Review: Jurassic World

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“If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it’s that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, uh… well, there it is.”Dr Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park.

By Nick Palmisano

Tyrannosaurus Rex is one of the most represented theropods in the history of dinosaurs on screen. The original beastie, T. Rex gave me both chilling nightmares and feverish dreams of pursuing palaeontology as a child, after being mesmerized in the original film, Jurassic Park.

JURRASIC PARK: T. Rex was undoubtedly the most frightening thing from a 90s childhood. CREDIT: Empire Online

JURASSIC PARK: T. Rex was undoubtedly the most frightening thing from a 90s childhood. CREDIT: Empire Online

The primary reason there are three movies is because we never learn anything. We create dinosaurs. T. Rex is amazingly scary. Dinosaurs eat us. Money is good. Let’s try again. Double the serving of T. Rex. Disaster. One more time. Spinosaurus. Death.

Twenty years on from the events of Jurassic Park and the idiot humans are still not learning anything. Enter Jurassic World, the brand new fourth entry into the beloved film franchise. The park is open! A sight I’ve dreamed for the better part of 15 years. People! Shameless Samsung product placement! Screaming children riding baby Triceratops! Wait. What? Yes, that’s right. Children are literally plodding around on baby dinosaurs, a 165 million year old petting zoo. How delightful!

JURASSIC PARK: “The Park is open.” CREDIT: Agent Palmer

JURASSIC PARK: “The Park is open.” CREDIT: Agent Palmer

However you imagined the park to look once it finally became a fully-fledged tourist destination, I guarantee you’ll be impressed by the length park operations have gone to ensure it feels like you never left Dreamworld Gold Coast. Everything is blue and tropical and beautiful, and the cafes are probably full of $9 milkshakes.

Despite the milkshakes bringing all the families to the yard, the park is struggling. Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas-Howard) is the Park Operations Manager, under pressure from corporate to raise profit and up the ‘wow’ factor. Apparently regular dinosaurs just don’t cut the mustard with attendees anymore. Consumerism at its finest.

There are literally people texting during a T. Rex feeding. Our girl is old news for the younger generation. Don’t worry though, Dr Henry ‘Frankenstein’ Wu (B.D. Wong), (the only cast member to return from the original film) has all the answers. Enter the first hybrid dinosaur, a monstrosity cooked up in the lab a la Walter White style, the Indominus Rex, an amalgamation of a bunch of other quite-scary-enough dinosaurs.

JURASSIC PARK: "Creating this dinosaur is probably the worst idea in the long sad history of bad ideas." CREDIT: Blastr

JURASSIC PARK: “Creating this dinosaur is probably the worst idea in the long sad history of bad ideas.” CREDIT: Blastr

For the fourth time, life finds a way. Indominus is ridiculously smart, powerful, and has the ability to camouflage. Not to mention she’s insane from being kept in isolation. Thus, maverick raptor whisperer and trainer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) gets in on the action courtesy of script-mandated romance with Howard, in an attempt to stop Indominus and rescue Claire’s nephews caught up in the chaos.

It really is quite the spectacle I had been hoping for. Yes, there’s a lot of CGI. Before seeing the film I was of the mind this would detract from the animatronic engineering I admired so much in the original, but this is not the case. There are a ton of trailers online, but none of them truly give away the inner workings of the film, nor its scene structure.

Once again the dinosaurs are the true stars of this film, and it’s a real joy to watch them command the screen, even with the lack of animatronics. There are a lot more dinosaurs this time around, eighteen different kinds to be precise, appearing in many of the locales you would recognize from the original Jurassic Park.

At once a throwback, a commemoration to the original, seminal film, and a fresh entry for the Jurassic Park legacy, there’s a lot here for diehard fans to be excited about, and a lot of nostalgia for those who grew up with dinosaurs.

Jurassic World makes the same mistakes its predecessors did, but it does so with a ton of flair, humour, and cheeky awareness, undoubtedly finding its way.