Garden City Cinema – Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire
Jurassic World is a popcorn munching blockbuster in its purest form.
While it has none of the charm that the original Jurassic Park has, if you’re willing to switch off your brain and ignore some occasional glaring problems it’s a lot of fun.
Jurassic World is the fourth installment in the Jurassic Park series and takes place 22 years after the original Jurassic Park incident. As a high tech amusement park, Jurassic World has been running for 10 years and now people are becoming apathetic about the existence of dinosaurs. To combat the perceived lack of excitement over dinosaurs and to bring in new sponsors for the park, geneticists have created a new hybrid dinosaur called Indominus rex (Fierce/Untamed King).
Due to the mix of DNA used for the terrifying new dinosaur, Indominus has many characteristics and it’s these unpredictable characteristics that lead to the dinosaur getting loose and wreaking havoc on the public – just as we like it 😉
Bryce Dallas Howard is Claire Dearing, the park’s manager, smart and competent but who isn’t comfortable around children. Much like Dr Grant in Jurassic Park. Claire’s sister sends her two young sons to stay with her at Jurassic World and while Claire is looking forward to seeing the kids, she hasn’t made the time to spend with them and instead her assistant chaperones them..but as we know kids will be kids and they give the assistant the slip so they can explore the park themselves.
Chris Pratt is ex-Navy now raptor trainer Owen who has developed a relationship between the four raptors he looks after and Claire needs his help when they discover some issues with their new dinosaur.
Overall I really enjoyed this trip back to Isla Nublar, there are some nice nods to the original film scattered throughout and watching it on the big screen is really the best way to enjoy the film.
So, what are the problems?
I remember watching Jurassic Park on the opening weekend with my Dad and it blew me away. I have been a firm Jurassic fan since then. So I was really excited to see Jurassic World and I did enjoy it..but it has some issues.
The script is part of the problem and at times it feels like the editor just got a bit chop happy because there are a lot of loose ends and random dialogue dropped in from out of nowhere that appears to be a subplot but nothing ever comes of it.
There’s been plenty written about the script in its various incarnations which is interesting in and of itself, with controversy over who got credit for writing the script.
The second problem is that Director Colin Trevorrow has said that the new genetically-modified dinosaur was “meant to embody humanity’s worst tendencies. We’re surrounded by wonder and yet we want more, and we want it bigger, faster, louder, better. And in the world of the movie, the animal is designed based on a series of corporate focus groups.” He also stated that “There’s something in the film about our greed and our desire for profit. The Indominus Rex, to me, is very much that desire, that need to be satisfied.”
The problem is that the “bigger, faster, louder, better.” he talks about is exactly what he’s produced. Jurassic World is a flashy film that has none of the charm and storytelling finesse that made the first film so poignant. Jurassic Park had something to say, Jurassic World is trying to say something but it’s being lost in translation.
It’s a bigger, louder, faster film that’s all style over substance with weak character development and arcs. It’s fast paced action means you’re never bored, it zips along quickly but that lack of pacing tells you a lot too.
Dallas Bryce and Pratt are competent actors but they have zero chemistry. There are hints to a prior relationship but it feels forced, they’ve crowbarred a romance into a story that really didn’t need it.
The swapping of gender roles at various points in the film are certainly interesting but are not delivered in the right way. For example, one of the most egregious moments in the film is when Claire comes to Owen’s rescue when a (flock?) of pterosaurs are attacking and one has our male ‘hero’ on his back, snapping furiously at his face. It’s Claire who picks up the gun and shoots the pterosaur in the head, the double tap! She has saved his life but moments later her two young nephews decide they want Pratt to keep them safe, seemingly because he just looks cool.
Gray: Can we stay with you?
Claire: I am never leaving you again!
Gray, Zach: [points to Owen] No, no, him. We mean him.
At this point in the film Owen has done nothing to gain such a response from the boys so it comes across as clumsy sexism.
It’s Claire who does a lot of the saving in this film but the film is clearly pushing Owen as the hero, it’s Chris Pratt’s face we see time and time again on magazine covers and promotional material. Claire may be the hero, there’s not enough punch in her character to really sell it and that’s frustrating.
All I wanted from Jurassic World was some good old fashioned dino destruction and that’s what I got, so I’m happy and I enjoyed it. As I said, it’s a popcorn munching, switch your brain off and just let it wash over you film.
Book tickets for Jurassic World at the Garden City Cinema!
A Shared Madness
Book tickets to see Jurassic World at the Garden City Cinema