With it being 14 years since anyone saw a Jurassic film and 22 years since Spielberg’s original classic, fans like myself were eager to take the trip to see this next instalment to the franchise. Making a whopping $500 million at the box office this weekend, is it a worthy sequel to praise and talk about?
Just so you all know, I will be chatting in SPOILER detail about what I liked and maybe disliked about this blockbusting instalment.(MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD).
The lights went down, the universal logo swooped through the screen then a bright flash. The camera slowly pulls out as myself and the audience are trying to figure out what we were looking at. It is none other than a Dinosaur egg, hatching in the labs of Jurassic World. What Dinosaur could it be? The monstrous Hybrid of course.
I think the Jurassic franchise is known for an explosive opening in previous outings from the original park gate keeper being dragged to his death in 1993s JP to the parasailing incident in JP3. Here we have a quiet slow moving scene which builds off of tension while accompanied by the amazing score by Michael Giacchino. Some people may feel its a bold move starting off so quiet and subtle but for me it builds the excitement as the beginning moves forward. Nice opening.
BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD and SUPPORTING ACTORS:
Coming into a new instalment we all knew the likes of Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum were unlikely to return but that gave hope for new talent to come on the scene and that, we do get.
Bryce Dallas Howard most known for her roles in 50/50 an The Help, plays Claire the park manager of Jurassic World. We see her as a well dressed prim to proper strong female who knows what she’s doing. Howard bring a certain flare and comedic side to the character in both character development scene and fast paced action. I don’t think I could see anyone else play the character other than her. Howard really stood out and brought a strong lead which in my opinion hasn’t been seen since the original.
What would Jurassic World be without some children thrown into the mix. In this outing we meet Grey (Ty Simpkins- Iron Man 3) and Zach (Nick Robinson) who play brothers who are whizzed on a trip to the infamous park where we learn they are nephews to Howard’s character. These kids played it really well, from the one to one sceens where we learn that they were only shipped off on the trip so their parents could sort out a divorce settlement to the all out running and screaming scenes. Good casting compared to the previous sequels.
We also meeting Mr. Masrani (Irrfan Khan) who is the head of all Jurassic World has to offer. He himself ordered the creation of the Hybrid to up the wow factor to 100, which is obviously a bad idea.
Other side characters include tech wiz Lowery (Jake Johnson- New Girl) who brings a little comedic element while acting as part hero in the climax (more on that later) and InGen mercenary Hoskins played by the great Vincent D’Onofrio. His character wants to use the Raptor pack as a weapon of war against the companies enemies, but one person will make sure that doesn’t see the light of day
We are immediately thrown into the pit, the raptor pit to be correct when we are introduced to knight in shinning armour Owen Grady. Pratts character is in charge in building a relationship based on respect with his raptor pack. He is also assigned a duty of care when Claire/Mr. Masrani ask him to assess the new paddock for their latest attraction. Pratt brings 100% coolness and badass-ery to the screen. From quick one liners to a great stunts we truly believe Pratt could work full time raptor master in Jurassic World.
One scene in particular is near the beginning where one of the newbies is caught off guard all falls into the raptor pit where he is corner by the pack known as Charlie, Echo, Delta and Pratts characters favourite Blue. Here we see Pratt run into the pit in all his glory while being frightened as hell where he quotes I’m not taking your shit guys, he is too cool and will be a great addition to the Jurassic franchise with confirmed reports that Pratt has signed on for more. Thumbs up from me, but how do these characters fair against a certain new breed of predator?
INDOMINUS REX/ ALL ITS GLORY:
With the park tagline “Bigger. Louder. More Teeth.” A lot can be said about the new horrifying Hybrid born out of the greed of the Jurassic World creators and public’s want for more. We learn that visitors to the island are becoming bored of the now 10 year old park, and most see them as nothing more than elephants in a zoo.
With genetic splicing our main characters bite off more than they can chew with this one. Pratts characters warns them about the dangers of breeding hybrids but no one listens. Before we know it this clever girl tricks Owen and co to enter her paddock not knowing that she can now hide her heat signature from all the parks/control rooms devices at her will. Hence fourth we get the “Indominus breakout” scene.
In awesome fashion, we see the I-Rex make Pratt look like a mouse running from a cat. This is in my opinion one of the very first incredible scene to be had. As from many of the trailers, we see Pratts character slide under a parked character in Indiana Jones like fashion as the Hybrid slowly creeps along using her Preadtor like senses to seek out her prey. Here we see our first of many violent kills. A side character hides behind a truck unaware that Pratts character has begun to hide his scent with car fuel, his final moments can only be described as a claw picking up a teddy in the the teddy machines but 100 tmes more exciting/violent.
I think this is one of my favourite moments of the Indominus terror/glory as Owen looks on in fear as one of his co- workers is brutally mauled for lunch– I got a sense that Owen now knows how bad things have gotten.
As Owen, Claire, Masrani and the rest of the control room staff quietly come to terms with the absolute horror of the escaped asset, its agreed that the islands security (ACU) be called upon to take down and capture the I-Rex and get it back to it’s paddock without alarming the some 20’000 active visitors in the main area of the park.
The audience is now given another visual treat I like to call, the vicious team take down. As the ACU team begins to trek the beast through its tracking device, the park begins to slowly shut down with each ride having its last passengers accounted for except two. Grey and Zach that is. They are unaware of the danger while riding the Gyrosphere ride.
