Jurassic World

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Jurassic World

This is the kind of reboot – it seems we’re now pretending the second and third films in the Jurassic Park series never happened – that relies so much on nostalgia it actually ends up being about nostalgia. Jurassic Park has been open for years now and while it’s a hit, audiences are getting bored. They want something that gives them the thrill they had back when they first saw real-life dinosaurs. The parks solution? Create a new, genetically engineered super-dino to scare the pants off the crowds. This is obviously a great idea for a film but a very bad idea for the people in the film, as the dino promptly outsmarts it’s keepers then busts out to go on a murder spree – yes, they’ve created a serial killer dinosaur – while everyone else that isn’t hunky park ranger-slash dino trainer Owen (Chris Pratt) panics.
There are humans in this film but there’s zero reason to care about any of them: the two kids who are meant to be our focus are respectively a sex-mad teen and an exposition-bot, their aunt (Bryce Dallas Howard) who is also the boss of the park first largely ignores them then when things go totally wrong focuses totally on them rather than actually running the park (some people have said that her keeping her high heels on throughout the film is some kind of feminist statement; those people are wrong), and everyone else is a one-note joke there solely to die in a never-quite-gory-or-crazy-enough fashion.
The dinosaur effects are good, not great. The few times the film goes for practical effects over CGI creatures really stand out as seeming a whole lot more real. The problem isn’t that this isn’t silly, it’s that it’s not silly enough: why have hordes of screaming, fleeing tourists on dino island if the dinos aren’t going to devour them by the handful? Owen having trained attack raptors isn’t the worst idea ever; having much of their scenes involving power dynamics within the group isn’t the best. But in the end this is big screen dinos running amok and everybody young or old can get behind that; no wonder it’s had the biggest box office opening of all time.