Film Review: Jurassic World

Monday 29 June 2015 by

Jurassic World, Film, Dinosaurs, Chris Pratt

The hype around Jurassic World has been huge – making it one of the most successful films in its first weekend of all time. In a way, it helps that Jurassic Park (the original, not the crazy sequels) was such a hit. And this film is not shy about playing on that.

The premise is that Jurassic Park is back – bigger and better than before. It receives 22,000 people a day, with theme park rides and attractions, and high-tech protection from the genetically mutated dinosaurs roaming around.

Enter Zach and Gray – warring siblings sent to stay with their absent aunt (Bryca Dallas Howard). But aunt Claire has bigger things on her mind – the “Indominus Rex”, the park’s latest attraction. But, in true Jurassic Park style, things start to go wrong when Indominus outwits them all and gets loose.

Enter Chris Pratt – ex-Navy and velociraptor trainer extraordinaire – to save the day. There are action sequences, screaming, nerdy nods to the first film, and hammed-up attempts at humour.

I had been so excited to watch the film because of my deep love for the original (and dinosaurs). But for some reason this film just didn’t click for me. Maybe it was the raptor-taming thing (seriously? those things have the brains the size of an egg), or the fact that aunt Claire ran around in stilettoes for an entire film (not in that mud she isn’t), or perhaps it’s the fact that the idea of Indominus Rex is so preposterous that I laughed out loud when I discovered that it could camouflage itself.

The film is entertaining on a very superficial level – a lot of money has obviously been thrown at the production and the effects are impressive – but it just doesn’t hold up. Part of the joy of the original was the fact that you never saw the whole dinosaur (the raptors in the kitchen, for example), but here you get to see them in mind-numbing detail. There is a certain irony in the film: the film shows how bigger does not mean better, that ambition outweighs caution when it comes to entertainment, and yet the film falls exactly in to these tropes.

Chris Pratt is perhaps the only delicate touch to a generally heavy-handed film, playing his part well and making the raptor thing as believable as anyone could have managed. But then, it is Chris Pratt. Who can pull off most things, it seems.

I guess in the end, I was disappointed that they overplayed their hand and made something that could have been brilliant in to something of a damp squib.

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