Sunday, August 2, 2015

Jurassic World (Brockway)

Tropic Sprockets by Ian Brockway

Jurassic World

The days of the Saturday matinees are here again in "Jurassic World" based on the fictions of author Michael Crichton. Previously helmed by Joe Johnston and originally directed by the man who brought "cliffhangers" back to the cinema, Steven Spielberg, this chapter is helmed by Indie darling Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed).

Two brothers Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins) are going to spend time with their bureaucratic Aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) at a new amusement park complex off the coast of Costa Rica, named Jurassic World, a kind of Epcot Center for dinosaurs.

Why the parents (Judy Greer and Andy Buckley) would let their kids go on this trip to begin with is a bit far fetched. But this is a summer film after all.

In true Spielberg fashion, the younger brother Gray is cutely mop-haired, precociously energetic and a die hard fossil fanatic, while Zach can't be bothered. Gray rushes to the gate as if filled with a hundred sodas and Zach lethargically drifts.

While it is no secret about what's coming, this film has a real sense of quickness, escapist joy and most importantly, humor. When the boys go into a capsule for a ride on safari, they are greeted onscreen by Jimmy Fallon who tells them they are completely safe while acting the part of a bumbling scientist in a lab coat.

This segment is one of the best parts in the film.

The great Indian actor Irrfan Khan does well as the zen like owner of Jurassic World and the one character who urges many to recognize the spontaneity and the immediacy of all things.

Chris Pratt is our generically handsome hero-hunk who knows every answer. He is a kind of Jack Cotton from "Romancing the Stone".

Though the plot is outrageous and far from logic, the action never stops. The creatures, too, remain interesting, even though their scaly skins are all too familiar.

Central to the plot and most entertaining is the legendary "Jaws" concept of tourism spun wildly out of control at the expense of human safety and life. Here are throngs of tourists sipping Starbucks coffee as velociraptors gnash their teeth like a Maurice Sendak nightmare.

Keep your eyes peeled for salty songster Jimmy Buffett who rescues his margaritas from disaster before scrambling from the flying people eaters in a cameo. Yes, even Jurassic World comes with a Margaritaville.

Much has been made that this film flies in the face of realism and science in its omission of feathered creatures. But unless you are a purist, don't get your claws distended. This is pure entertainment through and through.

Much of the satisfaction comes from the usual Spielberg touch. A new composer Michael Giacchino includes the original theme by John Williams. Many of the shots are seen from the ground up, another Spielberg touch. Last but not least we have a  pompous overweight man of greed ( Vincent D'onofrio) in charge of defense. Though he is a grown up given authority, he is little more than a baby who wants to be left with his war toys.

No little credit and spirit should be given to both Trevorrow and Pratt in making "Jurassic World" more than a bunch of bare bones. By using their skill together with an affectionate understanding of what it truly means to go to the movies, we might just miss that we have been happily duped, by thinking that everything old is quite new, and even refreshing, once more.

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