I, like everyone else of a certain age, felt fucking old when I realised it’s been 22 years since the Stephen Spielberg’s original dinosaur film. film came out. Admittedly, I was only 5 at the time so didn’t watch it til a few years later. I’m not ashamed to tell you I was fucking terrified after that first viewing. I couldn’t sleep thanks to the vicious Dilophosaurus and its spitty ways. Yes, Nedry was a dick who caused the deaths of many people, but nobody deserves that. Anyway, it’s safe to say that subsequent viewings have been much more successful and I love Steven Spielberg’s dino-epic as much as it deserves. In it’s day, Jurassic Parkwas one of the best visual displays on show and it still fills me with excitement to see that first glimpse of the park’s residents in all their glory. However, you can’t deny that the sequels have left a little to be desired. The Lost World was good enough until they stuck another Godzillainspired film on the end but Jurassic Park 3was just abysmal. So Spielberg brought out the big guns and dress Star Lord up as Indiana Jones and gave him a raptor army. Fucking awesome. Hold onto your butts.
The worst thing about the events of Jurassic Parkwas that we never really got to see John Hammond’s vision for a dinosaur theme park. We didn’t see the attractions in all of their glory. I can’t imagine anyone in 1993 who left the cinema and didn’t immediately want to pack up for a trip to Isla Nublar and seeing the exhibits themselves. Even with all the death. Imagining what it would have been like to see the kind of attractions Hammond and his buddies could have created is something that has kept fans entertained for the last 22 years.
Jurassic World understands the appeal of the dinosaurs as attractions so opens with a fully fledged park that has been enjoying a steady stream of visitors for a while. We see shiny new rides, feeding shows and dinosaur souvenirs. Crowds are able to enjoy watching a Mosasaurus swallow a shark whole as though they’re at fucking Sea World. If it weren’t for the inevitable danger that always turns up in these films, Jurassic World would be at the top of my vacation list.
However, as our society has such a short attention span, after 22 years the novelty of scientists being able to recreate extinct creatures out of old blood has worn off somewhat. People want something new and even more exciting. Thankfully, to make the money crunchers happy, the scientists have offered their own solution: by genetically engineering their own massive dinosaur. Weirdly only one guy thinks that’s a fucking stupid decision. Have these people learnt nothing from the last three films?
Suffice it to say, chaos ensues once the patchwork dino escapes from her cage and begins killing anything that crosses its path. It is up to the park’s resident raptor trainer, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), to use the skills he picked up in the US Navy to help stop the beast and save the visitors. Starting with the young nephews of Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), Jurassic World’s operations manager, who are rolling around the forest into the path of their aunt’s newest attraction. There’s also some guff about using dinosaurs in the military but that’s really just a waste of fucking time and I’m keen to ignore it here.
Of course, Claire and Owen, both being attractive people, have to take part in the obligatory romance plot that I really could have done without. That’s not to say it isn’t handled well. Howard and Pratt have great chemistry and enjoy a playful back and forth that’s reminiscent of Han Solo and Princess Leia. I’m still not sure why someone deemed it necessary to add it on but I guess it made for an interesting side-bar.
Both actors do great jobs all round really and, thankfully, they both get their chance to play the hero. Much has been shown of Pratt and his raptor army riding off to glory but Howard’s Claire has her own fair share of defining moments. The same cannot be said of the supporting cast who, the two young boys aside, lack any kind of definition or development. There is a real lack memorable characters here, something the original had no problem providing for us. There were moments in this film that I even missed fucking Tim.
AlthoughJurassic World is all about the spectacle and boy does it deliver. 22 years is a long time in Hollywood and this new film succeeds in making the original look as old as the creatures it portrays. Although, that’s not to say that it doesn’t respect its predecessor. Director, Colin Trevorrow, is a true Spielberg fanboy and references plenty of his works and trademark style within his blockbuster. Part of the fun will be rewatching and catching everything.
Of course, despite it’s modern techniques, $150 million budget and lovable leading man, Jurassic World was never going to beat the first film. Even in an age where Marvel rules all, Jurassic Park is still one of the greatest and most loved film’s for a generation of film goers. Spielberg created something genuinely tense, exciting and inspiring film: nothing will ever compare. So I won’t. Jurassic World is what it is. A fucking awesome film that’s as fun, silly and over-the-top as you expect from a big budget blockbuster. It’s also clever, thanks to the underlying message about our ever expanding tastes. It works as both a thoughtless Summer cheese fest and a genuine analysis of the film industry itself. I loved it.
Yes, a lot of it doesn’t make sense, is absurd or completely wrong. But we didn’t ask for reality, we asked for more teeth.