Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Jurassic World

Lowdown: A reboot/remake of 1993’s Jurassic Park.
I did not like Jurassic Park; I was impressed by it. It had ground breaking sound design, ground breaking digital effects, and some scenes that were just state of the art Spielberg at his best (think first t-rex encounter, or that kitchen scene). But as a movie? Meh. The two sequels that came and went proved my point.
Jurassic World attempts to set things right by offering an up to date, bigger than the biggest, sequel. It is not trying to be episode 4; it's going for the reboot experience. To achieve that, Jurassic World uses a simple formula: do everything the first movie did, because that first movie was the best one, but make it all bigger.
On paper that should have been easy, given technological progress. The filmmakers even had a seemingly sound idea in mind, a park of genetically enhanced dinosaurs to scare the people that got used to “ordinary” dinosaurs. However, the outcome, Jurassic World, turns out to be the classic uninspiring sequel; an entertaining action movie that lacks in each and every department other than special effects.
Plot wise, we have the exact same story as Jurassic Park. Kids stuck in the park with dinosaurs on the loose, adults having a crisis, an adult that stands out by figuring the dinosaurs out, people who see nothing but dollar signs where everyone with the least amount of sense sees dangerous animals, and villains that seek to exploit the situation for their own special interest.
At the core stand two characters: ex navy (and therefore, by implied definition, a real man) Owen (Chris Pratt). Owen is the only guy in this flick that can handle his way through a dinosaur cage. Against him stands the cold blooded, high heeled, park operations manager Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard). Together they demonstrate how Jurassic World fails at the character development department: beyond the “he was always right” angle, Owen’s character does not change through the course of this movie. Neither, it has to be noted, do Pratt’s substantial comedy talents receive their chance to be deployed. On the other hand, Claire’s journey is of the classic misogynist type, that of the clueless woman wearing a skirt and high heels to a monster infested jungle, the woman that can only be saved by having a good (ex navy!) man come to her rescue. In more than one way, the affair at hand is a carbon copy of Romancing the Stone (duplicate scenes included). If it was progress that you sought in Jurassic World, prepare yourself for a hell of a u-turn.
If all of the above wasn’t enough, I will point out the climax of non originality: even the ending is the same as the original’s.
Overall: It’s kind of amazing how so many dollars resulted in such an uninspiring step backwards, but that's Jurassic World for you. If it is a dinosaur's world that you seek to visit, do yourself a favour and stick to Spielberg’s original. 2 out of 5 Jurassic crabs.

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