Jurassic World (Review)

Directed by Colin Trevorrow, U.S., 2015

And we’re back!  After taking a post Game of Thrones season break it’s time to talk about some summer blockbusters.  What better way to get back in the saddle than reviewing the highest grossing movie of the year: Jurassic World.

Jurassic Park (1992) has aged exceedingly well.  While some of Spielberg’s classic films may not hold up as well as fans would like (see Doom, Temple of), the special effects alone in Jurassic Park make it both an impressive cinematic achievement and a great ride.

Unfortunately two ill-advised trips to the islands of the dinosaurs dimmed the achievement of Jurassic Park.  Their plots can be summarized as follows:

“Remember that horrifying island of the dinosaurs?  Well let’s go back there for some reason!  Oops, this was a bad idea!”

Thankfully, twenty three years after the original and fourteen after the most recent sequel, we finally have a sequel that lives up to the standard set by the original movie.

That isn’t to say Jurassic World is a better film that Jurassic Park. Most notably, some of the film comes off a bit cheesier than anything in the original.  The pterosaur attack showcased in the trailer, for instance, looks more silly than terrifying.

With a lesser cast this would just be another summer blockbuster to fade into the woodwork.  Fortunately for you, dinosaur-loving movie goer, the cast sets this movie apart from even the first Jurassic Park – Chris Pratt especially.  He channels the best of Harrison Ford’s blockbuster days (before his current, cranky old man days) with a twist of his own goofy charm.

While Pratt is a superstar in the making, the dinosaurs are the real stars of this show.  The main dino-villain, the genetically engineered Indominus Rex, is up there with the best movie monsters of all time.  The raptors are back too – still sans feathers – playing a key role in the plot.

Overall, Jurassic World calls to mind the best of the golden age of blockbusters while avoiding the excesses of recent blockbuster series like Transformers.  So if you haven’t already (and the money this baby has pulled in suggests many of you have), head down to your local theater and go see this one.

You might like Jurassic World if: You long for the days when summer movies were more like Indiana Jones and less like the Matrix sequels.

You might not like Jurassic World if: You demand that your velociraptors have feathers dammit!

(c) 2015 D.G. McCabe