As the ACU begin to gain on the I-Rex, they stumble across the now clawed out tracking device. You guessed it its a trap but with a twist, as the ACU officer looks up he see none other than a now jungle like camouflaged Indominus staring straight at him. I can now only describe this scene as terrifyingly terrific.
As Owen and Claire learn the faith of both Grey and Zach, they decide to form their own rescue mission of their own as Masrani and the snake Hoskins decide what is best for the safety of the islands visitors. Can Hoskins be trusted?
HOMAGE TO THE ORIGINAL:
Being more of a sequel to the original than the others, hints and respect to the idea is clearly evident throughout. Does it work? Absolutely. From little hints and the opening shots of the boys first entering the park, shows us that Hammonds idea is in full swing from a fully function visitors centre, dino petting zoo to an infamous water park home to the gigantic Mosasaurus.
For me the most respectful scene to the original is when the brothers after surviving the I-Rex attack stumble across and old over grown jungle like tomb. It is the very first visitor centre from Speilbergs classic. Fucking awesome.
If you’re as a mega fan as myself, you will see so many nods to the original. From revised shot to Mr. DNA making a well deserved cameo. The makers really did well showing off these little Easter Eggs without going to over board with the whole nostalgic vibe. Well done Hollywood.
Having successfully stopped/captured pterosaurs, but losing Mr. Masrani to the horrifying Chopper crash, Hoskins has taken our the control and running but not to the liking of Owen and Claire. Having the boys by their side, we along with Owen and Claire, find out that it was Hoskins hopes all a long the Indominus would break out and run havoc.
With these hopes in mind, Hoskins called in his team of InGen mercenaries to hunt down the lose Rex but with a twist.
Hoskins wants to weaponize the Raptors to hunt and kill the Indominus. With Owen back to a corner and no other plan, he has no choice to put his trust and relationship on the line and release the Raptors and hunt the Indominus down.
Uttering the lines ” We do this my way”, the hunt is on and we begin our climax to the adventure. Fitted with Gro Pro head sets and the I-Rex scent strong, the audience is treated to an absolute cinema spectacle. With Owen and the team close behind, each shot is an awesome treat with both practicable effects and CGI- we are given the view of the Raptors Go Pro, something I personally haven’t seen before and utterly loved.
As the chase begins to slow, the Raptors suddenly stop. They’ve found the Indominus. Out from the jungle, we get our very few proper look at the gigantic beast but something’s wrong, she begins to communicate with the pack.
Her gene splicing has been mixed with T-Rex, Cuttlefish and Raptor. (Mega Twist).
Everyone in the audience gasped as the Raptors had Pratt and the rest of the characters in their sights as the Indominus communicates to them that the humans are the ones to hunt. The killing machines are back!
As the hunt turns into a getaway for their lives, Owen escapes on his motorbike to meet up with Claire and the boys who barely escaped in one of the parks veterinarian ambulance, meet at the head clinic on the island to find that Hoskins ordered all embryos to be taken to InGen headquarters.
I knew Hoskins couldnt be trusted, to be honest I loved the idea the weaponize the Raptors and how they turn on the humans in one go. Lets be honest we may be able to train our dogs but some people can train Lions etc. but will they ever be as loyal?
As Hoskins begins to quote how life needs to move forward one of four raptors bursts into the clinic to corner him while Owen protect Claire and the boys. Hoskins utters his last words “I’m on your side..” but its not enough and meets his maker at the jaw and claws of the Raptor. (Serves him right!)
As the family like characters begins their escape to a near by chopper, they are corner by the pack (like the original JP) on the main park way.
Thinking that the end is near, Owen being the Alpha tries one last bid to stop the pack from harming them. As it begins to work, the Indominus appears. (Mommys very angry moment.)
Having gained the trust of the pack again the pack begin to attack the Indominus (Hell Yeah yells to the screen!!) with delta charlie and echo being violently defeated by the I-Rex and the beta Blue presumed dead, Owen, Claire and the boys have no other forms of protection.
My heart was in my mouth at this stage, I really didn’t know how this picture was going to end, then Ty Simpkins says one of the best lines.
“We nedd more teeth”.
Its now obvious that this could possible be one of the coolest endings I’ve seen in some while, Claire radios back to Lowery (part hero of the climax) who volunteered to stay behind in the control room to open Paddock 9.
What is in Paddock 9?
None other that the Rex herself, we wanted more teeth and we certainly get it. As I predicted and hoped its Rex on Rex battle. In spectacular form, as it looks like the I-Rex might win beta pack leader Blue jumps into help defeat the Hybrid. Looking like the Hybrid might give it one last go as its backed into a pool like corner, out from the depths jumps up the water beast Mosasaurus to chomp down and drag the killer Hybrid to her death.
What. An. Ending.
Having been waiting nearly 15 years for another instalment to the franchise, I can safely say I had great fun with this Summer blockbuster.
Both Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are absolutely brilliant in their roles along with a strong supporting cast too. Although I feel the makers over used some scenes with CGI its nice to see they weren’t afraid to get too violent with their uses.
Compared to the original, I feel this is not as good as that outing. I felt a bigger connect with the likes of Sam Neill than Pratt. I felt that the original cast were more vulnerable than this cast when it came to the action scenes.
With these minor bumps in mind, cinema goers and fans will get great enjoyment out of this Sci Fi Horror Adventure.
This is a must see in the cinema. Trust me, I’ve seen it twice already. It gets that little more better after each viewing.
(Personal Rating 4/5)
Jurassic World is in cinemas nationwide now. Nerd out!