Jurassic World has no right to be good.
The original Jurassic Park, whilst quite standard fare in its plot and construction, had the wow factor of CGi dinosaurs, not to mention the direction of a certain Steven Spielberg and all that that brings to the party.
It’s fair to say that CGi dinosaurs aside, the Jurassic Park dynasty had long since faded away as is the way of many dynasty following a run of inferior sequels.
Here we are in 2015: Enter Jurassic World, a further, seemingly unnecessary chapter in a franchise long since past it’s best. Or is it?
I’m not sure what provoked this fourth Dinosaur-fest, but it’s here and it’s actually rather good.
Spielberg is on board, albeit in an executive producers role, whatever that may entail. It’s hard to know how much input he actually had in proceedings but Jurassic World has all the tell-tale signs of Spielberg’s tinkering, so either director Colin Trevorrow is a big fan of Spielberg, or the man himself has had a hands on role here, to some extent at least.
Jurassic World is a huge Dinosaur Kingdom and theme park situated on a remote Costa Rican island. It’s a Mecca for boat load after boat load of entertainment hungry tourists to indulge themselves within.
John Hammond’s original, ill-fated Jurassic Park may be consigned as a footnote in history, but the hunger for its content has ensured that this new shrine to the dinosaur has now been built in its place. There’s just one problem though; as the park’s director of operations (and the film’s leading lady) Claire (played with real savvy and attitude by Bryce Dallas Howard) says: and to loosely quote… “Kids these days consider seeing a Stegosaurus to be no different to seeing an elephant.”
There is of course a sad irony to this comment considering the rate at which elephants are being plundered for their ivory, something that will soon see their numbers far closer to the actual numbers of living Stegosauruses.
Essentially though, there’s an ongoing need for bigger, better and more exciting and with this in mind, the geneticists and the Kingdom’s enthusiastic, yet slightly misguided owner have created a savage, mutant DNA-fest of a creature to satisfy the public’s appetite.
Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson) are brothers sent by their parents on holiday to Jurassic World. The idea is that Claire (who also happens to be their aunt), will spend some quality time with them, showing them around the place in a rare opportunity to bond with the nephews that she rarely sees; but Claire is far too busy in her business-centric world of pie charts, stats and spreadsheets and her assistant is therefore assigned the task of taking care of the boys. The boys give her the slip and with a marauding, hybrid dinosaur on the loose, that’s the cue for all manner of shenanigans to unravel.
Of course, all good blockbusters need a hero and Chris Pratt steps up to the challenge with aplomb, playing Owen, the park’s resident velociraptor whisperer. In his waist coat and exuding all manner of charm, one could be forgiven for drawing comparisons with another notable Spielberg hero of yesteryear; he just needs a whip and a hat.
Much as before, Jurassic World boils down to a familiar message of ‘don’t mess with nature or it’ll come back and bite you’, literally in this case, for telling the possible ramifications for mankind should he not take heed and resist his desire to control and be the master of all he creates or surveys.
Naturally, all of this is never going to end well and lessons will always be learned (and then of course forgotten once again it would seem, to keep those sequel gravy trains a’rollin).
Jurassic World is a story of Good guys, bad guys, misguided fools and a whole truck load of dinosaurs thrown, en masse at today’s attention span-light, hard to please generation.
I should be running like a squealing pig, pursued by a T-Rex from such formulaic output as this, particularly when you throw in the gratuitous product placement and the predictability and somewhat cliched nature of the plot, but in spite of everything, Jurassic World holds it’s own. It’s damned good fun, it’s damned entertaining and probably the best, big budget family blockbuster I’ve seen in many a long year.
Ok Hollywood, this time you’ve got me!
Well and truly sucked in!