The original is a classic, a masterclass in tension and groundbreaking animatronics as well as boasting superb special effects that rival some films seen today. For me Jurassic Park is Steven Spielberg’s best film, I block the sequels out my mind and forget they ever happened. Now we’re in 2015, the year of sequels, remakes and reboots and Jurassic World before its June release was probably the most anticipated. It’s one of the highest grossing films of last year, raking in over $1.6 billion.
I know many won’t admit it but I’m just going to say it: Jurassic World is on par with the original. Everyone remembers that epic, iconic sounding roar the T-Rex unleashes in the original, well, if you thought that was intense this fourth outing is built on intensity and epic scale. In the trailers there’s a shot of the Mosasaurus, a dinosaur that lives underwater. Three times in this adventure the Mosasaurus leaps out the water and bites down on its prey and it left me speechless and in utter awe. The Indominus Rex is a terrifying hybrid brought to life by quality sound design that exaggerates the towering dominance of the creature, plus the Velociraptors are vicious, agile and take on cool personalities, Jurassic World hits the nail on the head when it comes to the main players in the game.
There are so many little nods to the original, but nothing is more welcome than the Jurassic Park theme. As the opening unfolds you can hear it building, watch as Ty Simpkins’ character looks on in awe at the park, John Williams’ score comes back to life and it’s a joy to experience again.
The story this time around looks at the parks popularity, which is dwindling. Scientists have come up with a plan to spike visitor ratings. Introducing the Indominus Rex, a hybrid dinosaur made on the island. Everything seems to be going swimmingly, that is until it escapes its enclosure, and the island falls into chaos. There’s never a dull moment in Jurassic World, the story maintains a steady pace and a great build-up filled with wonder, intrigue and gradual dread, something Spielberg mastered in the original and now Trevorrow has accomplished the same.
Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are a terrific on-screen team, both sharing solid chemistry as well as playing off one another. Both stars suitably kick ass and their characters are worth rooting for. I liked that they shared a past that affects how they interact with one another, both trying to take control of the situation despite their clashing egos.
Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson play two brothers caught in the panic, abandoning their carer and exploring the island. Two very relatable characters bolstered down by strong performances, especially Simpkins who has been seen in hits like Iron Man 3 and Insidious. I absolutely love Judy Greer and was very happy to see her appearing here, as always on fine form, though she deserves a meatier role. It wouldn’t been cool to see her actually visit the island with her sons, that would’ve made for some interesting character interplay and tension.
In 3D, Jurassic World feels mammoth, the establishing shots of the island and the stunning vistas sprawl far into the screen. Tracking shots and overhead shots that loom over the park look stunning and as mentioned above, the Mosasaurus leaping up and clamping its jaws down in 3D is something to behold. Dinosaur claws, debris and winger raptors soar in and out of the screen, the third dimension is worth the extra price.
Overall, this is an outstanding sequel with a lot of heart and excitement. The cast are very convincing and the visuals are remarkable, you’d be pretty foolish to skip this adventure.