Jurassic World Review
Two parks! One fateful Island!
Set two decades after the failure of the original Jurassic Park will this new Jurassic World prove as disastrous as its predecessor? Successful at first but with interest quickly waning Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) enlists the help of Dr. Henry Wu (B.D. Wong) to create a whole new dinosaur. Who would have thought that dinosaurs could become boring? The result of this experiment - the Indominous Rex! A lethal killing machine more monstrous and cunning than any other dino in the park. When this uncontrollable and clever creature escapes its cage and begins to hunt the guests and dinosaurs within the park, Claire is forced to team up with Velociraptor handler Owen (Chris Pratt.) They must put their history aside with the lives of the park and its people on the line.
This reboot will fulfil all your expectations and then some. The inclusion of a whole new dinosaur is refreshing and fun. The Indominous is an amalgamation of different genes and animals spliced together, giving it weird and unique abilities like its chameleon flare. It is powerful and vicious and completely one of a kind. The magic of the park is captured through the characters of Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins), who are there for the first time. It feels amazing to experience it for the first time through their eyes and adds a sense of wonder to this reboot of an old classic. The score builds as they enter the gate and see the park for the first time and your heart beats faster with it. It is an awesome moment.
Strip away the cool new dinosaurs and amazing moments though and you are left with a cliched tale about a lethal dinosaur escaping and rampaging across the island. It is a little stale and very predictable. This two-dimensional story is elevated at points but combined with the flat atypical characters is nothing special. The classic scientist (Dr. Wu) and the brooding but talented trainer (Owen) are played well but let’s be honest, they are simple roles.
This film has little that surprises in terms of the plot and characters. It is exactly what we expect from a Jurassic Park film. It struggles but just barely manages to keep it interesting. It is a fun but mindless watch. You find yourself caught up and having fun but there is nothing unique and challenging – it is enjoyable but stereotypical!
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
The Jurassic World park has been shut for a few years now and the only things left on that island are its free roaming inhabitants, the dinosaurs. But when a dormant volcano threatens to erupt, these beings face another apocalyptic extinction. This time death by fire and ash. Animal rights activists and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) desperately try to find a way to save the dinosaurs before it is too late. Claire is once more forced to team up with Owen (Chris Pratt) but in saving the dinosaurs they expose them to a greedy corporate world where they are up for sale. Its out of the frying pan and into the fire for these beautiful and dangerous creatures.
This is a film of two distinctly different halves - in the first Owen and Claire are fighting to save the dinosaurs from the island that we all know and love. And the second, it becomes something akin to a haunted house horror movie. The auction of the dinosaurs takes place at Lockwood’s mansion and the grand reveal of the new Dr. Wu creation (the Indo-raptor) typically goes disastrously wrong. This cunning creator hunts our heroes through the halls of this big house using the Velociraptor genes that make it so deadly. It is tense. The creature stalks through the shadows of the manor. The second half of this film is incredibly tense and takes the common climatic escape scenes of the Jurassic Park franchise to new heights.
It is still not original though! It feels like a semi-rip off from Jurassic Park: Lost World as it revolves around shipping the dinosaurs off to America. It is the innovative second act that saves this film. The two leads are made more rounded and Howard and Pratt are fantastic in these roles improving greatly from their previous film. It is the debate surrounding how to morally handle the dinosaurs as both animals and laboratory experiments that is one of the best parts of this film. It is interesting. It gives the characters more depth and it feels very vital and relevant as you watch it. This film poses some fantastic points which carry it in the first act to its dramatic and amazing finale.
This mix of plot and deeper more developed characters keeps the film alive and helps it be exciting and fresh. There are some incredible and emotive shots which reference the original trilogy alongside hinting at where the franchise will end up. The same problem does keep coming up – it seems to be impossible to find a truly original plot and just inventing new dinosaurs feels like a repetitive and forced fix. This film grapples with these issues better than its predecessor but it certainly is not perfect. I am hoping that Jurassic World: Dominion keeps this upward momentum and nails this problem once and for all.
Written by George Marshall
Edited by Isobella Norman