Standing Room Only

Jurassic World - A Spoiler-free Review

Jun 13, 2015

# | Rica Wiersema

In 2015, Hollywood will release 30 movie sequels (yes, 30!), including follow-ups to Marvel’s The Avengers, Terminator, and even Star Wars. Time will tell just how many of these sequels will soar and how many will crash and burn. But, I can tell you of at least one that is definitely worth watching, and that is Jurassic World, the fourth installment in Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park franchise.

Jurassic World focuses on multiple characters, starting with two brothers named Gray and Zach. They’ve been gifted with a special trip to the dinosaur-themed park “Jurassic World” by their parents. The visit is meant to bring them closer to their Aunt Claire, one of the island’s senior executives. But, she is too distracted preparing for the introduction of a new park attraction: the Indominus Rex, a genetically-modified hybrid dinosaur created to “wow” audiences no longer satisfied with “plain old dinosaurs.” However, the monster that they have created is far more intelligent and bloodthirsty than anyone has anticipated, and it escapes out of its paddock.

Claire and her coworkers become overwhelmed by the Indominus Rex. Things get out of control, and the lives of thousands of trapped tourists (including her nephews) are at stake.

Jurassic World features a colorful cast, ranging from Chris Pratt of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and the television comedy Parks and Recreation, to Irrfan Khan of Life of Pi. Actor BD Wong, who played Dr. Henry Wu in the first film, returns to reprise his role as the main geneticist and dinosaur-breeder at the park. And though it’s only his fifth time in the director’s seat, filmmaker Colin Trevorrow does an impressive job at filling Spielberg’s shoes.

Jurassic World is a heart-stopping thriller that pays frequent homage to Spielberg’s original film. It includes the violent, bloody deaths that the series is known for, and does a good job of creating characters that range from the delightful to the despicable. The dynamic characters and hilarious moments keep the audience well-engaged.

One of the main differences between the two films is that almost 90% of the dinosaurs in Jurassic World are entirely computer-generated. That fact may not bother a lot of viewers, particularly younger ones. But, there’s something about seeing actors actually touching and interacting with a physical object that can’t be replaced by any computer-generated effect. The original Jurassic Park did use a bit of CGI, but the majority of their dinosaurs were detailed, animatronic puppets. As a result, the film feels more tangible and real, and that’s one of the reasons why it was (and still is) so beloved by its audiences.

However, CGI or not, the theme park in Jurassic World is still breathtaking and enchanting. I won’t divulge all of the incredible rides and exhibits, but the dinosaurs are brought closer to us than ever before.

Ironically, Jurassic World, the park (and the movie), is riddled with product placements, casting a materialistic tint on the adventure. One of the characters even mocks the sponsorships a little. And, we soon see that corporate greed and human arrogance are the central reasons behind the creation of Indominus Rex in the first place.

And on the subject of that particular behemoth, Indominus is a monster truly worthy of the Jurassic Park franchise. Director Trevorrow is very careful with the reveal of the Indominus and doesn’t show what it looks like until after we’ve seen the destruction it can wreak. In fact, this practice of teasing the audience with only partial glimpses of what they want to see has actually been christened “The Spielberg Effect.” It works.

Jurassic World is definitely worth the big tub of popcorn on a hot summer day.

Category: film

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