In 2015 Jurassic World brought the “Jurassic Park” franchise back to life and it did so in a huge way. Jurassic World absolutely destroyed the box office in a way that nobody could have predicted. It made over 1.6 billion dollars worldwide which makes it the 5th highest grossing movie of all-time. That success showed that there was a still a strong passion for the franchise. For the reboot, Collin Trevorrow stepped in to direct (Spielberg remained as an executive producer for this film as well). At the time Trevorrow was a relative unknown with only one full-length feature to his credit. A pretty solid cast that featured Chris Pratt aided him; who at the time was as popular as anyone else in Hollywood. Pratt was great as Owen. He was incredibly charismatic, fun and funny, which is no surprise. This type of role is perfect for Pratt because it gives him the room to be a bit goofy and the opportunity to be an action hero. He brought energy and fun to the film and he is a large part of why this film is so enjoyable. Along side Pratt was Bryce Dallas Howard, Nick Robinson, Vincent D’Onofrio and Jake Johnson. Each added something fun and necessary to the film and helped to create an overall experience. That is the real key to the success of Jurassic World; Trevorrow was able to create a fun experience that people wanted to be apart of.
Creating an experience is what this franchise is based on. Jurassic Park was filled with wonder and excitement that quickly turned to fear and anxiety. Spielberg captured these emotions perfectly and that’s why the film worked. The problem with reboots is how do you recreate something that the audience has already seen? For Trevorrow it was building a new experience from the one created by Spielberg. Jurassic Park was about an actual theme park that was hoping to be opened but never got the chance. Jurassic World brought that theme park to life. There is an incredible establishing shot earlier on in the film that introduces the audience to the park and what is there. Underneath that shot the Jurassic Park theme plays and it brought back the wonder from the first film. Jurassic World is a place that I want to go because Trevorrow was able to capture just how spectacular a place it is. He didn’t just capture it in that one shot though; he spent time developing it. We follow Gray and Zach as they go to different attractions within the park. The combination of their excitement and the spectacle of the attractions themselves help to show how great the park truly is. That was the key, Trevorrow made an experience because he was able to create a place that we all want to go to.
The Jurassic World experience becomes all the better when Trevorrow takes away the fun theme park and replaces it with a terrifying situation. This is another part that is a call back to the first film and one that they got right. Having a huge terrifying dinosaur terrorize a theme park is a thrilling time. It was all the more thrilling because the Indominus Rex is incredible! It’s monstrous, fast, terrifying and a lot of fun to watch. It was also a smart move for them to move away from the T-Rex being the biggest and baddest and move on to something that is even more imposing. This made the final hour of the film incredibly thrilling because you had no idea what was actually going to happen. This film has to work on two different levels in order for the film to work as a whole. It has to bring the childlike wonder in dinosaurs and the absolute fear that they would bring. Jurassic World brings both of those elements and because of that ends up being a solid film.
Trevorrow and his team of writers (Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Derek Connolly and himself), tried to do a couple of other things that varied in its success. They touch on the morality of gene splicing to create these animals. That led to a fascinating conversation between owner of the park, Masrani (Khan), and his lead geneticist, Dr. Henry Wu (the returning BD Wong). Masrani wonders why they would make a dinosaur that can do all of the things that the Indominus can do and Wu explains that you can’t ask for a scary predator without getting a scary predator. This is a very interesting conversation and works in a vacuum but the problem is the film doesn’t spend hardly any time there and doesn’t go any deeper. The same can be said for the pro animal message that is presented with Owen. Hoskins (D’Onofrio) wants to use the raptors as weapons and Owen believes that humans can’t control them and that they shouldn’t be weapons. This doesn’t really work as a storyline. D’onofrio is great, but in this he’s a caricature of a real person. It would have been better if they would have left that storyline alone. Overall Jurassic World is good and a lot of fun, which is all you can really ask for. The cast is fun, especially Pratt, it’s thrilling, exciting and thoroughly enjoyable. Jurassic World isn’t meant to be much more than that and if you don’t think about it you will have great time watching it.