It has been twenty-two years since Jurassic Park first roared onto the silver screen. It was a great movie that encapsulated our fascination with dinosaurs.
I remember fondly being a little boy and wishing so much that I could visit such a theme park. I have never really outgrown it; to this day, I still have my old dinosaur toys proudly displayed in my bedroom in my mom's house.
And it is exactly this sort of nostalgia that the the recent film in the franchise has chosen to tap into. Jurassic World is a nod to the original film, with a certain update of course. Not to say that it captured the magic of the original, it is not really easy to do that, but boy, did it come close!
In fact, the film feels like old Hollywood. So much so, that it is filled with stereotypes. Chris Pratt's alpha male outdoors guy, Bryce Dallas Howard's classy career lady, the horny teenage boy, the genius over-excited younger sibling, the tech guy, and the eccentric billionaire. But for some reason it DOES work, which is a credit to the talent of the actors involved who brought a certain depth to it, as well as to how they were written.
But in the end, the real stars of the film are the dinosaurs and the theme park itself. It is quite nice how the film makers chose to reveal the theme park.
For the first hour of the film, we get to explore the place with the eyes of the characters and share in their excitement. It was a good point that we get to start the journey from their home as they make their way to Jurassic World and the place is peeled back slowly. For that brief moment, we were all the little boy bouncing up and down telling his big brother to catch up.
For many of you who have seen the trailer, it is no surprise that Chris Pratt's character Owen is a Raptor trainer. His interaction with these dinosaurs is a major hallmark of the movie, which plays an important role in the plot. There is an amazing thrill in seeing him form a bond with the these smart creatures who were blatant villains in the previous films. Also there is an amazing twist in the middle of the movie, which involves the movie's big bad, the genetically modified and ridiculously named Indominus Rex.
And therein lies one of the film's weaknesses. The big bad is hyped up, but is not all that impressive once it is revealed. The Tyrannosaurus Rex by all accounts was more menacing. But still, the climatic final fight scene was an amazing thing to watch.
This movie is not all action, big sets, and special effects though. The few quiet moments and the interactions between characters was well-played out, and stood up to all that was going on.
The family drama did not feel too out of place. Kudos also to Bryce Dallas Howard in being able to run around and do all those action sequences in high heels.
Jurassic World is now showing on selected territories and will hit US theaters on June 12th!
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