Collin Trevorrow’s “Jurassic World” is now the third highest grossing movie of all time. It shattered countless records on its opening weekend. Because of this, I was eager to see what the hype was all about. While it is indeed an entertaining picture, its massive success says more about the industry today than the film itself. Blockbusters are in more demand than ever, franchises at every corner you turn. The latest entry in the Jurassic series continues to cement that notion.
Again, we have a film that has been in development hell for years. After the lukewarm success of the other Jurassic sequels, this project suffered. Eventually, it all came together. Spielberg came on board as an executive producer. Collin Trevorrow was plucked from the indie art world to helm this massive project. Chris Pratt, arguably now Hollywood’s most in demand leading man, was cast. Bryce Dallas Howard (Ron’s daughter) is the female lead. Vincent D’Onofrio is the antagonist.
The film pretty much ignored both “Lost World” and “Jurassic Park 3.” Although it had little elements from them, it picks up twenty years after the original’s events. The dream is now a reality. Jurassic World is a full blown theme park, all revolved around genetically recreated dinosaurs. Of course, here comes the issue. Attendance is dwindling, so a new attraction is needed. The executives decide that cross breeding a new dinosaur is the best option. This dino is supposed to be a T-Rex on steroids, called Indominus rex (similar to the main dino in Jurassic 3). Now, Indominus has been raised in isolation. It is aggressive, and, as you could probably guess, super smart compared to others.
Pratt’s Owen Grady, a raptor trainer, is brought in for consultation before the exhibit opens. Here is where all hell breaks loose. Indominus tricks everyone, and escapes. It begins its rampage across the island, taking down everyone and everything in its path. Packed with camouflage skin, it’s the full package apparently. Claire Dearing (Howard) is our female hero. Her two nephews are visiting the island, but she is far too busy to spend time with them. They are caught in the middle of the mayhem, and Owen and Claire must find them. Along the way, we get the typical banter between male and female lead, a shady past, a possible future.
Pratt handles his role just fine. He can’t really do any wrong. But he doesn’t have much to work with. Unlike “Mad Max” earlier this summer, Claire is nowhere near as empowered as Imperator Furiosa. Claire is the cliche woman who needs Pratt’s Owen if she has any hopes of survival. Meanwhile, D’Onofrio’s Hoskins character wants to use raptors as militarized weapons. Dinosaurs fighting our country’s battles, now that movie I want to see. D’Onofrio can always pull off the sleazy baddie.
We get a climatic battle between the T-Rex and Indominus, with the help of some nifty raptors. Our protagonists all pull through, and the park is left in ruin. Of course, our male and female are now bonded, and T-Rex roars supreme on the now destroyed park. Sequel, you know it. There are some awesome sequences, mainly the Mosasaurus, an underwater beast that makes Jaws look like a kitty cat. There is also a tension filled scene where pterosaurs fly wild and prey on visitors. All in all, it is a decent two hours. With it’s massive openings, Trevorrow and Pratt are seemingly now in position to do whatever they please. But, this movie just never seemed more to me than a “Jurassic Park” rehash with today’s top talent and effects, as opposed to any true successor or advancement in story.