Saturday, June 13, 2015

Jurassic World - Review

One of the earliest and best movie-going memories I have is going to the local discount theater and watching the original Jurassic Park three times in a row, because I was a dork and had nothing better to do at age 9.  I absolutely loved Jurassic Park then, and continue to love it today, and Jurassic World has strengthened that love.

Jurassic World starts during the decline of the fully functioning park's popularity, 22 years after the events of the original film.  10 years after the opening of the park on Isla Nublar, the need for a bigger and better attraction has been spurred by declining visitor rates, and with advanced technology and the use of gene splicing, that's exactly what they get.  But the people who run the park soon realize that playing with nature isn't all fun and games when their monstrous creation decides it no longer wants to be a simple park attraction.

This film is the sophomore endeavor for director Colin Trevorrow, who previously directed the 2012 indie film, Safety Not Guaranteed.  Trevorrow has definitely proven himself as an up-and-coming blockbuster director, and having also helped write the screenplay, is on his way to being a great filmmaker.

Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy) truly shined in this film as Owen Grady, the park's resident Velociraptor expert and trainer.  He took on a much more serious role here as opposed to most of his other roles, which tend to be more comedic. He is joined in all the mayhem by Bryce Dallas Howard (Spider-Man 3, The Help), daughter of acclaimed actor-turned-director Ron Howard, as Claire Dearing, the park's operations manager.  They played the perfect opposites to one another, with Pratt playing the more laid back and down to Earth character and Howard being the more uptight, by-the-books character.
Ty Simpkins (Insidious, Iron Man 3) and Nick Robinson (Melissa & Joey) played Gray and Zach Mitchell, respectively, the nephews of Claire, and the other set of main characters for the film.  We also saw Vincent D'Onofrio (Full Metal Jacket, Marvel's Daredevil) as Vic Hoskins, the shady head of security operations for InGen.  The great cast for Jurassic World also included Jake Johnson (New Girl, Let's Be Cops) as the park's humorous and tech-savvy operator, Judy Greer (The Descendants, Tomorrowland) as Zach and Gray's worrisome mother, and BD Wong, who reprises his role as chief geneticist Dr. Henry Wu.

Jurassic World was exactly what I wanted from a Jurassic Park sequel.  It had all of the frightening tension and beautiful wonder of the original film, while still bringing us something new and fresh.  Chock full of Easter eggs and references to the first film, from names and places to visual similarities, Jurassic World took the best of all three previous films and rolled it into one amazing roller coaster of fun.  I got the same feeling watching this film as I did watching Jurassic Park when I was younger.  And let's not forget to mention Michael Giacchino's beautiful score, which was obviously heavily influenced by master composer, John Williams.

If you are a fan of the original film, even in the slightest, I highly recommend checking out Jurassic World.  You won't regret it.

Josh's Rating:  9/10

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