JURASSIC WORLD Movie Review
It’s impossible to argue that Colin Trevorrow has some insightful observations to make about consumerism and corporate excess as audiences are invited back to Isla Nublar, home of the disastrous events that unfolded in Jurassic Park (and now Jurassic World). It’s the sight where dinosaurs are now genetically altered out of greed to keep jaded tourists interested and willing to keep spending money on merchandise and admission. Unfortunately, Trevorrow spends no energy establishing interesting characters, compelling narrative nor any sense of awe or wonder. Trevorrow has in fact created the movie that he has spent much of his creative energy criticizing and offers no solutions to the problem.
A pair of young siblings Zach and Gray Mitchell are the characters served to guide the audience on this new adventure as they visit their aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), who happens to be the park’s operations manager. Although she isn’t in a hurry to spend much time with them. There’s a dramatic subplot involving their parent’s pending divorce that is strangely dropped as soon as it’s introduced. Much like the circumstances of Claire’s relationship with the Velociraptor trainer Owen (Chris Pratt), it becomes a missed opportunity in establishing any sense of who these characters are and why I should care if they live or die. In fairness to Howard and Pratt, they certainly seem to make the most out of what they had to work with, but Owen is a character who’s destined to fail from the get go. Never once does this character show any internal conflict or weakness, he’s a one dimensional hero archetype that not only isn’t relatable but a character whom I never felt was in any sense of danger.
The Indominus Rex is a hybrid killing machine basically symbolizing the wants that self-entitled fans demand in their beloved entertainment properties and rids the narrative of helpless characters with a body count that would make Jason Voorhees blush. The contempt that Trevorrow seems to have against his own narrative is never more clearly displayed than the cold and undeserving comeuppance of Claire’s assistant. This plays as another excuse to jolt the audience with something to make up for the lack of drama or characterization from the human characters. There is some inspiring cinematography from John Schwartzman who really breathes life into the exterior jungle scenes. He actually shot this on 35mm and 65mm film, even using one of the 65mm cameras used on 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s a shame that most of the gorgeous background is mostly distracted by uninspired mayhem.
Colin Trevorrow wasn’t offered this project with a clean slate and some of the creative choices were implemented by Stephen Spielberg from the very beginning. That being said, Trevorrow essentially ended up with final cut on this movie and any fault with the narrative, tone and overall end result deserves his fair share of the credit or blame. I think Trevorrow has some really good ideas. With a better focus on the narrative, he could have made this one hell of an exciting, or compelling, monster movie. Perhaps Jurassic World proves that Colin Trevorrow wanted to make a fun monster flick involving dinosaurs, but was too busy complaining about why he was doing it.