Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Jurassic World (2015) - Recap and Review

Indominus Rex Jurassic World poster wallpaper image screensaver picture

2015 seems to be the year of rebooting/revisiting old movie franchises. Not one but two of them. And both of them have one excellent movie in them, surrounded by others that range from above average to abysmal.

Before Terminator Genisys hits the theatres on July 01, the latest entry in the Jurassic Park franchise arrived couple of weeks back. Jurassic World has everything a moviegoer can ask for - a hero enjoying a hot streak in popular culture (Chris Pratt), a lot of larger than life special effects (CGI dinosaurs) and abundance of nostalgia to wallow in (courtesy of Jurassic Park and the evergreen John Williams score). It is no surprise that the movie has made gazillion amounts of money and broken several box office records.

But is box office success a true indicator of the quality of a movie...

It is park time again and people are flocking to the latest Jurassic park attraction at Isla Nublar. The man in charge, Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan) holds the ideals of the founder, John Hammond close to his heart. Dr. Henry Wu (B. D. Wong) and his team of scientists have cooked up a new dinosaur, Indominus Rex that combines the characteristic traits of several animals.

Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) is the park's operations manager and is too busy with her work to even remember her nephew's names. These lads,  Zach Mitchell (Nick Robinson) and Gray Mitchell (Ty Simpkins) are sent by their parents, Karen (Judy Greer) and Scott (Andy Buckley), so that they can be the movie's dudes-in-distress, to be rescued time and again by Claire and the alpha male, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt).

Chris Pratt alpha male Owen Grady Jurassic World poster wallpaper image picture screensaver

Owen is the trainer of the Velociraptor pack (Blue, Charlie, Delta and Echo). Simon hires him to use his expertise in handling the as-yet-untested Indominus Rex. Like any sensible action blockbuster movie hero, Owen warns the park management that the new dinosaur is a disaster waiting to happen. And like any greedy businessmen would do in a big budget movie, they insist on going ahead with their plans.

Yes, all hell breaks loose and the Indominus Rex escapes its enclosure using a rather ingenious plan. It fools the authorities (including Owen) into thinking that it has already escaped by not only camouflaging itself from the sensors but also inflicting scratch marks upon the gate. Of course, the fact that the gate is still intact and not trampled upon or bent in any way is conveniently overlooked.

Rest of the movie is strictly a by-the-book affair: Lovers are reunited, people realize the value of families and the Evil Dinosaur dies.

Jurassic World represents the typical escapist entertainment that Steven Spielberg has perfected since the 1970s. Ever since he single-handedly doomed the future of Great White Sharks with Jaws (1975), he has been churning out Man Vs Nature nonsense at regular intervals. The most famous example, obviously being Jurassic Park (1994) and its sequel, The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997). He did not direct Jurassic Park III (2001), even though that did not stop him from reaping the profits as an executive producer, just like he did on this movie.

Mosasaurus chasing killing eating great white shark Jurassic World poster image picture wallpaper screensaver

Well, at least unlike the unfortunate sharks, the dinosaurs are already extinct. So nature lovers need not fear any public upheaval against these animals. But Spielberg is not done with sharks yet... To show the sheer size of the Mosasaurus, he has the huge lizard jumping out of water and swallowing a fully grown shark whole. This was the money shot used in the trailer to get public's attention right from the start...

As Spiderman's uncle Ben Parker used to say: With great power comes great responsibility. Spielberg's motto seems to be: “Screw responsibility. Demonize Sharks/Nature and with that comes a great fortune”.

Moving on to Chris Pratt... He has to be one of the luckiest actors to work in Hollywood. After earning the lead role in a Marvel movie, now he is the lead actor in the movie that has grossed over 1 Billion USD in 13 days. I am sure Taylor Kitsch must be cursing his luck..

Click on the link below to buy your copy:

Ron Howard's attempts to make his daughter Bryce Dallas Howard a big star in Hollywood have finally paid off. Bryce has been in a number of high profile movies over the past decade (Spider-Man 3Terminator SalvationThe Twilight Saga: Eclipse, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, Lady in the Water). She must have had a very special Father's Day yesterday.

As to her performance in this movie, it is as bland and unappealing as she has been in the other movies she has done before. Her character is quite unrealistic and can only exist in a movie for the sole purpose of turning over a new leaf and becoming a normal human being by the end.

Scream Kings Nick Robinson Zach Ty Simpkins Gray Jurassic World

The kids in peril role are essayed by Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins. Nick's character (like Bryce's) does not believe in family relationships and... abracadabra! he has a heart-to-heart talk with Ty's character and they are brothers forever. Cliched scenes and plot development like these abound.

The special effects are adequate and not exceptional as was the case with the original movie 21 years ago. The director, Colin Trevorrow (no doubt under the supervision of Spielberg) shrewdly reuses the memorable John Williams soundtrack at crucial scenes in the movie. There are also other nods to the original movie.

In a nutshell: Resist the need to indulge in nostalgia and revisit the original movie instead. Even better, watch a documentary featuring real animals and enjoy Nature.

Click here to read all my movie reviews. 

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Image Sources: Amblin Entertainment, China Film Co., Legendary Pictures, Universal Pictures

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  1. Hey B2B! I loved this movie! I think I went expecting nothing but got caught up in the old school feel. I even gave it 5 stars - which may have been a tad over-enthusiastic! I liked the fact it trod the line well between continuation and remake and, for once, gave audiences exactly what they wanted.

    1. Hi GK,

      I agree with you. As a pure movie going experience, this is an enjoyable movie (much like Jaws and Spielberg's other efforts).

      I just wish he would show more concern for Nature and not just be motivated by the financial returns alone, when making movies.


  2. I thought it was a terrific movie, lots of fun, and I don't mind the "cliched" plot lines. Since pretty much everything is a cliche now and I like having families reunite.

    1. Thanks Carissa for stopping by. I am glad that you enjoyed the movie far more than I did :)


  3. I have nominated you for "The Dragon's Loyalty Award."

  4. Usually I dislike it very much if it seems like a movie is made just so that money can be made, but this movie didn't seem to be like that at all! It was certainly very nostalgic (and I loved that about it) but the fact that the audiences are eating it up is good proof that it's a movie we wanted to see. And the people involved in making it were obviously having a blast, and they put a lot of effort in it to make it as fun as it possibly could be. I know there were a lot of plot holes and cliches, but I think the fun they created was worth it. I thought it was a great movie. But I made sure to re-watch the old ones before seeing it too. :D Nice review, and nice blog!

    1. Thanks Sarah for such a polite way of putting your thoughts across. Many people are prone to taking a far more aggressive tone and choice of words, when their opinions do not agree with mine.

      I agree with you about the movie being a fun cinematic experience. Not all reboots can boast of this accomplishment, as the latest Terminator movie has proved.

      Thank you for following my blog. I hope you will enjoy my posts.