Jurassic World | Colin Trevorrow | June 12, 2015
Jurassic World takes place 22 years after the disastrous results of Jurassic Park, and we see that Hammond’s dream is thriving. People are coming in droves and the park even has a Universal City Walk-esque lineup of stores and restaurants. The park has massive research facilities, where they are tackling everything from cloning dinosaurs, to Velociraptor training. They even have a park control center and security measures that even a schmuck like Dennis Nedry couldn’t mess with.
Everything seems to be going great. However, a theme park needs new attractions to keep public interest up, and deal with the mounting costs of meeting public demand for more dinosaurs, ultimately keeping the shareholders happy. Logically, park owner Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan) oks the genetics research team to create a new dinosaur. They come up with Indominus Rex, a dinosaur hybrid which has a multitude of DNA from different dinosaurs, as well as modern animals, to fill in the genetic gaps.
We are brought to the park at the time when park operations manager Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) is finally ready to reveal Indominus to Simon. Soon enough, like every movie in this series, problems slowly start to arise, and soon enough, chaos begins to take over: Indominus outsmarts her creators to escape her enclosure.
Claire and Simon enlist the help of Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), the resident Velociraptor expert and trainer and ex-Navy SEAL, to track and capture Indominus, certainly no easy task. Indominus outsmarts and flat-out throttles the park’s staff at every turn, which puts the park’s 20,000-plus visitors, as well as Claire’s visiting nephews, Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins), at risk. The staff’s constant failures at dealing with Indominus result in brooding militaristic InGen coming in to perform damage and asset control. As the body count rises, the staff at Isla Nublar turn to more desperate and drastic measures to save the park, its visitors, and themselves.
Director Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) quickly brings you up to speed with brief character introductions, and once things get going, there are barely any lulls in the story’s progression. Unfortunately, the characters in Jurassic World lack enough development to make you care about them. This may be due in part to a four-person writing team that includes Trevorrow along with Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, and Derek Connolly. The lack of character development isn’t as jarring an issue because the true stars of this movie are the dinosaurs and the theme park itself. Fans will really enjoy the way that the film takes you through almost every section of the park. From the T-Rex feeding to the gyrosphere safari and the Discovery Center, Jurassic World feels alive. The dinosaurs look great and the scenes involving the carnivores (Indominus and the Velociraptors) are spectacular. There are many nods to the Jurassic Park franchise throughout Jurassic World, but I will not spoil the surprises.
Jurassic World worked for me because I wanted to see three things: dinosaurs, dinosaurs fighting each other, and dinosaurs killing humans. The fact that the theme park was gone over in such detail was unexpected and much appreciated, since it made it seem that a park like Jurassic World actually could exist. The inclusion of franchise based Easter eggs put a smile on my face as they appeared throughout the film. Because Jurassic World does these things so well, I can forgive its shortcomings: having such disposable characters, not building up enough to Indominus Rex’s reveal, and not having a Dr. Malcolm cameo.
While Jurassic World may not reach the lofty heights that Jurassic Park set 22 years ago, but it can make movie-goers young and old scream, cheer, and stare in disbelief as it brings creatures from 65 million years ago back to life.