The Short-Jurassic World is not without its faults, a rough script, cheesy dialogue and a few plot holes but it is a breathtakingly shot action/adventure with a suburb cast and fantastic director at the helm. It may not beat the 1993 original but Jurassic World is by far the best sequel in the franchise and is a good old-fashioned summer popcorn movie that will make history in the month of June.
It feels like we have been waiting for Jurassic World for millions of years, it has been over 2 decades since Jurassic Park and after the slightly passable yet flawed The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and the glorious failure that is Jurassic Park 3, Jurassic World is but a dream, a well-cast, beautifully directed dream. It is in no way better than the Spielberg original, for one Jurassic World lacks a solid screenplay. The dialogue is cheesy, and some of the characters are unoriginal which makes the story ultimately predictable. The continuity is an issue since not all fans got the memo that 2nd time director Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) has eliminated the existence of at least one of the sequels (Jurassic Park 3) from the canon. The Rex from the original is back but not until the films finale do we really get any insight into her existence. A sign that Jurassic Park 3 was eliminated from canon because the rex is seemingly killed by the Spinosauraus during one of the many action sequences in that film(Correction- The Rex killed in JP 3 is different from the original T-Rex that appears in Jurassic World as one film takes place on Isla Sorna and the other on Isla Nublar). The raptors also look different between JP3 and Jurassic World, another indicator that thethreequel was thrown away.
If the script is so wrong thenthe choice of Trevorrow to helm the film feels so right, after Safety Not Guaranteed, his sci-fi comedy starring Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, and Jake Johnson ( Who claims a role in JW) caught the eye of everyone including Stephen Spielberg who is back as a producer on Jurassic World and the Producers of Star Wars The Force Awakens. Trevorrow’s involvement feels like a dodged bullet, like Jurassic World’s plot should have probably been the next step in the chain after Lost World, but was looking for a director not named Joe Johnston to take it forward. Trevorrow’s camera work is spectacular and the director shows he has an eye for giving them what they want. Jurassic World is an insane place but Trevorrow brings it alive, gives it the feeling that it could in fact have been a real place. It helps that Trevorrow lucked out with an excellent if not bulky cast that includes Chris Pratt (Guardians of The Galaxy), Bryce Dallas Howard (The Help), Ty Simpkins(Iron Man 3), Nick Robinson ( Kings of Summer), Vincent D’Onofrio (Marvel’s Daredevil) among others. Pratt plays Owen, a former Navy man brought in to take part in an Ingen training program, the program fantastically is to train the Raptors in order to better contain them. Owen is brought to life by Pratt and proves to be the films best character, Pratt is steely eyed and intense, but has a fleshed out personality and we understand fairly quickly his place in the park. Bryce Dallas Howard plays Claire, who has the role of being the one who actually runs the day to day operations of Jurassic World. Howard gives a good performance even if her character is less focused, she is more of the cliché character that has been somewhat liberated by the craziness of her park falling apart. Howard’s Claire spends the entire film running around the park, this would be ok but she spends the entire film in 8 inch high heels which I was told by my fiancé would be a very difficult if not impossible task. It’s one of the small issues you may find in Jurassic World but not something that would sway opinion one way or the other. Rounding out the cast are the aforementioned Jake Johnson who settles into what he has referred to as the “Sam Jackson” role as the guy in the control room pushing the buttons, Johnson provides some comic relief to the film and gives a fun if not perfectly nerdy performance. Johnson shares his duties with Lauren Lapkus (Orange is the New Black) and the two find some comedic ways to play off of each other. Because there always has to be at least one child at risk throughout Iron Man 3 scene stealer Ty Simpkins shares that role with Kings of Summer stand out Nick Robinson. They play brothers Gray and Zach on a trip to visit their Aunt Claire at the park while their parents (Archer’s Judy Greer and Bridesmaids Andy Buckley) are getting a divorce. Gray, like an excited child walking into The Magic Kingdom for the first time seems much more interested in the Dinos then Zach, who in maybe one of the most underrated scenes in the film can be seen on his phone while a T-Rex slaughters a goat in the background. The kids are just as much leads as Owen and Claire and Trevorrow spends loads of time putting them in precarious Dinosaur filled situations. The most surprising member of the cast might be BD Wong who is returning to a role he played in the original film as Dr. Henry Wu a geneticist who only carried one full scene in Spielberg’s original. In Jurassic World, he is the creator of the Indominus Rex as well as a number of hybrid animals in the park or planned for eventual creation. Wu appears in a lot more of the movie and actually carries a fairly important role in why the Rex is such a dominant dinosaur. His story is the only one that goes frustratingly unfinished, after one of the main twists in the film is revealed he gets on a helicopter and is never heard from again. The films antagonist besides the man eating dinosaurs is the cliché Hoskins (D’Onofrio coming off one of his best performances as Kingpin on Netflix’s Daredevil), an Ingen employee working on the Raptor project but wants to gain control of the raptors and use them as weapons in warzones. His character could ultimately not exist and show would go on but D’Onofrio does his best with the script he is given.
Speaking of the script, it’s the only part of Jurassic World that really stinks, with cheesy dialogue and a predictable plot it’s the one real blemish on the face of a visually great film. With at least 4 writers involved with the script including the director Trevorrow, his Safety Not Guaranteed screenwriter Derek Connelly, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes writers Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa. Most scripts with that many names attached are going to have issues but it’s a team effort that keeps Jurassic World from being a great movie along with being an entertaining one.
Jurassic World is a spectacle, an entertaining as hell summer movie, which utilizes top notch effects and Trevorrow’s handy camera work. Led by Chris Pratt’s performance and don’t forget all of the dinosaurs, Jurassic World is a must see summer movie that will be king of the box office.