‘90s nostalgia may have been at its highest this summer as enthusiastic millennials hit the movie theaters to see Jurassic World, a follow-up on the Jurassic Park trilogy of movies that offer audiences a glimpse at a dinosaur amusement park.
As a viewer with no particular love for the preceding series, I was pleasantly surprised to be so entertained by Jurassic World this summer. It is exactly what you pay for—a thrilling and dino-packed action-adventure film—and if you go into the theater with that attitude, I think you’ll find yourself enjoying the new look at the world of Jurassic Park too.
In 1993, when Steven Spielberg turned Michael Crichton’s novel into the film Jurassic Park, CGI was still in its budding stages. Watching the original trilogy of Jurassic Park films now is like looking back on the original trilogy of Star Wars; the story and the adventure can still hold up, but you have to be willing to suspend your disbelief enough to pretend that puppets and bad CGI are real.
Most of us can make-believe, but Jurassic World succeeds in creating a setting which doesn’t have to be taken with a grain of salt in order to be accurate and realistic. Not only is the computer animation in the film much more compelling since technology has greatly improved, but the design of the Jurassic World theme park is extremely detailed. You get to see the transportation systems that take guests from point-a to point-b, children petting baby dinosaurs in the petting zoo and the details of the security system and lab that made Jurassic World possible. The first 30 minutes of the movie merely establish what Jurassic World is and how it came to be and for people like myself with wild imaginations, seeing this streamlined and organized world of Spielberg’s head is not only interesting but engulfing, sucking us deep into a fantasy land where we can believe with little hesitation that dinosaurs are real.
Once you’re invested in the badass design and features of Jurassic World, the drama begins. As can be expected, the plot and character development are nothing ground-breaking. A genetically-modified, highly-intelligent dino called the Indominus Rex escapes from its cage and begins to destroy order in the theme park. A team consisting of the park owner, a potential investor, a raptor-trainer (Chris Pratt) and the operations manager (Bryce Dallas Howard) all do their part in protecting guests, including a duo of young brothers, from a dinosaur disaster. Howard pulls off the workaholic type-A stick-in-the-mud who has to get her hands dirty and Pratt succeeds in a role he seems to be repeatedly type-cast for: tough-love, good-guy, quirky yet badass action hero. There’s nothing too amazing or shocking about the formula behind Jurassic World when it comes to plot or character design and development.
What is fantastic, though, is the action. If you’re someone who likes to see particularly aggravating characters get eaten by dinosaurs in the style of Dennis Nedry from the first Jurassic Park movie, then you won’t be disappointed by some of the ways that annoying individuals meet their ends in Jurassic World. The four-way dinosaur battle at the end of the film is worth the admission price alone. There are lots more close encounters with prehistoric beasts throughout the film which are particularly thrilling and sure to please if you come in with the mindset that you are about to see some awesome dinosaur action and dino-to-dino battles.
Overall, I found Jurassic World to be great fun and successful in creating a rich and engaging fantasy world for the action film fan. 3.25/4 stars for this follow-up to the classic film trilogy.