Friday, June 12, 2015
‘Jurassic World’ terrifies with squirm in your seat fun
Being a huge Jurassic Park film fan, I was very excited about Jurassic World, the impatiently awaited fourth installment to the dinosaur franchise. Fellow enthusiasts, prepare for a towering T-rex, calculating raptors, and much more. Jurassic World is just what the pterodactyl ordered.
The film succeeds, despite the gamble this is the second time a Jurassic Park work has not been directed by its mentor, Steven Spielberg. (Joe Johnston helmed the third one.) That is no slight to World director Colin Trevorrow, whose major stylistic difference is the near absence of take-a-breath time between numerous heart-pounding action sequences. The only flaw is pretty much unavoidable in that everything is highly predictable.
We know, we expect, we savor man-eating creatures breaking loose from their caged confines and preying upon any nearby human. We also know the humans will fight back and eventually win. The fact the CGI dinosaurs appear absolutely real is also a given expectation. The basic plot structure was set in 1993 with the first film, Jurassic Park, and copycatted through its sequels, The Lost World (1997) and III (2001).
Michael Crichton’s 1990 best selling novel, Jurassic Park, formed the template, so why mess with huge profits? It worked in the book, the first three versions, and it works with World. It has also worked via comic books and video games. Expectation is everything, folks, which is why there are so many movie sequels down the pike.
As we learned in the previous three films, business profiteers are the root of all murderous problems. If they don't directly cause mayhem, they trigger its occurrence.Wherein the genetically engineered dinosaurs were created by visionary John Hammond for the sake of scientific as well as public observation, there is always some corporation out there scheming to exploit the creatures to turn big bucks. With Jurassic World, logically set 22 years after the first movie, big business has finally taken over the remote dinosaur island, and packaged it as a Disneyland-like zoo for big budgeted families. Jurassic World is the theme park’s name. Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan) runs a hands-on show as CEO of the Masrani Corporation owners.
Enter Owen Grady, a Velociprator trainer, who lives pretty much independently on the island, outside the zoo area. Chris Pratt portrays Grady, and this is the first time we have seen Pratt in a role virtually absent of any humor. Nonetheless, Pratt realistically personifies the hero.
Bryce Dallas Howard is Claire Dearing, the prim, all about business park operations manager who has to deal with the obstinate Grady, two visiting nephews, and an internal struggle for power. Add an uncontrollable, hybrid dinosaur known as Indominus rex, sporting multiple breeds of dinosaur genes, and a humongous sea creature that does dolphin theatrics to thrill the JW crowds.
Oh yes, there are also birds...dirty, lousy, stinkin’ birds—big ones that like tourists for snacks. And all is displayed in very effective 3D.
Pause. Reword. Due to the huge profits Jurassic World will undoubtedly rake in, in every way another sequel will occur. I’ll be first in line.
GRADE on an A-F Scale: B+