Director: Colin Trevarrow
Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson.
There has been a lot of build up to the fourth instalment of the Jurassic Park series. It is 14 years since the third rather underwhelming instalment, and an incredible 22 years since Spielbergs initial intrepid and inspirational masterpiece burst through the electrical fences and onto our screens.
The film focuses on Jurassic World, which is an established theme park on Isla Nubar, the same island that Jurassic Park was built on. With a high number of guests admitted into the park each year the management team realise they need to up the ante a little and introduce a new animal to spark up some interest and media attention. A new dinosaur is dreamed up. Unfortunately this turns into more of a nightmare than a dream for the team and guests at the park. An almost Frankenstein-like mongrel of a dinosaur is bred by the scientists at the park (including the original Dr Henry Wu) which then, predictably, escapes and destroys pretty much everyone and everything in its path.
The plot follows park manager Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) as she tries to find her nephews Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson) who are visiting the park and go off on their own independent magical mystery tour. To help her find her nephews, and to stop the dinosaur destroying he park, she enlists the help of the parks animal trainer Owen (Chris Pratt). The plot has less of the depth and morality of the original. There is no Dr Grant or Ian Malcolm offering their pearls of wisdom about the ethical issues around breeding extinct animals.
The characters themselves are more two dimensional than they are in the original. Owen is likeable and Chris Pratt is able to inject some humour into the character, although this does seem out of place at times. Claire has a strong independent streak that is refreshing. She is seen going off first into the jungle to find her nephews and has no need to hide behind Owen. She can hold her own when it comes to surviving. Despite this the script and character development do leave the audience wanting. The two nephews are particularly annoying compared to the original Timmy and Lex.
Despite this, the film is still a very strong action film. The fight scenes and special effects are just as astounding as those in the original were. They may not be as ground breaking as they were then, but they are just as spectacular.
There is little point in reminiscing about the second two instalments in relation to this latest offering as they are glossed over in the film as if they never happened, which may be just as well as they fade into insignificance in comparison to Jurassic World.
The film does feel like a natural progression from Jurassic Park and there are a number of nods to the original throughout the film (for example check out the back cover of the book being read on the monorail). As viewers first enter Jurassic World there are the the same sweeping shots as when they entered Jurassic Park. When the viewers are introduced to the new dinosaur (Indominous Rex) it is obscured by foliage or out of shot until it breaks loose, much the same as the views of the T-Rex in the original. Finally, and most crucially, the audience are treated to the infamous and atmospheric original music from legendary composer John Williams. the music borders on being over used but just falls short. These similarities are in no small part due to having Spielberg as an Executive Producer, however relative 'newb' Colin Trevarrow takes the helm as Director which may explain some of the differences between World and Park. You can be the judge as to whether these are good or bad differences.
The biggest flaw is the films lack of depth compared to the original, but this by no means makes the film a bad film. The film definitely makes an impact just as the first one did. It is an enjoyable action film and will take you right back to the first time you saw those gigantic gates (What have they got in there, King Kong?). Recommended for hardcore fans of the series and those that have never even seen a Velociraptor.