FILM: Jurassic World


Jurassic World, a largely superfluous blockbuster with all the originality and grace of a McDonald’s tie-in Happy Meal.  The hideous corporate sponsorship in the film is actually the least annoying element with the unimaginative direction, weak script (how many times can the word ‘asset’ crop up in one screenplay?) and one dimensional characters all diluting the memory of the original film so thoroughly you now hope and pray the series has run its course.

Set 22 years after the original film, InGen have turned the island of Isla Nublar into ‘Jurassic World’ a theme park where excitable families can go interact with the dinosaurs. In order to boost the revenue of the park, manager Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) and her band of sinister scientists (you know they’re sinister as they wear black turtle necks) have genetically modified a new dinosaur called Indominus Rex which has been spliced from a number of other predators and (in the films most ludicrous plot device) some modern animals like Cuttlefish and Tree Frogs so that when it, inevitably, escapes it can camouflage itself etc.

The parks owner asks Dino Whisperer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to inspect the Indominus enclosure before the exhibit opens to ensure all is safe for the public. He butts head with Claire (his ex-flame) as he’s all Indiana Jones cool and she’s uptight and controlling (writers Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Derek Connolly and director Colin Trevorrow doing wonders for the progression of female characters in major studio films). Also involved are Claire’s two young nephews who have been sent to the park, unattended, by their soon to be divorced parents. Aunty Claire, of course, is far too busy to look after them and leaves them in the care of some random, uptight British woman (who’s role at the park is never determined) leaving them exposed to the inevitable rogue beastie.

In fairness to the makers of the film they’re are a couple of nifty set pieces (a helicopter crash into a pterosaur aviary) and the idea that Pratt’s character has formed mutual respect with the velociraptors is an interesting twist but the dialogue is so leaden (bordering on laughable) and the characters so annoyingly trite that it really is hard to care who gets chewed up next.  Special effects are all top notch (which you would expect with a budget of $150m plus) but more time should have been invested in developing the characters. Pratt is a reliable screen presence, effortlessly charismatic and likeable, but casting him and jettisoning the sly humour he brought to Guardians of the Galaxy was a big mistake.  Dallas Howard ramps things up to 90 lurching from shrill to hysterical while the supporting cast barely register.

A major disappointment.

Matt Williams


Jurassic World is the fourth film in the dino-franchise and it is, for my money, the worst. In a world where shared universes and infinite sequels are the norm this is likely to make big profits at the box office as, unfortunately, people will pay money to see a film that is comfortable- they know the premise, they liked the first one so they’ll probably like this one. This apathy has created a multitude of dull sequels cashing in on the general movie-going public’s laziness to take a chance on a unique story.

As someone who is not a big fan of the originals I did not feel as if my childhood was being stolen or ruined by this latest abomination in blockbuster film making. Don’t get me wrong I can get behind a good blockbuster, something with a decent script and a few curveballs, of which Jurassic World has none.

The script is stilted and reeks of cheese – there is even a line directed at Bryce Dallas Howard telling her “this is a little above your pay grade honey”, which stung my feminist sensibilities.

The actors do the best with what they are given, a cliché ridden script, which goes for some obvious laughs- Chris Pratt’s Owen inviting Claire (Dallas Howard) into his bungalow- most of which fall flat. Pratt plays the role with some humour but his smoldering face began to grow tiresome. His relationship with the raptors began as an interesting understanding between man and beast but grew ludicrous with sly winks and nods between them as if they shared a secret language!

The original music aimed to stir up the feeling of nostalgia as the wide sweeping shots (of which there are several and most of them unnecessary) gaze across the wide expanse of this Jurassic World but this just filled me with a sense of boredom and impatience.

So in Jurassic World, the powers that be including the very corporate Claire, who cares just about profits rather than the dinosaurs well being, have created a brand new dinosaur called the Indominous Rex- part T-Rex and part random other predators including but not limited to the cuttlefish and treefrog- how you ask? Just because genetic engineers can do that with total disregard for the potential for this genetic monster to escape and go on a killing rampage- an inevitability according to those who work in the control room at the park.

This is a by the numbers, tick box of a film that aims to piggy back on the success of the franchise, which I’m sure it will but hey Transformers was on the highest grossing films of last year despite terrible critic reviews so the public gets what the public wants. The crashing of dinosaur against dinosaur reminded me of the dinobots in Age of Extinction- snore!

Niki Alexandrou

Matt Williams

Matt Williams

Matt Williams

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