Jurassic World (2015) Film Review by Gareth Rhodes

Jurassic World (2015) Directed by Colin Trevorrow. With Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins and Irfan Khan.

chris-pratt-riding-with-the-raptor-squad-in-jurassic-world-poster-wallpaper-83867

Writer-director Colin Trevorrow graduates from the indie circuit to the summer blockbuster big leagues with Jurassic World, a $150m continuation of the film series kick-started by Steven Spielberg in 1993. It isn’t just dinosaur DNA that’s being experimented with, it’s Spielberg’s DNA too, as Trevorrow hands in a highly competent, if largely shallow slice of mainstream cinema.

In the years that have passed since Jurassic Park III,  it seems that no lessons have been learned. The collision course of progress and greed, lead to yet another theme park – much safer (yeah right) than before, with its state of the art security systems that allow the general public to come face-to-face with prehistoric terror. Nothing bad could come from that, could it??

In the way that it ticks boxes, the script has the feel of something written by committee (there are four writers). Everything you’d expect to happen, happens, and not much else.  As the leading man of the piece, Chris Pratt looks and sounds like he’s in a young(ish) Indiana Jones audition. Of course, we know that he cuts a likeable lead, but even with his amiable approach, he’s adrift in a script that, apart from offering him wisecracks, is bereft of characters that don’t feel like bare templates.

As has been the case in all of the Jurassic Park films, the female presence smacks as token, at best. As the general manager of the park, Bryce Dallas Howard walks an unfortunate path of being borderline irritating and forgettable, juggling her responsibilities of running Jurassic World and looking after her floppy mopped nephews.

Like most blockbusters, there’s a plus-serving of product placement. It’s interesting that in one moment, a character makes a dig at the titular theme park for its corporate agenda –  “Why don’t you just let [the corporations] name the dinosaurs? Pepsisaurus. Tostitodone”. It’s unclear whether this is a piece of self-aware humour, or just another smart-arse way to shoehorn in more advertising. But then, you could argue that there is a satire about the nature of the corporate world going on here; no matter how great the danger is to human beings, no matter how wonky the morals – huge companies will seek to exploit a situation that offers the opportunity to further the brand. It’s saying –  “This is the apocalypse, brought to you by Starbucks”.

In fairness to it, Jurassic World does well as a piece of throwaway popcorn fodder. There’s the warmth of nostalgia in hearing the musical score, propped up by a sense of theatre with the dinosaurs and the action, that make sections of it feel like being on a theme park ride. It’s just a shame that there isn’t more depth to compliment the spectacle. 3.5/5

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About garethrhodes

Full-time lover of all things creative.
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23 Responses to Jurassic World (2015) Film Review by Gareth Rhodes

  1. aarohpalkar says:

    Jurassic Park set a standard which the sequels couldn’t live up to, great review !

    • garethrhodes says:

      Thank you. This is is particularly guilty of recycling the formula. I expected something a little smarter, although it delivered as a brainless popcorn muncher.

      • aarohpalkar says:

        I wonder what will happen to the older movies getting remakes like Memento. Do we really need a remake ? Might be just a cash grab

      • garethrhodes says:

        We most certainly don’t need a Memento remake. What a film that is!

      • aarohpalkar says:

        You should definitely write an article on this topic of studios making remakes which don’t have any substance but just are made for stealing your money

      • garethrhodes says:

        Thank you for that suggestion, it’s not hard to get passionate about that subject. I remeber being dumbfounded to hear that David Fincher was wasting his time, making a note-for-note remake of The Girl With The Dragon tattoo. I can understand a studio wanting to rake in as much cold, hard cash as possible, but I fail to comprehend why someone as creative and talented as Fincher would want to waste so much time and energy doing something that had been done brilliantly, very recently.

      • Lloyd Marken says:

        The original was such a breath of fresh air and so powerful. I remember thinking the same thing. Why do a re-make? The only thing I could figure was with Fincher directing and a higher budget it could be a more cinematic re-telling of the story even if a more Hollywoodised one. I think the final film is pretty good actually but I agree with you. Not really needed. So if the only reasons to do it in Hollywood are to have Fincher direct it and an increased budget then it should surprise no one that the studio is now considering a follow up without Fincher directing and with a small budget. 🙂

      • aarohpalkar says:

        This was the exact reason why I didn’t even finish the David Fincher version. The original Dragon Tattoo was so good and yes it exactly the same !

  2. filmfunkel says:

    Pratt as the next Indiana Jones… interesting.

    Starbuckalypse? outstanding! 😀

    • garethrhodes says:

      For the record, I’m hoping there isn’t a next Indiana Jones (unless old HF fancies another crack of the whip), but his name seems to have been bandied around.

      • Lloyd Marken says:

        Spielberg came out yesterday and said it is not his intention to have another actor play Indiana Jones. Whether Disney is happy only making money out of Star Wars is another question. The precedent is there already with the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles after all. My personal opinion mirrors your’s though Gareth. If Harrison doesn’t do a fifth, let’s call it a day. Hell maybe just do that anyway.

  3. Jay says:

    I had a lot of fun watching this at the theatre but feel no urge to revisit it.

  4. Lloyd Marken says:

    Gee I hope you didn’t see the film based on my review. 🙂 I really enjoyed your review here, I feel like more of your own voice is coming through and I like a lot of the points you made. Great stuff.

    • garethrhodes says:

      Thank you Lloyd, it’s great to hear from you on this one. Trevorrow does a good job here, although I’m not 100% sold on him getting a Star Wars gig out of it. I’m not sure what else can be achieved with the Jurassic Park formula, but considering it’s one of the highest earning films ever made, the sequels won’t be on hold for very long.

  5. yggdrasille says:

    “Shallow” is a good way to describe the movie. The park and the dinosaurs were heaps of fun, and yes hearing that iconic score gave me fuzzies, but the human characters and their relationships were so forgettable even Chris Pratt’s natural charisma didn’t help, and Howard’s character was treated just horribly.

  6. Chris Evans says:

    Great review as always Gareth, I agree there’s a lack of overall depth in JW but as you say some great spectacle and I liked the concept of the genetically engineered – corporate manufactured -Indominous Rex. I though Trevorrow handled the project well and look forward to seeing him take on Star Wars Episode IX.

    • garethrhodes says:

      Thank you, Chris. I’m happy to have Trevorrow aboard the good ship Star Wars. I know a lot of fans were vocal in their opposition to him being given such a prestigious job, but I think he made a very entertaining film, with very little to play with. Plus, he’ll have learned a LOT from directing a film as big as JW.

  7. Zoë says:

    Great review! I agree, I thought this was great for popcorn entertainment 🙂

  8. Jurassic Park remains the best in the franchise, but this was a fun flick and probably the best of the sequels. Loved the dinosaurs, and there is plenty of action. Just wish there had been a deeper script to go with it!

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