Though it takes its time getting into the groove, “Jurassic World” pays tribute to its predecessors, horrific gore-fests disguised as the family-friendly Jurassic Park franchise. Though lacking in depth, the action-packed film is still every fan’s dream when it comes to dinosaurs wrecking havoc, as per usual.
This time, the film focuses on two boys, their Aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), and Velociraptor trainer Owen Grady (the brilliant Chris Pratt) which twists character relationships a bit as opposed to the family-centered adventure trope. After two decades, Jack Horner’s vision of a successful dinosaur theme park is brought to life. We see aerial shots of the fictional theme park that would be better named as a zoo—its attractions are few and not as impressive as one would expect, save the gyroscopic hamster ball in which visitors can fully experience prehistoric times two feet away from Triceratops and Brontosauruses.
It is in the glass hamster ball that the two brothers Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins) find themselves trapped as the escaped Indominus Rex ravages the island. Claire, the tenacious park manager, and Owen team up to get the boys to safety—but on a packed theme park island with literally no escape plans or safety precautions, nowhere is safe. Jurassic World is all about trying to survive, and in between the action, some characters get a brief moment of brilliance in conducting the hybrid monster’s death.
In the heat of the blood and action, “Jurassic World” is exhilarating. Your heart is in your mouth as you watch the endgame of scientists playing God. Security guards, CEOs, tourists, park operators—there’s something quite satisfying seeing person after person chomped to bits by the Indominus Rex. After a while, though, the terror dulls and the audience tires of seeing our four main characters hide behind old jeeps, only to dash for their lives. Jurassic World manages to rescue itself with the ultimate fun of dino-to-dino battles that merit wild applause from the audience.
However, substance-wise, the film doesn’t offer much. As a popcorn movie, it satisfies in providing a solid two hours of escapist horrific entertainment, but as times have progressed, so have the audience’s needs of a good story. More character development could have taken place in the first half hour instead of shots of the theme park—most of which we’ve seen from the trailers. That said, I do admire Bryce Dallas Howard’s character Claire in her strength and weakness of a leader in her position, not to mention the fact that Claire survives countless dinosaur attacks in four-inch high heels. Also, New Girl’s Jake Johnson’s comedic timing as a park operator is indisputably hilarious.
With decent CGI and a couple major jump scares, “Jurassic World” pays homage to the simple times of the 90’s, where major plot holes can be ignored in favor of seeing people ripped apart. The bottom line is, “Jurassic World” has sold me on anything Chris Pratt-related, comedic and action side alike.
Running time: 2 hours and 10 minutes
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of science-fiction violence and peril
“Jurassic World” hits theaters June 12, 2015.