Review by Ashe Coburn
Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. After 10 years of operation and visitor rates declining, in order to fulfill a corporate mandate, a new attraction is created to re-spark visitor's interest, which backfires horribly.
The IMDB synopsis for this is actually a pretty good jump off into the film. Any more description and I worry you're just wasting your time when you should be dead set on watching this. But I'll try my best: the film begins with parents sending off their two boys (a moody teenager and a young boy genius) to Isla Nubla/Jurassic World park and to see their Aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) of whom they haven't seen in almost a decade. Their aunt manages the park and is so busy that she doesn't even pick them up from the airport nor spend her day with them as initially planned with their mother. This also explains why she hasn't seen this kids in so long since she has been preoccupied with the growing park and its new attraction. As the kids are running around the park VIP-style without her, she is overlooking and securing the new park attraction. Her boss decides that she should bring in Owen (Chris Pratt) to check out the facility as their fresh set of eyes to see if there is anything they have overlooked. And then... everything jumps off from there.
I don't know where to begin, so let's just dive into it, shall we?
The dinosaurs... We should probably start with the dinosaurs, right? They look and sound amazing! Don't get started on the whole "They don't have feathers! We know they have feathers now!" deal. That is irrelevant in this movie, and if you care about stuff like that, you're going to have a bad time. This is a sci-fi film that is keeping true to the universe that the original Jurassic Park set up. The special effects for the dinosaurs were stunning. They were bigger, louder, and more detailed. Not only did they up the ante with the big, bad dinosaurs, they also included the more tame creatures. They even had a young Triceratops petting zoo and ride. As for that big, bad Indominous Rex... well, they really nailed it and handled it's reveal to the world very well. You are along the ride with Owen, constantly trying to figure out this new dinosaur-hybrid. And those raptors. Just wow. I don't want to give too much away regarding the "pet raptors" as people are calling them. But trust me when I say it's awesome, touching, and they look incredible! Which brings me further into the special effects and CGI.
The park looked fantastic and completely immersive. So much excitement and wonder, wishing you could be a part of it all. Jurassic World nails it. The park has grown so much from the first and it's basically a SeaWorld/futuristic Safari version of the original. If you have seen the original Jurassic Park, the main difference between then and now is that sense of wonderment. We can thank Colin Trevorrow since this is one of the big reasons he was chosen to direct this film. There are even moments in the film where there are hat tips to the original film. Fun fact, you get to see parts of the original park! (A little background: Spielberg wanted Brad Bird to direct but Bird thought he would be stretched too thin when he thought he was doing Tomorrowland and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. So when they watched Trevorrow's Safety Not Guaranteed in addition to hearing his pitch, Frank Marshall (married to Star Wars producer) and Bird knew Trevorrow was the man for the job.)
The characters are fantastic. Some may think this is a strong word (and I use this word especially for how I feel about this film) but they really, truly are. We actually care about the people we meet in Jurassic World, whether it be the brothers' relationship with each other, Owen's and Claire's relationship to others and each other, or even the CFO (Vincent D'Onofrio) of the park. At the same time, it isn't distracting to think about these characters as they move through the park. Seriously, hats off to Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, and the rest of the cast. Everyone is an actual character: Owen, a raptor wrangler and dino-whisperer, pretty easy-going but kicks major a**, and Claire, an uptight, refined, yet intense manager, who grows outside of her own compartmentalized dino-world. They begin so stereotyped, kind of uncomfortable in this day and age to witness. But as everything unfolds, it is clear there is tweaking to the formula and it is completely rewarding. It's characters like these that really create this amazing balance and keeps it constantly refreshing to watch.
The writing is incredible and the film runs through moments of thrill, action, witty repartee, ridiculousness, and emotion. Even if you don't, you will soon see that this story really does have a lot of emotion (or as some say, "feels"), especially compared to the first. In Jurassic Park, the children were a bit annoying to where it was distracting, however in Jurassic World, even though the kids have their own blatant personalities, you actually get into what and how they see this place. Not only that, but if you wanted to read into it, there is real commentary from the director about the current state of cinema, with all of the disaster, monster, and reboot movies that have been coming out. It keeps true to the original but refuses to dumb itself down.
Jeff Goldblum did not make a cameo. Sorry, guys, I know you may have had your heart set on seeing him again, but it was confirmed a while ago he isn't in it. I just want to nip that in the bud in case you're still on that. As for anything else, I'm sorry, but any other problems the film has are incredibly minor and do not detract from this film.
Jurassic World is a love letter to the original Jurassic Park but rejuvinated. This movie could have been a cash grab on a beloved franchise but instead is a proper, action-packed, wonderful dino-disaster movie. It's bigger, louder, has more teeth, and deserves to be seen immediately. Multiple times. I know I have missed a TON of other things to mention in this review but there is just surprisingly so much to this film. I tried to keep this short and sweet so you can just order those tickets now or head immediately to movie theaters. BUT GO, GO, GO! This movie is fantastic and will be a pleasure for those new and old to the Jurassic Park franchise. So hold onto your butts, The Park Is Now Open.