Saturday, June 13, 2015

Movie Review -- Jurassic World

Today we return to Isla Nubar in the fourth installment of the Jurassic Park films, Jurassic World.
The story takes place two decades after the first movie. Jurassic Park has been reborn as the wildly successful Jurassic World, a theme park/resort which features genetically engineered dinosaurs as the main attraction courtesy of the InGen corporation. With visitors currently numbering 20,000+, they're not hurting for cash. However, management is continually put under pressure to make the dinos more exciting. Their solution is to tinker with the creatures' DNA to create new species, and their latest attraction is hybrid tyrannosaurus rex, a super dinosaur.
As the film opens, brothers Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins) arrive at the island to meet their aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) who runs the place. Claire is too busy to spend much time with them, so they basically go off on their own. Meanwhile, ex-Navy man turned raptor handler Owen (Chris Pratt) is busy dealing with InGen bigwig Hoskins (Vincent D'Onofrio) who wants to militarize said creatures.
Unfortunately, the unstable hybrid t-rex soon escapes and begins killing other dinosaurs for sport. Worse, it's displaying amazing intelligence. Zach and Gray get caught up in the rampage, narrowly escaping with their lives. Owen and Claire chase after them, but the hybrid is never far away, and danger lurks around every corner.
As if things weren't bad enough, the super dino breaks into the aviary, releasing pterodactyls which proceed to terrorize the park's many visitors. As the death toll mounts, Owen comes up with a risky plan to halt the carnage utilizing the raptors. But the hybrid still has a few tricks up its sleeve, and it won't go down without a fight. Can our heroes save the day (and their lives)?
 When the first Jurassic Park came out, it was a revolutionary film featuring special effects we'd never seen before. Two sequels followed, but they failed to capture the magic of the original. Jurassic World is better than them, but still doesn't meet the bar. It's got likeable characters, cool CG effects, enjoyable action sequences, and it even delivers a message about keeping animals in captivity. Still (and this is a common complaint of mine), it doesn't bring much new to the table. You've still got humans trying to survive in an environment full of killer dinosaurs using their wits, and that's what we've had since the series' inception. I like to go to the movies and think, "Wow, I've never seen that before," and I just couldn't do it with this one.
Fortunately, it's got a quality soundtrack featuring the music of Michael Giacchino and that great Jurassic Park theme by John Williams.
Bottom line: You'll have a good time with Jurassic World. You just won't find much new here.

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