Sunday, May 08, 2016
Directed by Colin Trevorrow and screenplay by Trevorrow, Derek Connolly, Rick Jafa, and Amanda Silver from a story by Jafa and Silver from characters created by Michael Crichton, Jurassic World is the story of theme park that displays dinosaurs to public is suddenly thrown into chaos when a genetically-modified dinosaur breaks loose and all hell breaks loose. Set twenty-two years after the events that was presented in the 1993 film Jurassic Park, the film plays into humanity’s encounter with dinosaurs where a park operations manager and a researcher try to save everyone with the aid of a few dangerous dinosaurs. Starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Jake Johnson, Lauren Lapkus, Omar Sy, Judy Greer, Andy Buckley, B.D. Wong, and Irrfan Khan. Jurassic World is a thrilling and intense film from Colin Trevorrow.
Two boys are sent to the fictional island of Isla Nublar where their aunt is managing a theme park that displays dinosaurs where a newly-created dinosaur has broken loose and creating havoc forcing the aunt and a researcher to stop things. That is pretty much what the film is about as it is film with a simple story yet it also has a lot to offer as it relates what happens when those who play God create something that can’t be stopped. Even as there are those that want to create dinosaurs for means that go beyond what they’re mean to do while there are those who see things differently and actually want to gain the trust of the dinosaurs without disrupting the natural order of things. It’s a film that does say a lot about the ideas of nature but it’s also a film that manages to balance the ideas of sci-fi intelligence with a sense of fun in its approach to action and adventure.
The film’s screenplay, which was largely written by Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly, doesn’t just explore the dangers of re-creating dinosaurs but also what would happen when dinosaurs are created with genetic DNA strains that would allow them to be not just intelligent but also adapt to any kind of environment for their own gain. It’s an experiment that has made the park’s owner in this billionaire, in Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan), uneasy but he is forced to take responsibilities because of the sponsors he had to get to help sell the park who want these geneticists such as Dr. Henry Wu (B.D. Wong) to make the dinosaurs bigger and scarier. The park’s manager in Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) is a workaholic that is asked to accompany her nephews in Gray and Zach Mitchell (Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson) as the former is a dinosaur buff.
Yet, she lets her assistant Zara (Katie McGrath) do the work as Claire is trying to deal with sponsors and making the park more successful but is unaware of what Dr. Wu as well as the park’s security head in Vic Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio) have created. The creation is this hybrid dinosaur known as the Indominus Rex that can do a lot as it’s made one of the park’s experts in Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) extremely uneasy as he’s managed to gain the trust of the velociraptors whom he had been studying. Once the Rex is loose and is killing other dinosaurs, Claire realizes she must team up with Grady to keep her nephews safe as he has a better understanding of the dinosaurs than nearly everyone working at the park. Especially as the more naturally-created dinosaurs are also unsafe from this new creation forcing Grady to have his velociraptors to stop this dinosaur but knows it might not be enough as it relates to the laws of nature.
Trevorrow’s direction is definitely grand in terms of the world that is created where dinosaurs are roaming the Earth but in an environment that they can adjust to with humanity being able to help them as well as be seen by the public as an attraction. Shot largely in Louisiana with a few shots in Hawaii, Trevorrow knows how to maintain something that is large in its scenery as well as the scope of these dinosaurs including one that emerges from the water to eat its food. There are some medium shots and close-ups to play into some of the intimacy as well as moments of terror where Claire, Masrani, and others are watching things unfold in a control room as well as scenes where Gray and Zach find themselves dealing with the Indominous Rex that led them to find the old Jurassic Park. Trevorrow’s approach to suspense is slow-building as it relates to exactly what these people are facing where it’s not just this dinosaur but also in the fact that it is much smarter than they seem to believe and can release other hostile dinosaurs.
Trevorrow also creates that sense of excitement during the second act where some pterosaurs were released where Grady would be the one to regain some control. There are moments of comedy as it includes a few lines as well as some tension between Claire and Grady who had previously dated while there is a moment where one of control room people tried to make out with another. It does play with much of the conventions where Trevorrow knows how to inject moments that aren’t meant to be serious. The film’s climax is quite thrilling where it’s not just about Claire, Grady, Gray, and Zach trying to evade the Indominous Rex but also trying to see if the velociraptors will fight for them despite the fact that they’re outmatched against the Rex. Yet, it would lead to not just a homage of sorts to the original film but also a moment that proves to be exciting and fun. Overall, Trevorrow creates an exhilarating and entertaining film about a dinosaur theme park being under siege by a dangerous dinosaur.
