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Review: Despite Its Cheesiness, ‘Jurassic World’ Is a Visual Thrill

Review: Despite Its Cheesiness, 'Jurassic World' Is a Visual Thrill

To be completely transparent, I will go ahead and say that I’ve never seen the films from the original “Jurassic Park” saga. I was a toddler when the first film was released, and I never had any real desire to go back and watch them. With that being said, I completely understand the hoopla surrounding this latest installment of the Jurassic narrative. 

Originally the forth film was slated for release in 2005, but the project was pushed back for a decade. The delay may have been a good thing, because “Jurassic World” really soars with Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard helming it. 

Set in the lush tropics of the fictional Isla Nubla, off the coast of Costa Rica, “Jurassic World” boasts both thrilling attractions and safe family fun. The theme park’s directors have learned from Jurassic Park’s disaster, and this time around they are prepared if anything goes awry. Still, the theme park’s CEO is dissatisfied, as he realizes that twenty-first century citizens are not easily entertained. Just as quickly as technology is introduced, it becomes obsolete. Dinosaurs themselves are no longer the jaw-dropping attractions that they’d been in the past. In an attempt to boost sales and attendance, the CEO and park sponsors begin seeking bigger and better thrills.

Dr. Henry Wu (B.D. Wong), the park’s chief geneticist has been tasked with creating the park’s latest attraction, the Indominus rex. The Indominus is a hybrid dino that is larger than a Tyrannosaurus rex, and has been held in a military enforced cage and fed by a crane for its entire life. Claire Dearing, (Howard) the parks’ operations manager has been tasked with containing it until it is ready to be presented to the public. As you can imagine, when humans try and confine prehistoric animals into man-made habitats things don’t go according to plan.  As expected, the genetically modified Indominus escapes its cage, and begins wreaking havoc on the theme park.

In an effort to save the park and its 20,000 plus visitors, Claire seeks out Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and his assistant Barry (Omar Sy), former navy men who train the vicious raptor dinos. They duo are essentially dino whispers, and they seem to be the only ones with any sense throughout the film. In the midst of all of this, Claire’s nephews Zack and Gray are visiting from the states. This might have not have been problematic had Claire not been ignoring them in favor of her insane work schedule.

If you can get past the somewhat cheesy dialogue and generic plot lines, “Jurassic World” proves to be quite a bit of fun. Pratt and fellow funnyman Jake Johnson “(New Girl”) are comedic gold, and Howard is captivating onscreen as usual. A surprise cameo and relics from the original films, make it a Jurassic lover’s dream. Still, it’s the film’s visuals that won me over. The dinosaurs were so gorgeously life-like that I was left speechless. You could see everything from the veins in their necks, to the moisture in their eyelids. You can imagine then, just how much better the film looks as a result of the ten-year delay.

“Jurassic World” is a visually striking thrill, packed with enough adventure to leave even the most cynical 21st century viewer in awe. Though the storyline itself brings little originality, its cheesiness is oddly endearing.

Oh and spoiler alert, the Black guy survives.

Aramide A Tinubu has her Master’s in Film Studies from Columbia University. She wrote her thesis on Black Girlhood and Parental Loss in Contemporary Black American Cinema. She’s a cinephile, bookworm, blogger, and NYU + Columbia University alum. You can read her blog at: www.chocolategirlinthecity.com or tweet her @midnightrami

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