#40 JURASSIC WORLD
Starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D'Onofrio.
Written by Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow. Directed by Colin Trevorrow. 124 minutes long.
In terms of story, it's been 22 years since Jurassic Park went tits up (or should that by Titsaurus up?) and what have the humans of that universe learned? Well, in a word sweet FA. In fact, they've learned less that because they've decided to make their own dinosaurs, splicing together genetically modified genes to create the Indominus Rex! - a highly intelligence, carnivorous, super-fast dinosaur with chameleon attributes so good it can turn invisible and the ability to lower its own body temperature and thus fool thermal or infra red cameras. That said, the film doesn't bother to explain how the dinosaur knew in the first place it was being monitored by a thermal camera.
Anyhoo, we join this universe in the now running and seemingly successful theme park, Jurassic World on Isla Nublar where the super rich come to frolic with dinosaurs, while raptor wrangler and ex-Naval Seal, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) has been brought in to certificate the new attraction, the Indominus Rex. Pratt's character is a dumbed-down Sam Neil crossed with Bob 'Clever Girl' Peck of the original movie. Luckily he's managed to imprint with a pack of Raptors and that's helpful cos he might need their help later on, should anything go wrong, say like if old Rexie was able to escape from his compound, by duping thermal cameras and using his chameleon like abilities to evade the security detail. But surely the chances of that happening are almost as small as the idea that Pratt's InGen boss, Vincent D'Onofrio is waiting for a chance to steal the technology behind the dinosaurs say... by using the cover of some sort of disaster as a smoke screen...
This reboot, re-imagining, remake, repeat of the original Jurassic Park, decides to play the old maxim, 'the same, but bigger' card, opting for bigger everything in the place of a coherent plot or characters who act in a real way.
So, instead of a decent plot, or story we just have a group of characters trying to survive while the park fails and the dinosaurs break free. We know who will die, when and how, we know who will survive and we even know what the final shot will be of the island at the end of the film. And why do we know it? Because we've already watched the first three Jurassic Park films. This is the movie equivalent of a greatest hits compilation album - Do you want to see the return of iconic death scenes from the first film, well here it is! Want to see the pterodactyls from the second? Check! What about the glass cracking scene of the second? How about that lovely banner from the end of the first film. In fact how about bringing back one of the iconic stars of the first film too? Well, fret not, it's all here! in fact, why not play a game of Jurassic Park bingo. Just take a card along and tick off all the old beats. First person to tick all their boxes gets a free bag of popcorn.
And the insane thing none of the above really matters, this film is the perfect popcorn event, it's a film that is immensely fun while it's on but utterly unmemorable once it's finished. Seriously i'd forgotten it as soon as I'd left the cinema. Where as the first film, in the hands of Steven Speilberg, mixed real wonder and awe with special effects and a solid story to become a classic, Jurassic World opts for a limitless polygon and CGI budget to become the highest grossing opening weekend film of all times, which fits this film perfectly, it's all about instant gratification, it's all popcorn and no substance.
So go in to watch the dinosaurs break free and Chris Pratt do his motorbike race with his pack of Raptors thing and you'll be happy, just don't go digging for anything else, you won't find it. This is a fun but utterly empty romp and nothing more.