Posted on Wednesday, June 10th, 2015 by Germain Lussier
For a few scenes in Colin Trevorrow‘s Jurassic World, I was transported back to 1993. I was 13 years old, sitting with huge popcorn on my lap, watching Steven Spielberg’s original Jurassic Park for the very first time. Unlike the last two sequels in the series, Jurassic World has a handful of those wondrous moments in it and, for that reason alone, I found more to like than dislike about the movie. But there are things to dislike about the movie and some are pretty damning.
Nevertheless, those few perfect moments, along with some of the best action scenes you’ll see this year, made Jurassic World mostly enjoyable. You just have to enjoy it enough to overlook the cracks. Below, read the rest of my Jurassic World review.
Decades have passed since the events of Jurassic Park and John Hammond’s vision is finally realized. Jurassic World is a fully functioning, dinosaur theme park with tens of thousands of visitors a day. It’s run by Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) who is about to have her nephews (Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins) visit for the weekend. At the same time, a former military man named Owen (Chris Pratt) has been hired to work with Raptors to see if they have any practical use outside of being killing machines. When a brand new experiment, called the Indominus Rex, breaks out of containment, all of these stories and characters are forced together in a medley of mayhem.
Like I said above, there is a lot of good stuff in Jurassic World and it starts right from the beginning. Trevorrow begins the film very quickly and within minutes he’s built up to that glorious, full park reveal, complete with John Williams‘ iconic Jurassic Park theme. (Williams didn’t score this film, Michael Giacchino did, but he uses the themes in a few spots to great effect.) The filmmakers created a breathtaking world that you want to visit and explore but, unfortunately, you don’t get to spend too much time learning about the functioning park. Instead it’s full steam ahead with the story.
Which, as we’ll read below, isn’t a great thing, but let’s focus on what is great. That’s Trevorrow’s action set pieces. There are at least two, but probably more like four, set pieces in Jurassic World that had me glued to my seat with excitement, tension and wonder. The best ones are the Gyrosphere scene, which you see in the trailers, and the finale, which you don’t and I won’t spoil here. With both of these scenes – as well as several with the D-Rex, the Pteranodons and Mosasaurus – the film reaches those kind of action movie moments you crave in a summer blockbuster. They’re truly great and, despite much of the rest of the movie being sub par, remained the primary focus of my thoughts after exiting the theater.
Also, while some might feel the film gets a bit heavy-handed in terms of nostalgia, I felt it hit a nice balance. There are shots here and there which pay homage to the original film, lines of dialogue, plenty of jokes, and even one full scene that crosses over in a quiet, poetic way. I’m not ashamed to say those twenty-two year old feelings made me misty a few times.