22 years ago an 8 year boy old besotted by dinosaurs, Batman and Star Wars was taken to the cinema. The boy found himself entering a world where the dinosaurs he read about were brought to life in wondrous fashion. Man tried to control the uncontrollable, life found a way, and Muldoon found out how clever a Raptor was. The youngster had seen a film he’d rank as one of the best ever, and still treasures it to this day.
Well, last night he saw the sequel to that film, and he felt 8 years old again.
Looking back at Jurassic Park it was a perfect storm; my age, enormous appetite for anything dinosaur related, and an amazing film coming together to form a massive part of my childhood.
Since that time I’ve seen many a summer blockbuster, and in this age of comic book films dominating the screens I’ll admit I’ve become somewhat desensitised to action and bombast. Even the Avengers draw no strong sense of awe. Marvel fatigue perhaps, however enjoyable each one is. I’ve wondered if that feeling of amazement could ever be recaptured.
Watching Jurassic World answered that question for me. I was so involved, excited and emotional that a tear crept from my eye.
To bring us all back down to earth for a moment, Jurassic World could never top the original. Adding its quality to the nostalgia provided by two decades of repeat viewings has formed an incredible bond that can’t be beaten. So where does it stand in the series?
I won’t be thinking about Isla Sorna or San Diego for a long time that’s for sure.
Director Colin Trevorrow has stood on the shoulders of geniuses to create this updated world, but unlike Hammond and Ingen it seems he is acutely aware of the pitfalls. The film harks back to historic scenes and moments thoughtfully without bashing you over the head with it.
Chris Pratt brings his mixture of cockiness and charm without becoming ‘Starlord with dinos’, whilst Dallas Howard’s Claire makes the biggest transformation through the story and is unarguably just as much a hero. Providing the younger point of view, her nephews prove themselves to be useful and courageous despite their age. The only problem with the cast are the supporting characters, who despite being well appointed don’t get enough time to fully integrate into the story before leaving again.
The creatures themselves are beautifully realised, from a herd of Triceratops and Stegosaurs to Pratt’s band of Velociraptors. A smooth blend of CGI and practical effects negated any need to look for the seams. I could talk about which species appear and how they interact for hours. For now just know that you’ll get all you wanted and more.
Then there’s the action, which though plentiful and riveting, is always in service to the story. Of course it has to look cool and it does, but it’s never pointless. It’s also extremely well staged, knowing when to linger and when to cut quickly, unlike far too many films of recent years. You want hero shots? You’ve got them!
Ultimately any problems are dwarfed by its successes.
You’d have more luck finding a real live dinosaur than getting a film that topped Jurassic Park. Yet despite setting myself realistic expectations I had concerns that I’d leave the cinema deflated.
Worry not. After some consideration, I’ve decided to definitely endorse this park.
Ner ner ner ner ner, ner ner ner ner ner, ner ner ner ner, ner ner neeeerrrrr.