Jurassic World (d. Colin Trevorrow USA/China 2015)

Please read ‘On Reviews‘ for a guide to how I write film reviews. Any spoilers are appropriately marked and, though I personally prefer to know little about a film before seeing it, there is a synopsis at the bottom for any who wish to see one.

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Jurassic Park (d. Steven Spielberg USA 1993) is a landmark film release and its sequals just didn’t know how to follow them. The series seemed dead and not returning. With Jurassic Park being such a huge film for the time a reboot was inevitable. That isn’t to say Jurassic World would disregard the previous sequels exactly just that it continues Jurassic Park a bit more than continuing the series. Now Jurassic World was a highly anticipated film. At the end of the day, Jurassic Park was the kind of film that could really touch your heart, that seemed to represent something of cinema’s power when it was released. Though it is easy to talk about the groundbreaking special effects, it’s not the only quality. I think most people can remember the first time they saw Jurassic Park and how much of a big film it became. If anything, this is why people were eagerly hoping for Jurassic World. This was huge but it also had a lot of problems, why did the sequels fail? How can you live up to such expectancy? 

 

So quickly Jurassic World came and people saw it, and so much has been said about it already. But I’m surprised a few things haven’t been mentioned. So, for better or worse, Jurassic World is like a homage film. There are so many references to other films and in particular Jurassic Park. Is it really just following Jurassic Park it just feels like a homage and this seems to be happening a lot, but more on that later. One of the surprising references seems to be an entire scene straight out of Aliens (d. James Cameron USA/UK 1986) which unfortunately falls flat and rather predictable. Now, there is nothing wrong with making references to other films, Quentin Tarantino has actually made a career out of it. However, in a lot of ways it does feel like Jurassic World relies too heavily upon Jurassic Park. Complicated idea and definitely not easy to say where a film goes wrong. It’s also worth mentioning that the CGI was not very good in this film at all, leaving many of the dinosaurs lacking a presence. A lot more effort seems to be made for the park but the film is inconsistent as not enough actual development is given to the park or the characters for that matter.

 

Narrative? Well may not be a spoiler but just in case: SPOILERS. The film follows the ridiculous notion of being able to talk to the dinosaurs, the velociraptors in this film are part of a team. This is ridiculous and I do mean this in a bad way this time. It can be very good to be silly and playful but it’s out of place in a Jurassic Park film. I will admit that if you do accept this, they do some interesting things with it and having a Dinosaur as a good guy, is quite interesting in itself. Just Jurassic Park was about that sense of realism, being able to take it as behaving realistically and looking there. END OF SPOILERS. Now, my next point I could really get in depth about. Despite the heavy homage to Jurassic Park the film isn’t a Jurassic Park film at all. It’s a Kaiju Eiga (Giant Monster Movie). The narrative is direct out of a Gojira film, in fact Gojira has done it several times already. SPOILER. Think tough monster threatens to destroy the world until a powerful monster is reawakened to fight them. It’s Gojira, Ebirah, Mosura: Nankai no dai Ketto (d. Jun Fukuda Japan 1966), Gojira tai Mekagojira (d. Jun Fukuda Japan 1974) and actually Godzilla / Gojira (d. Gareth Edwards USA/Japan 2014) – think ‘let them fight’. END OF SPOILERS. It is actually strange to consider Godzilla paying such a tribute to Jurassic Park only for Jurassic World to pay so much homage back to the Kaiju films. So with this it actually again feels out of place, but narratively as well as with the special effects. There is a sense in which the film is just inconsistent and doesn’t know quite what it wants to do. It has its messages but in not wanting to be a Jurassic Park film whilst also living up to Jurassic Park and trying to be new whilst trying to be old… it just gets lost. 

 

Now, despite saying all of this, it was a very entertaining film. There is actually a point where you’ve accepted okay this wasn’t a good idea and it wasn’t done well but what they have done is really cool! So a dinosaur that isn’t well animated and doing weird things, after time you accept it and go with it. This allows there to be big pay offs by the end of it. This guarantees a bit of fun, just nothing more, it’d sit awkwardly with any classic films but it’s okay. Considering the similarity with the recent Godzilla / Gojira last year, I’d be interested to give these more thought, are monster films making that strong a come back? Jurassic World seems to back that idea.

 

Synopsis

On an island a monster like none before has been made to fight and it is now up to older monsters to take them out.

 

Further Reading

rottentomatoes.com

metacritic.com

Official Site

Interview with Colin Trevorrow

Interview with Jack Horner

Interview with Bruce Dallas Howard

Director Talks Monsters and Running in Heels

References

Everything you needed to know

Trailor break down

Jurassic World Parody

Nostalgia Critic: Jurassic World

Masrani Global



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