Films

Jurassic World (2015) Film Review

The original Jurassic Park may have been 65 million years in the making, with this new one taking 15 years it pales in comparison, but the 4th film in this franchise has brought us back to the glory days. A new cast, a new park, hell even a new breed, this film is completely slick and perfect for the 21st century. Where the original park, which was awesome, now looks a little dated this new park would rival any modern theme park. In the fictional universe the park has been open for ten years, without any major incidents, of course people will roll their eyes that something will go wrong, but let’s face it if nothing went wrong, the film would be awfully dull.

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What can I say about this cast? Well have two Marvel alumni, the daughter of Ron Howard and one of my favourite comedy actors.

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Let’s kick it off with Chris Pratt, what can I say the man went from a loveable dope to being a complete badass, lead singer of MouseRat (Parks and Recreation), to Bin Laden slayer (Zero Dark Thirty) and Star Lord (Guardians of The Galaxy), how can anyone top that? Well easily if you have a pack of velociraptors at your disposal (I’m well aware that they are not proper velociraptors, don’t correct me).

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Bryce Dallas Howard did an excellent job as the head of the park, she was a good female lead, strong independent maybe a little too work occupied but still she had more guts than most people in the film and that’s what made her a good watch.

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It’s been a great year for Vincent D’Onofrio with his role as King Pin bringing him in to homes everywhere and now this, he may be kind of a dick in this film, but the problem is you will kind of agree with what he is saying, so it isn’t entirely wrong.

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If you’re not familiar with Jake Johnson then you really need to go watch Safety Not Guaranteed and Let’s Be Cops, he has a rare ability to play very relatable characters and in this he is the guy who has grown up loving dinosaurs, so in a way he is the audience and we can see a lot through his eyes, the guy is very likeable and that’s another great addition to the cast.

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It was a sad day when the world lost Richard Attenborough, a man who wanted to come back to the franchise, but Irfan Khan has managed to take the mantel of eccentric billionaire with a heart, they could have played him as a mad man but here he is just an entertainer, naive and someone who wants to take responsibility for what he has done.

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It wouldn’t be a true Jurassic Park without some kids being in danger, preferably a brooding teenager and a dorky younger brother, well we got that and hopefully the very talented Ty Simpkin and Nick Robinson will help bring a new generation of fans in, because as harrowing as all this is what kid wouldn’t want this adventure?

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Omar Sy was great as Chris Pratt’s second in command and a bad ass in his own right. That’s not everyone as Judy Greer also made a nice little appearance, I’m so used to seeing her in comedy roles that it was great to see her in a serious film and I won’t lie she really surprised me.

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My final tip of the hat is to the fantastic B.D.Wong, returning to the role of the likeable mad scientist, someone whose role has been greatly expanded upon since his first appearance all those years ago.

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What would Jurassic park be without fantastic effects and this one has that in spades, the dinosaurs have their own styles and personalities and the fight sequences where just, wow, it’s hard to describe but these looked so real it was terrifying and amazing all at once, it truly helped recapture my childhood wonder. This is the first Jurassic Park film to not have animatronic dinosaurs created by Stan Winston, as he passed away in 2008. Instead the animatronics were created by effects studio Legacy Effects, a company formed from Winston’s former workshop staff. One of the shops in Jurassic World, Winston’s, is named in Stan’s honour.

This film was more than just a sequel, it was an ode to the originals, it was also an ode to Spielberg himself. With a fully operational park, you see the possibility of what could have been. They could have left it there but they didn’t, they went back to the original set, we saw it dilapidated then destroyed. Seeing the cast explore the old set brought back a real sense of wonder that I haven’t felt in years, then watching them handle the old goggles and even drive John Hammands own jeep, it was just so cool and even a little bit magical. We even get to see a T-Rex chase after a lit flare at night. Colin Trevorrow didn’t even stop there, he takes things further, like having the kids screaming about how to turn something on, while been chased by a dinosaur and for all you Spielberg fans there was a little tribute to Jaws with the shark being used as bait and even a little mention of divorce, which will bring back memories of ET.

We all know that phrase about how it’s the little things in life, well Jurassic World, was full of little things that just helped make the world feel so much more complete. The attractions at the park where ripped right out of Universal Studio’s how to build guide. You had Ben and Jerry’s, Starbucks even Jimmy Buffets own chain of restaurants (and apparently Mr Buffet himself makes a little cameo).  If anyone reading this has been on the Universal Studios tour you will know that Jimmy Fallon is featured as the video host for the tours, so in a little tribute to that he appears in the video guide for Jurassic park. Even the ride paid homage, by having the boat tour appear just like the water based roller coaster in L.A. Though the original cast does not return, for the film, this was intentional, as come on no one is that unlucky and I’m pretty sure Dr Alan Grant would not want to go back to the island for a third time, so I feel this helps make the series a little more realistic, though the original cast can still be felt in one way or another, from the parks new owner uttering the words, spare no expense, to a statue dedicated to the late great Richard Attenborough.  We even have a book written by Doctor Ian Malcolm popping up twice, original park merchandise popping up, and those little things made this film for me and there were probably so many that I missed.

The musical score was composed by Michael Giacchino, who previously scored the video games Warpath: Jurassic Park and The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Themes from John Williams’ previous Jurassic Park scores were also incorporated by Giacchino. “It was a really targeted approach, as to where to include Williams’ themes and where would make the most sense and where would we most appreciate it, as fans ourselves,” said Giacchino. A soundtrack album was released on June 9, 2015 by Back Lot Music.

So a few people out there will hate the idea of a hybrid dinosaur to take a bit of dialogue from the film:

Claire: Corporate felt genetic modification would up the ‘wow’ factor.

Owen: They’re dinosaurs. ‘Wow’ enough.

But there is truth here, we as humans always want more, bigger, more impressive and so much more, this film hits the nail on the head perfectly, it may sound stupid but as humans if we could do it we would do it and who cares about the consequences. Though there were rumours of half human half raptor creatures, maybe that’s the future of the franchise, who knows, but that could be either awesome or terrible. This film took things further than before as you had underwater attractions, that looked like Sea World on crack, a perfected T-Rex exhibit, little baby dinosaur rides and the gyrospheres that let you get close to the action and of course trained raptors, which was just bad ass and I kind of want one.

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So yeah I really enjoyed this film, sure it was a little cheesy and a little over the top but it’s a summer block buster so to the guys sitting beside me don’t call the film stupid or predictable because you’re the idiot who paid to see a Jurassic park movie and called it predictable.

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