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First Look: Jurassic World

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The Fourth Film In The Series Suspends Disbelief With A Tale That Is Remarkably Believable, Primarily Thanks To The Real Stars Of The Film: Raptors, Indominous Rex And The Rest Of The CGI Dinosaurs


By Ryan Scott
Modern Times Magazine

June 12, 2015 — Jurassic Park III came out 14 years ago and in most respects, it was a major disappointment for fans and critics alike. Despite that disappointment though, fans have been clamoring for a sequel ever since, and now they finally have it.

It may not be among the best movies of all time, but it is definitely the best DINOSAUR movie of the year and likely the decade.

Jurassic World is more than an obligatory sequel. It has delivered the second best film of the franchise. Nothing can ever totally recapture the magic of the original Jurassic Park, but this film does an incredible job of honoring its legacy.

The film takes place 22 years after the original and it sees John Hammond’s vision of a fully functioning dinosaur Disneyland realized. However, since the theme park has been operating for several years now, the public has started to find the regular dinosaurs a bit mundane, so the park’s genetic engineers cook up a new dinosaur; the Indominous Rex. The new dinosaur proves to be a bit too much to handle ... and chaos ensues.

The cast lacks familiar faces, say for B.D. Wong who is reprising his role as Henry Wu, the lead geneticist at the park. Instead, we are treated to a well rounded cast of fresh faces and rising stars including Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy) who plays the film's protagonist Owen Grady, Bryce Dallas Howard (Spider-Man 3), Ty Simpkins (Iron Man 3), Vincent D’Onofrio (Daredevil) and Nick Robinson (The Kings of Summer).

It isn’t worth picking apart each performance individually, because it is a very solid ensemble cast and everyone in the cast delivers. Sure, some lines are a bit cheesy and not all of the dialogue is Academy Award worthy, but that isn’t why anyone goes to see the fourth movie in a franchise about a dinosaur theme park.

The stars of Jurassic World are the dinosaurs, and that’s the way it should be. The Indominous Rex is a much more convincing terror than the Spinosaurus was in the third film. We get to see the raptors in a new light and don’t worry, the T-Rex is there too. They all get to steal their respective scenes and many more dinos get their screen time along the way.

The first act of the film takes us through the functioning park itself, which is a fun perspective for any fan of these movies. The attractions at the park truly give a sense of genuine wonder and it makes viewers want to defy better sense and say “yes, we should absolutely have a real amusement park with real dinosaurs in it.” Director Colin Trevorrow did a great job of making this feel like something real. It is hard to believe that without Steven Spielberg in the directors chair that this movie is as good as it ended up being.

One major complaint early on when the trailers for this film came out was the use of CGI to create the dinosaurs as opposed to practical effects. Though this is noticeable throughout Jurassic World, it isn’t as detrimental as it was made out to be. Practical effects couldn’t possibly handle what these creations are asked to do in this film. For the most part, CGI was used to benefit the moviegoer.

Jurassic Park  is for a large group of people of a certain age, comparable to Star Wars in terms of what it meant to that generation. This film gives that generation of fans what they have been waiting for since the release of the first film all of those years ago. Though there are enjoyable moments in The Lost World and Jurassic Park III, at the end of the day it was hard to justify those films from a “why in the hell would anyone ever go back to those islands?” sense. Jurassic World gives an actual answer to that question and that is why this film ultimately works.

For the most part, if you are a fan of the original film and are looking to relive some of that magic, Jurassic World will do that for you. The park is open, and you should absolutely go see what the park has to offer, because it is a fun ride.

Ryan Scott is a contributor to Modern Times Magazine. He lives in Mesa.
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