As fitting as it’s opening weekend has smashed, shredded and chewed up box office records around the world, leaving the carcasses of receipts as the only evidence of it’s commercial carnage, it’s almost as if Jurassic World (2015) directed by Colin Trevorrow was cooked up in the same species slicing laboratory as the ‘dinosaurs’ in the movie. Though technically they aren’t really dinosaurs as there’s a wee bit of gene mixing going on across the board. I learned that bit from the movie itself.
But whereas in the case of say genetically modified food (I’m 100% against that), I’m 100% for blending in the creation of this effectively updated Jurassic Park & co trip down Raptor Lane. Lovingly (& VERY knowingly meta) taking up the gnawed bone baton from all the previous visits to the Island and effectively making it… well just bloody IMAXICUS! (I spliced that word up in my brain lab)
The Jurassic ‘entertainment’ park has been up and running for many years now and to a peaked commercial success, and to the extent that folk have actually got bored of ‘ordinary’ dinosaurs (maybe there just needs to be a Candy Crush Island so folk don’t get bored?) leaving park supervisor Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard, so beautiful you would think she is CGI too) at the behest of focus groups demanding bigger/more… of everything really. Obviously such focused group gluttony can’t end in a good place and results in the capitalist mad scientists creating a new Frankensaurus on the block, which of course escapes. That’s not a spoiler as such, it’s basically the plot of all the Jurassic movies, killer big stuff let loose.
But whereas looking back on the extremely varying degrees of success in the series that certainly has peaks and dino dung piles, Jurassic World takes the best of them all and turns it up to 11. Working on many levels which may or may not be grasped by all, it’s fantastic entertainment. Woven in to some brilliant set pieces there’s excellent comic timing and playfulness in the younger almost Indiana Jones character of Owen Grady (Chris Pratt can do no wrong in my books) really coming across as an 80s action hero. Yet with all the visual joy and splendour, and even though there’s digital dinosaurs running about, there’s still some wonderful wry comments on materialism, modern instant gratification life and product placement, even though there is quite a bit of said placement going on, it pretty much mocks it at the same time. And it also has spot on views on the vileness of killing animals for sport, general mistreatment of animals and nasty arms manufacturers, so David Cameron won’t be enjoying this movie.
Having seen the trailers for the movie in the run up to it’s release I was REALLY concerned with the CGI, as to be frank, it looked terrible, and I was somewhat apprehensive going in to the screening. Thankfully I was wrong to be concerned. Certainly there are a couple of moments where it looked the same at the original in digital quality, but the rest looks brilliant, IMAX brilliant. There’s only so far you can go with the effects in these dino characters, and quite rightly they aren’t the sole focus.
With various subplots to keep things belting along, it’s not going to win any best script awards (though there are loads of wonderful lines), but you’ll not find as many down right honest and joyously entertaining films this year. So jump on board the ride as soon as you can, especially in the IMAX, and let it swallow you whole, as it stomps all over many other movies this year, and abolutely is the beginning of a whole new Jurassic series.
Jurassic World is out now.