Jurassic Park was the biggest box office hit of the summer before it even came out. The anticipation and excitement over this film was almost unprecedented, and with good reason. Everyone loves the original Jurassic Park films. How can you not? There’s dinosaurs, pretty music, and Jeff Goldblum. The original Jurassic Park movie is a classic, and right now Hollywood is into rebooting 1970’s classics. Star Wars is the obvious example, plus the rumors over another Indiana Jones film.
But of course, creating a new part of an established cinema legacy comes with a lot of pressure. Everyone loves the original Jurassic Park movie(s), so they are expecting a spectacular film. Something reminiscent enough of the original franchise to evoke nostalgia, but something creative enough to feel like something new. I believe the box office numbers will support the thesis that Jurassic World achieved both of these things.
Chris Pratt as Owen
I’m not going to lie; I teared up a little the first time Jurassic World played John’s Williams beautiful theme. That, more than anything else for me, brought forth a strong feeling of nostalgia for the original movie. But Jurassic World also included some comedic references to the original film (one of the tech guys is wearing a classic Jurassic Park shirt and gets grief about it from Bryce Dallas Howard), as well as an actual visit to a ruined part of the original park. These scenes tied the new movie to the old, but they didn’t dwell on the past. Rather, they honored it as they moved forward.
After three Jurassic Park movies, the real challenge for the creators of Jurassic World was to find a new twist to the old story–park full of dinosaurs, dinosaurs get loose and eat people. We’d already had the bad boy T-rex, the menacing raptors. So Jurassic World went for something totally new: a brand new dinosaur. It was staged perfectly. The park needed something new to keep people’s interest, and so did the movie, so a new hybrid dinosaur is born. It’s intelligent, big, and very carnivorous. Audiences had a new ‘king’ dinosaur to hate/fear/wonder at with the Indominus Rex.
Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire with Chris Pratt
But the people behind Jurassic Park didn’t just stop at something as basic as creating a new dinosaur. They also evolved the old ones, particularly the raptors. Anyone whose seen any of the old Jurassic Park movies knows that the dinosaur you really have to fear is not the T-rex, but the raptor. But in Jurassic World, raptors have formed a tenuous relationship with their trainer (Chris Pratt). Now, some of the dinosaurs are the good guys.
The actors are great. There are the required children–every Jurassic Park movie has to have kids. The kids are a little cliche with their parents going through a divorce, but almost getting eaten by dinosaurs brings them together. Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt are the stars. Howard is the no-nonsense manager of Jurassic World, efficient if a little cold at times. Chris Pratt is the raptor trainer, for lack of a better title. As the kids attest, he is awesome. And he and Howard have great chemistry.
Nothing brings brothers together like trying to avoid getting eaten.
The supporting actors are also great. The owner of the park, played by Irrfan Khan, reminds the characters and audience why Jurassic Park/World is so special. He keeps the big picture in mind. There are also a couple of tech/operations characters that keep things fun and engaging.
I don’t think anyone will be disappointed by Jurassic Park. The dinosaurs are amazing, the characters are a great. It is a great homage to the original films while making the franchise fresh and relevant again. I loved it. All my friends who have seen it loved it. It is definitely the must-see film of the summer.