Return to form. Ignoring all signs that this was a bad idea 22 years prior, executives went ahead and opened the park as Jurassic World. Just like any theme park, you have to release new attractions to keep consumers coming back. Engineering a new dinosaur, the Indominus Rex, may have not been the best decision to make, and it isn’t long until they’ve got big problems with 22,000 people in danger. I’m going to just come out and say it: this is the most fun I’ve had in a movie theater since 22 Jump Street. As long as you’re not expecting it to be as astoundingly brilliant as the first one, you’re going to have a great time.
It has been confirmed: Jurassic World has had the biggest opening both domestically and globally, which is the best news I’ve heard all week, because that means we have more awesome dinosaur movies in store. The studio executives must have had foresight on this, because they entrusted the reigns on this to indie director Colin Trevorrow, whose only other major release is the charming Safety Not Guaranteed; I don’t know who watched that and thought “this is the guy for dinosaurs”, but I am sure glad they did.
I know it’s been less than a week since this got released, but I’ve now seen this twice in theaters, and it was just as fun the second time around. This new park that we are being introduced to it has already been up and running for years, and it ends up feeling very similar to Disney World or SeaWorld with rides and attractions in addition to the dinos. When the dinosaurs start getting loose and start raising hell, it is a non-stop roller coaster ride, just like the first movie, and that’s really the star of movie: the dinosaurs causing mayhem, which is how it should be. More specifically? The raptors shine brightest, and they get to (mostly) be the good guys here for a change. It’s an interesting angle they take, making them trainable, and you develop a connection with them as quickly as you would a pet. All the help they can get is needed, because the Indominus Rex is as intimidating as can be, and will likely get into many a child’s psyche. On top of that, it has personality as well, always striving to show that it towers at the very top of the food chain. I wouldn’t worry too much about the children in the film, though, because historically speaking, they have pretty good luck in these movies.
This is a crowd pleaser that is sure to delight fans and newcomers alike. All of the effects are smooth and skillfully rendered, and once this gets going, you’re not going to want to leave your seat. Any complaints I have are minor, like how Vincent D’Onofrio playing such a broad villain, and you can tell he is evil as soon as he appears onscreen with his thumbs resting in his belt loops. Still, it’s not even that big of a deal, because it gives you somebody to root for to get their comeuppance, much like you did with Wayne Knight in the first movie. Also added to the mix is fan favorite Chris Pratt who shines in the role, and at this point in his career, I am convinced that he can really do whatever he wants, and I will support his future endeavors. There is a lot of throwback fan service paid, but it never feels crowbarred in, it feels organic. This is pure spectacle that is designed to be seen on the big screen, and the finale to this made me want to stand up in my seat and cheer. As far as this summer’s blockbuster line-up goes, I really don’t think we are going to see anything better.
Jurassic World (2015) ****1/2
– Critic for Hire
Want to see where this fell in my list of best films of the 2015? See for yourself here.