We’ve seen them before — a 10-year-old boy brimming with wonder and enthusiasm (Ty Simpkins); and his older brother, a sullen, girl-obsessed teenager (Nick Robinson). They play stereotypes in the perfect nuclear family — the kind of family that seems to exist in sitcomland. But while there isn’t a laugh track to “Jurassic World,” the movie’s every bit as manufactured as “Leave It To Beaver.”
Directed by Colin Trevorrow and written by Trevorrow, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver and Derek Connolly, “Jurassic World” is a fitting and modern sequel to Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park.”
Trevorrow’s film picks up 22 years after the events of “Jurassic Park” — to a time when Dr. John Parker Hammond’s (Richard Attenboroug) dream of a theme park filled with dinosaurs is a reality.
Operated by Masrani CEO Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan) and his Senior Assets Manager Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), Jurassic World has been open to the public since June 2005 (that was Universal Studio’s originally scheduled release date).
Dr. Henry Wu (BD Wong) and his team of genetic engineers at InGen Technologies have filled the island of Isla Nublar with Apatosauruses, Ankylosauruses, Stegosauruses and Triceratops. But dinosaurs aren’t enough anymore, says Dearing: “Consumers want bigger, louder — more teeth.”
And Trevorrow and his team of special effects artists and animators deliver.
Sixty-five million years ago velociraptors and mosasaurs were smaller and pterosaurs couldn’t carry human-sized objects. But those aren’t Jurassic World’s only creative liberties. Dr. Wu and his scientists have manufactured a new and scarier breed: the Indominus Rex. And we, the consumer, get to see him in all his IMAX 3D glory without the fear of being eaten ourselves.
For the most part, “Jurassic World” follows the same prehistoric storyline as its predecessor while giving us new characters to chew on. Simpkins and Robinson play Dearing’s nephews, Gray and Zach, who visit Jurassic World to spend time with their long-lost aunt. Chris Pratt (“Guardians of the Galaxy”) is Owen, a velociraptor trainer who’s the human alpha to a band of four velociraptors. Howard’s Aunt Claire, the no-nonsense park manager who’s more concerned about Jurassic World’s profit margins than practicality (as evidenced by her high heels). And Vincent D’Onofrio’s a scheming businessman who wants to sell velociraptors to the military as new weapons of mass destruction.
Are they enough to chow down on? Not alone. But “Jurassic World” is manufactured from two decades worth of wonder, fear and nostalgia. It’s marketing strategy’s already earned Universal Studios $524.1 million worldwide during the film’s opening weekend —proving that the franchise is far from extinct.
If anything, “Jurassic World’s” familiarity is as welcoming as going to Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios or SeaWorld. It’s main attractions are the stories and animals we know and love. And whether we’re 10 or 100, we’ll visit this park again and again and again.
“Jurassic World” was directed by Colin Trevorrow and written by Trevorrow, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver and Derek Connolly — loosely based on Michael Crichton’s novels. The film was supervised by producer Steven Spielberg.