26 June - 2 July 2015 #764

Jurassic World

It just had all the elements of a Spielberg film that put it above par: the crazy science fiction and technology to match the vision
Sophia Pande

As a fourth film in a Hollywood franchise, a creation whose inception started in the mind of the late, (arguably) great sci-fi writer Michael Crichton, and was perpetuated into cinematic glory in the first Jurassic Park (1993) by none other than Steven Spielberg, Jurassic World already had a lot to live up to considering its rather splendid roots.

For those of you who are already scoffing at my description, well, don’t even bother to go see this latest installment. It has none of the wonder and awe of the first film, which fearlessly pioneered and used jaw dropping CGI to recreate the Jurassic era brimming with the gamut of wondrous dinosaurs that held people spellbound, young or old.

Unlike the Crichton novel, Jurassic Park wasn’t really all that sophisticated, it just had all the elements of a Spielberg film that put it above par: the crazy science fiction, the blithenaiveté of the characters, the obligatory kids who are adorable but also intrepid, and finally, technology to match the vision. Unfortunately, 22 years later, none of the above continue to hold true for poor Colin Treverrow, the romantically named, clearly competent director of Jurassic World who, in his defense was probably never really allowed full rein.

Jurassic World exists as an oft-visited park on the infamous Isla Nublar where so many dinosaurs had run rampant in the past films. It is now a declining attraction where not even the dinosaurs are really that exciting any longer (neither to us, nor to the parkgoers). Hence, the creation of the Indominus Rex, an aberration conceived by the park’s money hungry administrators and board members among whom all are pretty much insufferable due to terrible cardboard cutout characters that not even the likes of Irrfan Khan (who plays Simon Masrani, the owner of the park) can save.

Really, the only reason that you should watch this particular, bizarrely boring film (how can you go wrong with the likes of velociraptors and t-rexes at your disposal?) is to see if you can forget all the silliness of what ought to be clever characters, and perhaps do some person watching in the form of Chris Pratt (who plays Owen Grady, an animal trainer), an actor who made his breakthrough with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). Pratt, a talented but struggling actor for decades, who is now, finally, getting his due, pulls this slight film together out of sheer will and force of persona. In the words of one of the characters in the film, Pratt is the real badass, not the dinosaurs.

Watch trailer

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