Director: Colin Trevorrow
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Omar Sy, BD Wong
Jurassic World is directed by Colin Trevorrow and is the fourth installment in the Jurassic Park franchise, which began 22 years ago with Steven Spielberg’s original film. This new film sees John Hammond’s original vision come to life: a new theme park, Jurassic World, is fully operational and finally open to the public. However, because the park has been open for a number of years, audiences have grown weary of seeing the same dinosaur exhibits over and over again. In order to combat diminishing returns, the bioengineers working for the park have created a new, genetically modified dinosaur, dubbed Indominus Rex. A hybrid of several pre-existing dinosaurs, the Indominus is smarter and more cunning than initially anticipated. Soon, it manages to escape its confines, and — in typical Jurassic Park fashion — chaos ensues.
I can safely say that Jurassic World is a good movie. It isn’t great, but there is a lot to like. Without a doubt, one of the best aspects of the film is Chris Pratt. His character, Owen Grady, is a former member of the Navy who now works at the theme park training velociraptors. Pratt is an actor with immense charisma, and the scenes between him and the raptors were by far the most interesting. He was able to balance his comedic chops and action heroism without overdoing either. In fact, the bond that he shared with his pack of raptors was the most emotionally engaging relationship featured in the entire film — a strange change of pace from a series that was previously so character driven.
Outside of Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, who plays the park operations manager, there weren’t any other characters interesting or likable enough to get invested in. The main antagonist, played by Vincent D’Onofrio, was very clichéd, and his character’s motivations often made little to no sense. While D’Onofrio is a very talented actor and was good in his role, his character held little importance to the film’s overall story.
Thankfully, Jurassic World features some absolutely fantastic dino-driven moments. The Indominus Rex was a great villain and had some creative capabilities that made it a formidable foe for Pratt and his crew. There were some truly intense moments involving the Indominus in which I actually found myself holding my breath. The action was handled very well by director Colin Trevorrow, whose previous and only other directorial effort was the 2012 independent comedy Safety Not Guaranteed. He made the transition from low-budget indie flick to multi-million dollar blockbuster quite smoothly.
What Jurassic World ultimately suffers from is that it’s a sequel to Jurassic Park — there’s simply no way it could live up to the standards set by the original film. No matter what Trevorrow and his team dreamed up, this new film would struggle to find its way out of the 1993 classic’s ever-looming shadow. That being said, this is definitely the best of the three Jurassic Park sequels. It boasts some great thrills, superb performances from Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, and above all, fantastic dinosaur action. It’s not a good Jurassic Park movie, but it is a good monster movie. If you go into it with that in mind, you’ll find it’s worth the price of admission. Though it doesn’t recapture the magic of the original, Jurassic World provides a fun moviegoing experience.