If the pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don’t eat the tourists.

If Jurassic Park was a commentary on the dangers of wide-eyed wonder, Jurassic World could be a commentary on the misgivings of sequels and remakes.  Over 20 years after we watched, mouth a-gape, at dinosaurs really walking the earth, did we really need to see it all over again?  After all, even with the odd T-Rex loose in San Diego here or Spinosaurus there, the adaptations to Michael Crichton’s original novels pretty much follow the same template:  The arrogant naivety of humans giving way to sheer terror and lots of horrible ways to die by the most efficient killing machines ever to walk the earth.  All the while punctuated by running, climbing and screaming.  All interspersed with some philosophising and why playing God will inevitably bite you on the ass.

Why then indeed even make another Jurassic/Lost/Park/World?  Particularly if you are going to be clever by examining the necessity?  The answer is that you intertwine it.  People are always going to want to see dinosaurs on the big screen.  Especially if they are doing all they can to shred their captors using the gifts evolution gave them.  The possibilities are endless the more species you can cram in.  So why not make a new one?

This is the thinking of InGen.  The corporation behind all the prehistoric tinkering.  Mash up exciting parts of the already existing attractions and have more people come in droves to see something they think is new.  Starting to see the parallels yet?  However, Jurassic World actually pulls off the trick of being a little meta while still earning it’s place in the pantheon.  You’ll never be wowed the same way as that long-necked Brachiosaur pulling leaves from a towering tree, but you can still be thrilled by vicariously putting yourself in harms way of the biggest and fastest teeth and claws ever!

Jurassic World knows it’s audience.  So rather than waste time explaining we establish the setting, characters and dangers early on and do something that’s as much a gamble as playing it safe.  It delivers on your expectations while nodding to it’s progenitor.  There are still some pleasing twists, even if they don’t make sense (such as dino-social hierarchy or just how many things can you splice into a dinosaur?), but this makes the salutes to the original all the more satisfying for those paying attention.  Not only are there mentions of John Hammond and visual homage’s that will make you clap with glee, but great care has been taken to update this world using the building blocks of the first film.  Even if the narrative template of Jurassic World is also taken from it’s original, it doesn’t rest on it’s laurels.  There are some genuinely tense moments here and not all from the benefit of having a carnivore the size of dump truck snapping at your heels.

Where Jurassic world really succeeds is by the suggestion of something new while hot-stepping over the failings of the previous sequels, even if it has to jump the Mosasaur to get there.  The trick is to not question it.  You bought a ticket to watch dinosaurs, so you’re only hurting your enjoyment if you start questioning the logic.  The best thing you can do is strap in and enjoy the ride.  You’ll get a lot more out of it, if you do.

4* – Pest World

Comment