‘Jurassic’ Knocks it Out of the Park

Jurassic_World_posterIt’s a cliché line, but I don’t care: this is why we go to the movies.

“Jurassic World” is the first film of the Jurassic Park franchise since 2001, and it stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Vincent D’Onofrio. 22 years after the events of the first film, the island of Isla Nublar now features a complete dinosaur-driven theme park. In an effort to boost dwindling attendance, a new hybrid dinosaur is created, which then escapes containment and must be stopped before it reaches the park. Colin Trevorrow directs.

There is so much that “Jurassic World” does right, I don’t know quite where to begin. From the score, to the direction, to the visuals, this movie succeeds on most every level, as both the quintessential summer blockbuster, as well as continuation of the Jurassic Park franchise.

The score of the film is done by Michael Giacchino (who won an Original Score Oscar for “Up”), and he does every scene masterfully. He puts his own little spin on the John Williams classic theme, and every time it starts playing you’ll get goosebumps and be filled with nostalgia.

Trevorrow does a great job directing, too, and just like Giacchino he strikes the perfect balance between the classic style of the first film while still giving it his own touch. When Trevorrow was named director of the film a few years back, many scratched their heads. His only directorial experience was the indie film “Safety Not Guaranteed,” which was about magazine writers covering a guy who wants to create time travel; doesn’t exactly scream “give this guy $150 million to create a dinosaur adventure!”.

But Trevorrow masters the intense scenes, and builds up a shroud of mystery surrounding the hybrid dinosaur, by only giving us small glances for the first third of the film. His camera movements are smooth and the climax is as entertaining and satisfying as anything you’ll see at the movies this year.

Chris Pratt continues to impress and show why he’s Hollywood’s next leading man. Gone are the days of him being the funny fat sidekick; Pratt, just like in last year’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” is a rugged, sarcastic cool Joe that all the guys want to be and all the girls wanna be with. I mean, the dude trains raptors. You should be reaching into your pocket to give the film your money based on that sentence alone.

The film’s biggest problems aren’t really problems, just gripes that took me out of the moment for a second. For example, the whole film is based around the idea that attendance to the park is declining because people aren’t interested in seeing dinosaurs anymore. I find that hard to believe, seeing as zoo’s have been around for 150 years and remain huge attractions, and they aren’t filled with creatures that went extinct 65 million years ago. [shrugs] Just saying…

When you get right down to it, though, this is the perfect summer movie. It has a charismatic star, features amazing music and visuals, and is immensely entertaining throughout. “Jurassic World” captured my childhood fantasies and made me feel like a kid again, and I don’t know of too many movies that have been able to do that.

Critics Rating: 9/10