IR Film Review: JURASSIC WORLD [Universal]

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The tricky question when you decide to relaunch a franchise is do you reboot it or do you pay homage and continue a story from before. With something like “The Fast & Furious”, you had to go back to what worked initially which was the original cast. With “Jurassic Park III”, that didn’t work because you took this great couple (The Grants) with push and pull chemistry and made them divorced. A similar thing happened with Dr. Malcolm (played by Jeff Goldblum) who was a stellar character in the first one because of his humor but became more stoic in the second one. The thing that filmmakers need to understand is that many of these franchises are simply designed to be theme park rides. You don’t have to get into deep mythology. Just make sure it hits some notes for hardcore fans and stays on track and, above all, doesn’t take itself too serious. Case in point is its leading actor Chris Pratt, who through some cosmic coincidence has basically become the new era’s Harrison Ford of the early 80s. He is at the exact right age (36). Ford didn’t make his bones in Star Wars until that age. Here he has enough gravitas to make you believe that he could do some of the stuff with the raptors that he claims to do. The other is pure charm which he makes look fairly effortless which with marks and everything is not as easy as it looks. As Starlord in “Guardians Of Galaxy”, he could come off as fairly inept and still remain likeable. Here, there is a little more meat but not much. However, it gives definite creedence that he could play Indiana Jones. Bryce Dallas Howard does the same thing with her role which is less defined but definitely intersperses with the spirit as needed. She and Pratt work well off each other and have chemistry is a cartoonish sort of way. It is similar to Starlord with Zoe Saldana’s character in “Guardians”. Essentially, he makes her laugh. The secondary plot involving Howard’s two nephews is meant as a throwback to the original film. Compounded by the possible divorce of their parents thrown in as a device, it does provide a level of emotional connection. I saw it as a ploy but it still worked. The reveal of a certain location and props from an earlier film does connect the story lines as does the reveal of a protagonist at the very end. The ending sequence beyond spectacle has a little bit resonance beyond the final shot but it is more interesting getting there, especially with certain aspects of the raptors. “Jurassic World” might not be the greatest film but it is the best “Jurassic” since the original.
B-

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