A new theme park, built on the original site of Jurassic Park, creates a genetically modified hybrid dinosaur, the Indominus Rex, which escapes containment and goes on a killing spree. (via IMDb)
Like many others, Jurassic Park was an influential movie of my childhood. I lost track of how many times I have seen it throughout my lifetime; it’s easily up there as one of my favorite films of all time. Sequels to 20+ year old movies that attempt to cash in on their franchise’s nostalgia have been very hit or miss (primarily misses) so I was a bit cautious going into Jurassic World. To my pleasure, Jurassic World is one of the better sequels today.
Any sequel that comes out decades later has a fine line to balance between paying homage to the original while bringing something new to the franchise and standing on its own. Throughout the film, Jurassic World gives nodes or callbacks to things and events of Jurassic Park that there is plenty for eagle-eyed fans to pick up on. Most importantly, it continues the themes of its predecessor. One of the biggest through lines of Jurassic Park was the hubris of mankind and that theme continues and is built upon here. It’s a wonderful continuation and natural plot growth for the franchise.
Besides building on the themes and providing plenty of easter eggs, Jurassic World has a great cast that carries the story. Chris Pratt, coming off his spectacular appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy, commands the screen. Bryce Dallas Howard is always great in anything she is involved in and this film is no exception. Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins hold their own as the younger members of the core cast across from the older cast members like Pratt and Howard. Vincent D’Onofrio channels the same energy he brought to Daredevil’s Wilson Fisk and chews up every scene. And to top it all off is an excellent comedic supporting cast of Jake Johnson and Lauren Lapkus. No matter where you look in the cast, there is talent everywhere.
The film spends the first half of the film setting up the park and the characters, so it can feel slow early on. However, once the action picks up, it really picks up. There is a horror element to the last act in particular that kept me on the edge of my seat. One highlight is when Owen (Pratt) is hunting the Indominus Rex with a pack of velociraptors. And it all culminated in a showdown that any fan of the franchise is sure to love.
If I had one complaint for this movie it’s that the subplot of Zach’s (Robinson) and Gray’s (Simpkins) parents did not add anything to the overall plot. There is maybe one scene with the parents and their lawyers and it was only mentioned by the boys once or twice. It felt shoehorned in to give more emotion to the film but I don’t think it added anything at all.
I thought Jurassic World was GREAT 😀 Being a huge fan of Jurassic Park, Jurassic World is a worthy sequel. The themes from the original are continued and built upon in a way that few sequels are capable of accomplishing. There is no weak link in the cast with great actors like Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Nick Robinson,and Ty Simpkins. Top it off with exciting action scenes and you’ve got yourself not only a great sequel but a great film.
Cast & Crew
Colin Trevorrow – Director / Screenplay
Rick Jaffa – Screenplay / Story
Amanda Silver – Screenplay / Story
Derek Connolly – Screenplay
Michael Giacchino – Composer
Chris Pratt – Owen Grady
Bryce Dallas Howard – Clair Dearing
Ty Simpkins – Gray
Nick Robinson – Zach
Jake Johnson – Lowery
Lauren Lapkus – Vivian
Omar Sy – Barry
Irrfan Khan – Masrani
Vincent D’Onofrio – Vic Hoskins
BD Wong – Dr. Henry Wu
Brian Tee – Hamada
Katie McGrath – Zara
Judy Greer – Karen
Andy Buckley – Scott