Science and Tech Editor, Lewis Norman watches one of the most eagerly-awaited blockbusters this summer. Does it live up to the figures and the hype?
[dropcap size=small]W[/dropcap]hen you consider the impressive figures for Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World, it is unquestionable that this is a film that boasts the potential for a huge cinematic impact. The blockbuster managed to gross $511million worldwide on its opening weekend, smashing box office records. Despite previous speculation that a lot of this may have been due to widespread nostalgia for the original, reports that 39% of the audience being under 25 suggest that we might be dealing with a new, younger demographic, dazzled by the impressive Jurassic universe that Steven Spielberg has created.
And despite perhaps not being initially intended for this demographic, it is undeniable that Jurassic World is the film of the year for the imaginative youngster, awe-struck by the impressive CGI that brings their favourite and most feared prehistoric creatures to life. In fact, before all hell breaks loose and these creatures start escaping, the first 20 minutes film seem to act as a visual representation of every young boy’s dream – a flashy, interactive prehistoric zoo. Whilst we were treated to breath-taking panoramic shots of expansive enclosures and high-tech attractions I appreciated how this review would be vastly different had I written it 13 years ago. Jurassic World is a rollercoaster ride, not a piece of art, and should definitely be treated that way.
Luckily for myself, the five-year-old within me is still quite strong and I spent a good period of time during this film thinking ‘damn, that was awesome’ – and there’s nothing wrong with that. The minute the genetically-synthesised Indominous Rex manages to break free from its enclosure we barely go 5 minutes without genuine edge-of-your-seat action. It does seem to err a little on the side of ridiculousness at times; towards the end of the film we see a helpless velociraptor flung into a shop window and apparently explode for no reason. If that doesn’t scream ‘Michael Bay’ then I don’t really know what does.
Unfortunately, where Jurassic World is technological wet-dream, it is let down by a disappointingly lacklustre plot and frustrating character development. Perhaps most frustrating is the role of lead actor Chris Pratt whose generally bubbly personality seems wasted on a role that is essentially a Jurassic action man. Pratt played the role perfectly but I couldn’t help but feel that his talents weren’t used to their potential; this movie is hardly going to assert him as one of the most promising actors of our generation – a status I wholeheartedly feel that he deserves.
The main issue with Jurassic World is that the writers appear to sacrifice the potential to create relatable characters for cheap thrills. The result: two young (and slightly irritating) boys; an unconvincing lead female who seems to go through all the action without taking off her heels and four velociraptors with more personality than their human counterparts. In terms of plot, if you were expecting anything more than the classic ‘dinosaur escapes; Chris Pratt stops it’ then you might find yourself a bit disappointed. Luckily for Trevorrow, this was all anyone really wanted it to be.
Jurassic World is a perfect addition to a long line of summer blockbusters, in the vein of the “Jurassic” series as a whole. But does it harken back to the sheer brilliance of Spielberg’s original? Not so sure about that one, but maybe I’m just boring.
Lewis Norman, Science and Tech Editor