HOORAY! Jurassic World doesn’t embarrass itself, which given my reaction to some of the promotional material released for the film, I feared it might do. Instead fans of the franchise are treated to an action packed, occasionally amusing film that has plenty of references to the original film for the child in us all.
Chris Pratt is the stand out of the human cast, showing us a darker more sardonic side to his movie star persona, without sacrificing any of his innate charisma. Bryce Dallas Howard does her best with a character that starts out like stiff and one note, as the film progresses she develops (as cliché, quick and predictable as it is), a warmth and interesting chemistry with Pratt.
The dinosaurs look great, especially during one on one scenes and most of the larger scale fight/chase scenes. When more CGI is needed (e.g. large scale, multiple dinosaur shots and anything to do with the ‘crocodile dinosaur’), it took me out of the reality of the film and proved to be a reminder of why Spielberg was so selective in how the dinosaurs were shown in Jurassic Park, relying more on build up and tension in his set pieces. Jurassic World in comparison, is more bombastic in nature, all the ‘villains’ get what’s coming to them and the attacks feel more reminiscent of the horror or disaster movie genre.
What keeps Jurassic World in the realm of good fun, summer movie rather than something on par with Jurassic Park is a lack of believable character development and response to what is happening in the film, the characters go from escaping death to cracking wise or acting as though the ‘park is FINALLY worth visiting’. The moral and ethical themes explored by the film and franchise as whole are dropped on audiences like ANVILS, which is common in these types of films but as a whole the characters would have been better served by some subtlety in that area. But does anyone really care? Most would say no, some may say yes, and those, like me were probably hoping that Jurassic World would pull off a miracle and bring back the suspense and nuanced characters of JP, rather than just adding another ‘good job’ drop to the pool of fun comic books/action movies we are all happily swimming in.