DIRECTOR: J.A. Bayona
This is NOT Jurassic Park and nor should it be.
Let us just get one thing straight: This is NOT Jurassic Park and as the tagline goes, “The park is gone!”. And it is about time too. As many of you will know, Jurassic Park (1993) is pretty much my favourite film of all time; perfectly paced and executed by Steven Spielberg as his team of what can now be classed as movie legends.
They moved cinema into the 21st century a whole seven years early and even now, a quarter of a century later, Jurassic Park still stands up, securing its place in cinema history as an undisputed classic. So is it not about time that we moved on with the grace and understanding that no sequel could ever live up to this gem?
And here, we finally have a sequel which is moving on and gives up a spiritual sequel to the 1993 movie, following the here to unexplored themes of “what happens when the dinosaurs break free of our control and hit the mainland.
Well, sort of.
After two sequels which took us away from Isla Nublar, the home of Jurassic Park/World itself and on to neighbouring contrivances of Isla Sorna, or “Site B”, we returned to the park twenty years later, now rechristened Jurassic World. Disaster would strike again but this time in a fully realised Disney World inspired theme park and the island that was John Hammond’s (Richard Attenborourgh) dream was finally dead.
So, here we are, in the fifth film of this everlasting franchise, now 25 years old and we effectively have a sequel to both the original and the the soft reboot (Jurassic World) (2015). The park is gone and to make sure that does not return, it is destroyed by a volcano. Plausible maybe, but a bit of a stretch.
After about 45 minutes, lava has consumed what was left of Jurassic World and our heroes are on their way back to America with the last surviving dinos, which are to sold on the black market. Meanwhile Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) is back in a cameo, testifying as ever as to the need to let them go extinct.
Open the second act with Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) trying to save the dinosaurs and sabotage the black marketeers who are operating from Hammond’s old partner’s, Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell), estate. It is here that they discover the true extent of Hammond and Co’s cloning abilities and the dino action continues to thrill.
In short, the action is great, kept afloat by fast pacing and decent performances, even though Pratt seems to have become an action hero which is somewhat out of step with the original’s tone.
But that is the point. This is NOT Jurassic Park and 25 years later, it should not be. The tone has evolved in to a straight forward action thriller and is directed as so, with great effect. Yet even though the story involves lots of running away from mutant dinosaurs and campy mercenaries and pantamine villainy, this is a thoroughly entertaining romp as well as the most original take since The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997).
Jurassic World (2015) was essentially a loose sequel to Jurassic Park (1993) but like The Force Awakens (2015) was to Star Wars (1977), it was a soft remake too. Here we have the sequel to Jurassic World in terms of characters and situations, yet we are loosely exploring the issues and themes debated so skilfully in the original.
Yet due to it blockbuster sensibilities, if fails to engage on the issues half as much as it wants too. A step above lip service but still, the philosophical debates take a back seat to the action. But the action is enough to carry this movie which will certainly entertain a wide demographic.
So, if you are expecting a classic, think again but if you are expecting a action romp with thrills and spills, this is your movie.
In the words of Ian Malcolm; “Welcome to Jurassic World”