In Review: Jurassic World

by Daniel Goodwin on 17/06/2015


After Spielberg’s original SFX game changer Jurassic Park arrived in 1993 an inevitable franchise evolved, seemingly concluded by Jurassic Park 3, directed by Joe Johnston, in 2001. Fourteen years later and Colin Trevorrow (director of decent indie sci-fi Safety Not Guaranteed) has fashioned the fourth instalment; Jurassic World, a lacklustre effort heavily burdened by a lack of invention.

Genetic modification, gene-splicing and advanced technology are woven within the bombardment of product placement but there is little attempt to harness humanity from the drama, making Jurassic World a soulless (but admittedly still fun) monster movie with a marketing force of extraordinary magnitude. Trevorrow plaits post-modern references throughout, acknowledging the pitfalls of the modern blockbuster model but also unashamedly adheres to them.

The man playing God allegory which defined the original franchise and was the essence of Michael Crichton’s novel, is diluted in an ocean of sick coloured commercialisation and crude CGI landscapes. The theme is referenced in relation to the manufacturing of a modified hybrid dinosaur, designed because the park visitors (and audiences) want something with “more teeth”, but a lack of effective drama fails to convey or compliment the concept.

Trevorrow interpolates family drama but fails to do so with care. Bryce Dallas Howard’s Jurassic World official Claire hasn’t seen her nephews in seven years and only realises how much they mean to her when their lives come under threat. A romance is also explored between Claire and Dino-trainer Owen (Chris Pratt) but the subplots are under-developed and very much secondary to the mechanical action.

Things get smashed, trashed and chomped accordingly and with photo-real rendering while some of the original film’s product tie-ins are discovered discarded then swooned over, like fans with Jurassic Park memorabilia: another meta ploy in an attempt to generate nostalgia. But Jurassic World fails to recapture the essence of what made the original so great and while attempting to work as a post-modern blockbuster, Trevorrow’s film loses touch with the fundamental humanity at the core of the story and the basis of Crichton’s original concept.

Daniel has awarded Jurassic World two Torches of Truth


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