Considering that Jurassic Park is one of my favourite films, when I’d heard they were releasing a reboot after almost 14 years, I can’t say I was anything less than excited. As well as this, the fact that Chris Pratt was being given a leading role was a major plus point, being a fan of both Parks and Recreation and Guardians of the Galaxy.
However, that being said, I came out of the cinema feeling dejected after (finally) seeing the film. The acting was adequate in that I found myself disliking the characters that were intended to be disliked – but what occurred to me during the final credits was that I’d spent an hour and a half caring more about CGI creatures than the human characters on screen. I was more affected by a shot panning across a field of slaughtered Brontosauruses than I was when presented with scenes of a woman being tossed around in the air by Pterodactyls.
Many of the attempts at character development struck me as generic and quite half-hearted in parts, with Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) being revealed to have gone on a date prior to the events in the films diegesis – thus becoming the typical male/female romantic leads before any romantic tension has even begun. Alongside this, in a completely unprecedented scene the two children, Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson), reveal their parents are potentially getting divorced. This revelation comes with virtually no build up apart from a snide and ambiguous remark from their father in the opening scene of the film, and to be quite honest as I was watching it all I could think of was that ridiculous plane scene from Megashark vs Giant Octopus (minus a giant shark leaping at them through the air, but let’s be honest, in a theme park full of dinosaurs that wouldn’t have been too far-fetched.)
Jurassic World is obviously a family film and it’s because of this that it works; the character relationships are simplistic and easy to follow/predict, making it perfect for younger audiences to watch. Furthermore, because the film is one of an already highly established franchise, it can afford to rely on homages to its predecessors (such as; a recreation of the long-grass sequence from The Lost World: Jurassic Park, a similar use of flares to attract a T-Rex as seen in Jurassic Park, and so on).
All in all the film was successful in its continuation of the “playing god and creating dinosaurs is a bad idea” theme, and I thought the Sea World-esque appearance of the water tanks and petting zoos was especially effective in achieving this. Ultimately I feel the film was successful in its status as a family film and a homage to the franchise – but considering this, I felt it was also very underwhelming.
I also left the cinema with a lot of unanswered questions. How exactly did Claire outrun a T-Rex in heels? What happened to the scientist who left the island with the dinosaur embryos? We may never know.