You know it has been one of the most-anticipated movies of the year. Heck, it’s one the most buzzed-about films this millennium.
And I’m excited to tell you that “Jurassic World” did not disappoint.
Now, if you’re looking for chaos theory, you’re going to find chaos instead. If an old, white-haired English man is what you seek, I’m sorry to say that you get a young, dark-haired English babysitter. How about some of the most-quotable (although cheesy) one-liners ever heard on the silver screen? It’s not going to happen.
What you do get, though, is a solid film and arguably the best since the ’93 classic “Jurassic Park.” As the fourth film in the franchise, “Jurassic World” has boldly thrust itself into the present day, although still very conscious of the imprint left by previous installments. Yes, you know going in that this film has upped the ante of the story and the world in which it is set. Very little is done simply, so the film does lack in the charm department. When the film tries to make up for where it falls short, it does so by giving the youngest stars too many heart-to-heart moments. However, most other elements are firing on all cylinders.
Business and science are used to fill in many of the blanks this story could potentially have. The reason they made a new breed of dinosaur? Check. The reason it gets out? It’s in there, but it’s probably not what you think. The reason why human beings make really bad choices? They justified all of those, too. Did they keep the door cracked open for a possible fifth? Duh.
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The cast is very talented and the best-looking the franchise has ever acquired. Chris Pratt’s oh-so-“alpha” character has solidified him as this generation’s new action movie star. Bryce Dallas Howard reminds us why M. Night Shyamalan used her talents in back-to-back films early on. Vincent D’Onofrio and the rest of the supporting cast deliver during their time on screen. Let’s not forget B.D. Wong — the sole actor returning from the original film — who has a much more substantial role this time around.
For the paleontology nerds, “Jurassic World” contains 20 different varieties of dinosaurs. You will get a taste of popular ones from each of the previous films, but there is just enough missing to leave you thirsty for more. The only dinosaurs with a major role, besides the genetically engineered hybrid, are the velociraptors. Being both small and social creatures, they come closest to being human counterparts. In the past, they were among the most feared, but there is a new approach that probably would have made Michael Crichton, who wrote the original book and co-wrote the 1993 screenplay, very tickled.
For the theme-park geeks, you will be delighted when you set eyes on this beauty. It has everything from a petting zoo to gyrospheres (hamster balls). Although the film doesn’t explore many of the attractions found on Isla Nublar, they paint a grand picture that includes some very modern technology. In the words of the character John Hammond, who created the theme park in the first film, they “spared no expense.” If you are curious about the specifics that were carefully designed by the creative team, head on over to JurassicWorld.com.
It’s very much a 21st century blockbuster in many ways — more people, more dinosaurs, more bloodshed, more destruction — but possibly the smartest thing “Jurassic World” did was pay homage to its predecessor without being too terribly corny. Sprinkled throughout the two-hour film are bits and pieces of the original tourist destination that never came to be. That park, though, certainly lives on just inside the 22-year-old gate standing at the perimeter of what is now “Jurassic World.”
And the park opens Friday, June 12.
“Jurassic World,” PG-13. 124 min.
Ricky Dunlop is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine and a writer, actor and comedian residing in New York City.