It’s been over 20 years since Steven Spielberg captured our imaginations with Jurassic Park, giving the monster genre a new lease of life and burning its mark on popular culture. Unfortunately the film was followed by two lacklustre sequels in the shape of The Lost World and Jurassic Park 3. Over a decade later and after years of production fans were finally allowed back into this world with the hugely anticipated Jurassic World.
Set twenty years after the events of the first film Jurassic World is now a booming theme park that is attracting thousands of viewers day in day out. To keep up with audience demand the owners have created a new dinosaur- the Indominous Rex (thankfully the movie does acknowledge what a ridiculous name this is.) Indominous is a twisted hybrid of various other creatures and is set to be the park’s biggest and most exciting dinosaur to date.
All hell breaks loose however when the Indominous Rex tricks its creators, escapes its confines and goes on a rampage through the park.
In the midst of all this several other plot points are going on. Bryce Dallas Howard is the sites manager Claire and she is tasked with looking after her two nephews for a weekend. Chris Pratt is Owen Grady, a ex navy seal who now trains Velociraptors and then there is some other, less interesting stuff going on about how the animals shouldn’t be trained for war and some rather heavy handed anti-capitalist stuff.
There is a scene half way through Jurassic World where one of the young boys Zac is sat on his phone ignoring the spectacle taking place in front of him, why? Because it’s now old news and he wants something new and exciting. This sums up one of the key problems with Jurassic World, it brings nothing new to the table. The Indominus Rex is a rather toothless and unimaginative foe, the fight scenes are bloodless and dull and the big moments have all been revealed in the trailer.
One of the most frustrating aspects of the film is just how much it underuses its considerable talent. Chris Pratt is one of the hottest and most likable actors in Hollywood today and whilst his charisma is put to use he is often shot like a cheap Indiana Jones rip-off, complete with two escapes under trap doors. Bryce Dallas Howard gives it her best but like Pratt is weighed down by a cliche heavy script. Ifran Khan provides some light comic relief as the sites owner in a film largely absent of any humour.
No film in recent memory has become exactly the thing it is preaching against quite like Jurrasic World. The film preaches about how the park should be ran for enjoyment, not money, whilst constantly bombarding us with product placement. One building is even named after Samsung. The park itself has transformed into a mall, complete with handily placed Starbucks and Pandora shops which happen to be ever present in the underwhelming final sequence.
Unlike last month’s superb Mad Max:Fury Road, which was undeniably a labour of love Jurassic World feels like it was picked straight off the production line to provide us with bland CGI sequences designed to make our jaws drop, with a little bit of lazy social commentary chucked into just to give it an inflated sense of its own self importance.