A favourite childhood movie of mine is Jurassic Park. Well, I say favourite, I was scared witless by the Dilophosaurus scene many times so it took me quite a while before I saw it all the way through. However, over the years the Jurassic Park franchise has been one of my most beloved series of films, and I even like the infamous second and third entries in the saga. Now we have a new entry in the series, and I was lucky enough to see it on my recent trip to France. So without further ado, this is the review for…
22 years after the disastrous events of the first film, Jurassic World is now open to the public on Isla Nublar, thanks in large part to multi-millionaire Simon Masrani. However after 10 years of business, attendance figures are starting to slip, prompting park manager Claire to engineer a new attraction, the Indominous Rex. When Masrani asks her to consult Owen, a Velociraptor trainer, to examine the new dinosaurs habitat, things quickly start to go wrong as the Indominous outsmarts its creators and breaks free. Now it’s up to Owen and Claire to recapture the Indominous Rex before it reaches Jurassic World!
I was so excited to see this film, mainly because of my love for the franchise, but at the same time I went in with caution, because although I have not reviewed it on here yet, I had similarly high expectations for Avengers 2, and I was disappointed to say the least. So for this film I went in with an open mind, I knew they would be trying new things with DNA splicing and Raptor training etc, but I didn’t know how they would all gel together, and indeed if they would all gel together in a decent way. Well in my eyes, it all gelled together really well and made this one of the best films of the franchise!
So where exactly does the film get it right? Well, for me, it was as soon as the park is introduced. The music swells up, the tram goes through the original gates and the fully functional park revealed in all its glory. I felt like I was a kid again, I felt a giddy sense of joy, as if I was actually there, travelling in to the park with the other tourists. This is what I’ve wanted to see since I was a little boy, and we finally have it, from a T-Rex eating a goat attraction in a nice nod to the original, to an adorable and hilarious dinosaur petting zoo. I felt like I was eight years old again (or however old I was when I first saw the original I can’t remember) and it was amazing! But almost immediately, nostalgia time was over and it was time to get on with the new and serious stuff!
Enter Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, the real protagonists of the movie! Ok so my one problem with this movie is that it starts off with two kids visiting the park who are nephews of Howards character Claire. We follow them around the park for a bit but then the attention primarily shifts to Pratt & Howard, which is where the main bulk of the movie is, but the kid characters keep popping up again and again. In this respect it’s a bit too similar to the first, and the character development these kids are given isn’t really that interesting and really doesn’t add anything to the film. I’m not saying the kids are bad actors, they do their jobs well and they are convincing in all parts of the film, but the development just felt a bit forced.
Anyway, we have Pratt & Howard being introduced to our new best/worst friend, the Indominous Rex and dealing with the resulting chaos that follows. I have to say that when watching this, the Indominous Rex did scare me witless. Sure it may look like a T-Rex with quills that needs to get out of the house a bit more, but it’s scary to see it stalk around its habitat, attack people and other dinosaurs without mercy, and outsmart its creators. People have said the science of this movie is a bit far fetched, but I think if you’re going to question the science of many modern movies, especially in a film about a genetically mutated dinosaur, then you’re reading far too much into it and maybe need to switch off the brain once in a while. Yes the camouflage is a bit silly, but who the hell cares when it creates some tense, brutal and exhilarating action scenes! Not this guy!
So I swear I had a plan for this review, but we’ve veered way off course so lets just go with it! Right, the Indominous Rex, scary, clever and bloody hard to kill, so we have a perfect villain right there! Then we have the whole Raptor training thing, which I have to say was really well done (until the last moment of the film). The opening scene with Pratt and the Raptors is a classic moment and put me on the edge of my seat, and the motorcycle ride through the jungle that’s been placed in every trailer, that was a brilliant highlight for me. The thing is, that with so many new ideas and new characters, this could have so easily fallen into boring reboot territory, but it doesn’t! There’s a raw energy in the way this film is directed that makes this film a more brutal and scary experience. I will warn you now, if you plan on taking children to see this film, they may be too scared by it. Those Pterodactyls man, they are scary as hell! Any of you who’ve seen the film will know what I mean!
As the film progresses and more people die and more dinosaurs get unleashed, the film gets nastier and nastier. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but seeing as I always found Jurassic Park to be a family friendly franchise, this film definitely pushes the boundaries of that view. There’s a certain scene in the film that filled me with complete terror, more so than most horror films of recent years. I’m sure if you’ve seen it you’ll know which one it is, but if not I’ll just say this. Pterodactyls. It’s this scene in particular that rips this film out of the “family friendly” box and puts into the “thriller” box. If I do a best scenes of the year list for 2015, this will most likely be at number one, because of the sheer ferocity of it!
The ferocity of that scene is replicated throughout the film. The Velociraptors are nastier and just as scary as they were back in 1993, the Indominous Rex shows no mercy when tearing down hordes of humans, and the whole film gives off the distinct feeling that the humans are powerless against the dinosaurs, which is how it should be! Yes the very final scene in the final fight throws a spanner in the works but it doesn’t really impact that much into the whole experience. What we have here my friends, is a brilliant Jurassic Park movie! That’s exactly what I asked for!
What a film! It’s tense, exciting and brutal in all the right places. It makes me afraid of dinosaurs again and it makes me excited for the future of the franchise! Maybe it’s jumped out of the “family friendly” box, but that may be for the best, because this a truly exhilarating and heart-stopping adventure! SEE IT NOW!
So there you have it guys, another excellent movie to add to your summer cinema viewing! Let me know what you think of it and I’ll see you soon for more movie reviews! Ciao!