A new theme park is built on the original site of Jurassic Park. Everything is going well until the park’s newest attraction–a genetically modified giant stealth killing machine–escapes containment and goes on a killing spree. (IMDB)
Writer: Rick Jaffa (screenplay), Amanda Silver(screenplay)
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins
Run time/Rating: 124Minutes/ PG-13
Popcorn Score: Large Popcorn
The best summer “blockbuster” in recent memory is constructed from the sum of many calculated and specific pieces. I now know what it takes to make a half a billion dollar movie.
Jurassic World is a really fun time at the theater. The dinosaurs are bigger and better and scarier than 20 years ago – just how the new Jurassic World theme park wants their dinosaurs to be. The theme park/zoo most closely resembling Universal City or Disney World in Orland is a corporate haven, equipped with resort hotels, a Brookstone, Starbucks a Margaretville, and genetically engineered super dinosaurs. All but the dinosaurs being very noticeable sponsors to help cover the cost of the $150 million epic summer flick.
The theme park director is Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) and she is an empowered business women who sees people coming through the gates enjoying themselves as little more than attendance subjects for satisfaction surveys. She has no consideration for the dinosaurs which have been brought back from extension and are living exclusively in captivity. Enter Chris Pratt’s Owen, who is an ex-navy animal training expert who would most likely prefer to leave the corporate infrastructure of Jurassic World and run with the prehistoric beasts in the wild.
Meanwhile, Claire’s two nephews were shipped to the park in Costa Rica to enjoy some time with the dinosaurs and their distant Aunt. As good as Claire is at running a theme park, she is equally bad at watching over a pair of pre-teen and high school aged boys and they quickly become stranded in a park where dinosaurs are loose.
The engaging story proceeds from here with Owen and Claire chasing after the boys all while the park full of tens of thousands looks to escape an increasingly dangerous island.
This Mega-Movie has everything included to make it a hugely popular money maker. It consists of all of the right pieces and they all fit perfectly into the puzzle. There is the leading story with Chis Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard – the “will they won’t they” romance filled with flirtatious jabs all while they are fighting dangerous dinosaurs. With those two pieces the young adult crowd is covered whether they are looking for romance or action. Add in the two teenage boys to attract the millennials in droves. The audience which will go back to a movie 2, 3, 4 times. The older of the two is leaving at home his high school sweetheart whose last words to him before he leave are “I love you”, she waits indefinitely for his answer while he goes to the Costa Rica and passes smiles and gazes with every other girl in the park. There is the requisite bit comedy piece played by Jake Johnson, who comically steals every scene he is in as one of the Park computer engineers. Finally, in the most obvious demographic grab, the piece to resonate with the older crowd consists of the young boy’s parents going through a divorce. This storyline consists of nothing more than a few lines and seconds of screenshots but effectively hits home with the parents – divorced or not – along with some of the millennials and the 30+ something’s who perhaps have seen their parents go through a situation like this.
Does the perfect formula equal the perfect movie? Most of the time I would say no. More often than not a movie built to please comes off too obvious and with not chemistry, no real emotion. Although Jurassic World falls into this trap to a certain degree, it might be about as good as a movie of this magnitude can get.