Director: Colin Trevorrow
cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D'Onofrio, Irrfan Khan, Irrfan Khan
Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard in 'Jurassic World'
23 years after Steven Spielberg blew open the man-interrupts-evolution debate with thrilling imagery of trembling water glasses and green Jell-O, mankind returns to the Central American island of Isla Nublar—smarter, greedier and stupider. The Park is now a self-aware corporate-driven World, one that admits, "Dinosaurs aren't enough anymore". In context of modern VFX-heavy summer blockbusters, never truer words said. Therefore, the villainous remix monster is subtly named 'Indominus Rex', a genetically modified creation that doesn't look as intimidating as the graphics department would like us to believe. Perhaps because we've already seen Skull Island, Apes, Godzilla 2.0 and Lord Voldemort in the last decade. Incidentally, idealism is essayed by Irrfan Khan, whose accent reflects more gene-spliced shades than species on his island.
Anyhow, the emerald-green eyes of Bryce Dallas Howard, who plays the park manager, team up with an alpha-male trainer (Chris Pratt) of raptors (dino equivalent of wild dogs) to stop their most ambitious abomination. But Indominus, who I believe is a sly parable for contemporary formulaic actioners, possesses scattered traits of many animals: She thinks, tricks thermo-scans, camouflages, and most importantly, communicates. Miss Rex resents being called an 'asset'. During a frantic chase, she grunts evocatively to the chasing raptors, which heave and growl in response. This exchange is far more coherent than monosyllabic expressions of shock shared by the human actors.
Director Colin Trevorrow, another filmmaker taking the mainstream leap of faith following a charming first indie ('Safety Not Guaranteed'), tries his best to hat-tip several bestial predecessors.
For all the goofiness entrenched within its franchise roots, this movie has a bucket-load of fun campy set pieces. When flying Pterosaurs invade the spectator area, scenes roughly resemble the ditzy 'Piranha-3D' massacre. Well-conceived underwater shots featuring a regal Mosasaur (ghastlier than Miss Rex) reflect 'Deep Blue Sea', coincidentally a cheese-and-corn spectacle about genetically enhanced sharks. And then there's the baffling cinematic trend of making T-Rex a cult hero. The most ferocious carnivore ever, reduced to a Mortal Kombat figure. Perhaps this stems from the guilt of downgrading its reputation in Peter Jackson's 'King Kong'.
Certain classics, novel and inventive, because of the eras they occupy, don't need to be remade or franchised with similar strokes. Unless one redefines the grammar of its genre ('Mad Max: Fury Road'), it makes no sense; like building the Titanic again and promising passengers a whiter iceberg. Even Indominus, a fair-complexioned creature who takes forward recent female-centric themes, would much rather stay in test tubes.
While the nostalgic child in me is curious, the adult in me is disappointed.
Watch the trailer of 'Jurassic World'