guy behind you), but it is a message to all of us that mixing extinct DNA with modern species that have evolved into master predators is a very, very dumb idea. Jurassic World is an entertaining, eye-rolling, are you kidding me 7/10.