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    Jurassic World (2015): Movie Review

    “A mystifying and nostalgic adventure into a familiar world.” 

    After fourteen years, the most popular dinosaur movie franchise is back with its fourth instalment under the creative direction of Colin Trevorrow. Jurassic World has created much stir as the 14-year-long wait solicited much excitement and anticipation. True to its title, the movie once again descends into the dinosaur world which hit the globe in the 90s. 

    Jurassic World seems to take on the events after Jurassic Park (1993), Spielberg’s adaptation of Michael Crichton’s best-selling novel. It gives the impression that The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) and Jurassic Park III (2001) never existed which is absolutely fine since the former has lost the charm of the first movie and the latter is a total disaster. The present movie takes us once again to the island of Isla Nublar where the famous park is situated. All sorts of genetically-engineered dinosaurs are bred and raised in the island. The park has been open to the public for twenty years, providing immense tourism and commercialization in the region. It is under the ownership of billionaire Simon Masrami (Irrfan Khan) and as to how, we are not told (must have been confidential). Every year, the staffs keep building better and bigger dinosaurs, possibly wilder and with more teeth. Currently, its star attraction is a colossal croc-like sea creature which shallows its prey in one gulp.

    Two brothers are invited to the island by their aunt Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) who happens to be the park’s manager. Older brother Zach Mitchell (Nick Robinson) is a teenage head-turner while his younger brother Gray (Ty Simpkins) is relentlessly curious who is at the same time anxious about their parent’s imminent divorce. Aunt Claire, who is stiff in her immaculate business outfit and weird hairdo, is quite busy running the park that she misses her schedule with her nephews.

    Claire’s fling is Navy guy Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) who is some sort of gentle-hearted dinosaur whisperer. He expertly trains the Velociraptors and in one sequence, he is seen practicing with the raptors which he has individually named. Owen is under the watchful eyes of Vic Hoskins who secretly harbours a project of militarizing the trained new breed of dinosaurs.

    While the tourists are having the time of their life exploring and enjoying the theme park’s offerings, the management keeps their newest creation – Indominus rex – behind huge walls, away from all forms of life since its birth. But when Owen is tasked to train the new monster, a misfortune happens and the I.rex escapes its cage. All hell breaks loose and the monster is on its killing rampage, targeting both humans and dinosaurs.

    The moment that Jurassic World started, there’s that nostalgic vibe which transports us back to 1993 when the park first opened. The first film was directed by Steven Spielberg and Trevorrow uses similar style in the current film. It is not horribly scary but it is still suspenseful and tense. It is savage but it spares us excessive blood and gore. Spray of blood on the wall, people swallowed whole but head first, and blurred images with creepy sound effects are familiar elements in the first movie which also reasonably work in Jurassic World. 

    Trevorrow is very playful as he effectively mixes Spielbergian style with classic and newer approaches in movie-making. The Claire and Owen romance brings back that oldies macho adventure feel where the rough and brave hero constantly rescues the little frail damsel in distress. The attack of the pterodactyls where humans are picked and played with is reminiscent of those classic man-versus-animals movies. In another sequence, Trevorrow employs the shaky cam technique where the armies transmit helmet-cam feeds as they battle out with the beasts. Of course, CGI has been utilized in the film but Trevorrow made it look minimal and insignificant so that the dinosaurs appear real and do not possess that compute graphic texture. It takes bold risk and skilful mastery to produce such brilliant combination which paid off in the end.

    Another good thing about the movie is its final sequence where it’s the dinosaurs which kill the unruly predator. The film is homage to dinosaurs so it is just proper that they are the ultimate heroes. Though cheesy, that moment where a raptor communicates with the humans and takes a bold charge against the towering I.rex is affecting. So in the final battle of new monster versus raptors-T-rex-croc combo, it’s the ace team that saves the day.

    On the downside, Jurassic World follows the usual man-against-nature formula and hence, it is very predictable in nature. From the beginning, we know who will die and be eaten by the dinos, who will survive, and who will make certain sacrifices. Its plot is very shallow and characterization is thin. Claire is very distracting. She looks like an American red-haired Dora the Explorer. She could have sung the show’s jingle while “flying over hills, jumping over terrains, and running through the forests” in her heels. And Chris Pratt is not helping. It seems he has been uprooted from the universe of the Guardians of the Galaxy and then planted in the dinosaur world. His characters from both films are similar.

    But what the hell, we did not watch Jurassic World for its story and the acting. We are not after the drama. We watch it to see the dinosaurs again and relish the new experiences the park has to offer. It is not disappointing as so much is to wonder and behold in this jaw-clenching and heart-pumping action adventure film.


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