Jurassic World (2015) Director: Colin Trevorrow
“No one is impressed by a dinosaur anymore.”
Well yet another franchise has fallen down the rabbit-hole in the 21st century. Jurassic World is a mostly brain-dead, indulgent CGI-festival of cynicism. It introduces us to a new theme park called “Jurassic World” located on the original Isla Nublar island and we experience it through the eyes of two young brothers visiting for a weekend. We are then introduced to the annoying managers of this park: Chris Pratt as Owen Grady, an amusingly skilled and heroic former military man; and Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire Dearing, the frustrating and mostly incompetent CEO of Jurassic World. The two visiting children are the nephews of Ms. Dearing, but she is unable to give them much attention. For some reason, dinosaurs are now perceived as “boring” so the staff and scientists led by Dr. Henry Wu (B.D. Wong, the only character to return from the original) have created a vicious new mutant genetic hybrid known as the Indominus Rex, and Grady has managed to train a cohort of raptors, for which a military contractor has taken an interest. At any rate, the Indominus Rex exhibit shows claw marks on the walls which is soon revealed to be an attempt to lure people inside so she can escape. The Indominus Rex is revealed to be an absurdly intelligence being –because she also ripped out the tracking sensor implanted under her skin, and somehow had the foresight to know her human captors were using thermal imaging heat tracking. While the Indominus runs amok throughout the park, the raptors are unleashed, and the park is evacuated. In the end we see a nod to the conclusion of the original Jurassic Park, in a ridiculous fight scene in which the classic T-Rex teams up with a raptor to battle the Indominus Rex (it is a metaphorical battle between the old and the new) until a giant sea creature suddenly snags the Indominus and drags it down to its death. The film ends with all the remaining people escaping the island, while the T-Rex stands atop the now-abandoned theme park in a bit nostalgia for Jurassic Park fans.
Jurassic World is a rollicking adventure if you can shut your brain off for a couple hours and simply enjoy all the explosive special effects. The idea of the Indominous Rex serves as a kind of meta-commentary on the nature of endless Hollywood reboots of zombie franchises –each one a new hideous genetic hybrid, reliant upon an infectious audience hungry for the shock of the new. Jurassic World offers a winking perspective from writers who are fully aware that a sequel for Jurassic Park can only ever be contrived or superficial. Still, this kind of self-aware franchise reboot is the right movie for a certain kind of moviegoer these days.