Cinematographer John Schwartzman does excellent work with the cinematography from the way the jungles and woods look with its air of grain in the colors for some of the daytime scenes to the low-key set of lights for the scenes in the control room as well as the eerie look for the scenes set at night. Editor Kevin Stitt does brilliant work with the editing as it is quite straightforward while it does feature some fast-cutting for some of the action though doesn‘t deviate too much in that style so that the audience can see what is going on. Production designer Ed Verreaux, with set decorator Ronald R. Reiss and senior art director Aaron McBride, does amazing work with the look of the park in its entirety and its attractions along with the control room and relics of the old park. Costume designers April Ferry and Daniel Orlandi do nice work with the costumes from the casual look of most of the cast with the exception of the clothes that Claire and Masrani wear as it’s more business-like.
Creature designer Stan Winston does phenomenal work with the look of the dinosaurs in every way and form to create something that looks and feel real. The visual effects work of Tim Alexander, Glen McIntosh, Michael Meinardus, and Tony Plett do superb work with not just some of the set dressing but also in the movements of the dinosaurs including the way the Indominous Rex can shield itself from its enemies. Sound designers Pete Horner and Al Nelson, along with sound editor Gwendolyn Yates Whittle, do terrific work with the sound in the way the dinosaurs sound as well as capturing the chaos in the park in some of its intense moments. The film’s music by Michael Giacchino does a fantastic job with the score by not just creating variations of John Williams’ theme but also create some new pieces for its suspense and moments of intense action.
The casting by John Papsidera is wonderful as it features cameo appearances from Jimmy Buffett as a man running from the pterosaur, Jimmy Fallon as himself in the gyro sphere ride video, director Colin Trevorrow as the voice of Mr. DNA, and Brad Bird as the voice of a monorail conductor. Other notable small roles include Colby Boothman as a new handler at the raptor cage, Eric Edelstein as the Indominous Rex control room supervisor, Katie McGrath as Claire’s assistant who is tasked to watch over the nephews, and Brian Tee as a security leader who tries to stop the Indominous Rex. Judy Greer and Andy Buckley are terrific as Gray and Zach’s parents with the former being concerned about her sister’s workaholic tendencies knowing that she and her husband are going through a divorce. Lauren Lapkus and Jake Johnson are superb in their respective roles as Vivian and Lowery as two control room employees who try to watch over everything with the latter being more of a geek in his work and towards dinosaurs.
Irrfan Khan is excellent as billionaire Simon Misrani who is the park’s owner who tries to deal with the demands for the park to do well where he is concerned about the creation of the Indominous Rex. B.D. Wong is brilliant as Dr. Henry Wu as a geneticist, who appeared in the first film, who would create the Indominous Rex to play up the demands as he would do things that are against the laws of nature. Omar Sy is amazing as Owen’s friend Barry who also has an understanding with the velociraptors where he treats them humanely like Owen. Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson are incredible in their respective roles as Gray and Zach as Claire’s nephews who deal with the dangers of the park with the former knowing a lot about dinosaurs and the latter being a typical but resourceful teenager.
Vincent D’Onofrio is great as security head Vic Hoskins who sees the potential in using dinosaurs as weapons as he believes the Indominous Rex can be helpful. Bryce Dallas Howard is remarkable as Claire Dearing as the park’s operations manager who answers to what the sponsors want as she realizes that the creation of the Indominous Rex is a bad idea where she helps Grady in trying to stop it as well as help her nephews. Finally, there’s Chris Pratt in a phenomenal role as Owen Grady as a former Navy officer who has made a connection with the velociraptors where he sees what the Indominous Rex can do where he tries to save everyone as it’s a role that has a lot of the everyman in being a badass but also being very funny.
Jurassic World is a sensational film from Colin Trevorrow. Featuring a great cast, amazing action sequences, Michael Giacchino’s soaring score, top-notch visual effects, and engaging themes about the laws of nature. It’s a film that manages to not only be scary and fun but also provide that great balance of being an entertaining film with brains. In the end, Jurassic World is an incredible film from Colin Trevorrow.
Colin Trevorrow Films: (Home Base) - (Reality Show) - (Safety Not Guaranteed) - (The Book of Henry) - (Star Wars Episode IX)
Related: (Jurassic Park) - (The Lost World: Jurassic Park) - (Jurassic Park III) - (Jurassic World 2)
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