Posts Tagged ‘Jurassic Park’

Three years after the destruction of the Jurassic World theme park, Owen Grady and Claire Dearing return to the island of Isla Nublar to save the remaining dinosaurs from a volcano that’s about to erupt but soon uncover a conspiracy that will change the fate of the dinosaurs forever.

Opening with the Mosasaurus destroying a submersible and a Tyrannosaurus attack, J.A. Bayona’s direction is on point as he handles the mammoth film effortlessly. At first Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom appears to improve the ethical conundrums of bringing dinosaurs back to life, building on themes touched on in Spielberg’s 1993 original and the novel source material. However, things take a major turn in the second act.

This instalment offers an impressive (but distracting) CGI loaded destruction of Isla Nublar’s Jurassic Park/World after the eruption. This setup includes a select few of the de-extinct dinosaurs being ‘saved’ only to be used for corporate gain with echoes of The Lost World. Still, the tone shifts to a Halloween-like dark place and Fallen Kingdom becomes a stalker in a mansion, cat and mouse type film.

The latter half offers some serious nightmares for younger viewers and possibly leaves fans of the outdoors feel of its predecessors scratching their heads. While the second half is a brave shift in terms of setting and tone the philosophical points, mostly from an Ian (Jeff Goldblum’s) cameo, are interesting but the message simply feels off and doesn’t really take Kingdom forward.

In amongst the tense well staged action packed set pieces, (drowning in a Gyrosphere springs to mind) and genuinely thrilling moments there are too many unscrupulous cartoon like villains, even more so than its predecessor. Namely Toby Jones Lockwood Estate auctioneer host, unprincipled Dr. Henry Wu (B. D. Wong returns) and there’s corrupt Rafe Spall’s Murder She Wrote-like killer Eli Mills. James Cromwell Sir Benjamin Lockwood, John Hammond’s former partner accent is as out of place as the cloning Scooby doo subplot twist which leads nowhere. On the flipside both Chris Pratt’s Grady and Bryce Dallas Howard’s Dearing are on form and much better performance wise here. Also notable is Ted Levine’s Ken Wheatley, a seasoned mercenary who has a memorable scene with the a newly created dino, part Indominus rex and a Velociraptor, the sociopathic Indoraptor! Trained Blue’s storyline and purpose is never fulfilled, the raptors ‘emotional’ DNA is never used as the weaponised pro-type goes on a hunt through the estate for our heroes and a young girl.

Kingdom returns to the thrills and scares which the first delivered but through no fault of Bayona, over four films, the novelty and wonder has faded. With a post credit scene setting up another sequel you can’t but think that, even with the change of direction, the Jurassic series should be left in Amber.

 *** This review may contain dino DNA spoilers ***

22 years after the Isla Nublar incident, brothers Zach and Gray Mitchell go to Jurassic World, a fully functional dinosaur theme park to visit their aunt but things go awry and she enlists the help from an old flame to save her nephews. Do you want to see Spielberg’s Jurassic Park overgrown and in ruins, the original T-Rex, Mr DNA, Dr Wu, Ian’s mug on the front of yet another novel, Richard Hammond’s statute and a fully functional Jurassic World (park)? Then you’ve come to the right place.

Director Colin Trevorrow offers state-of-the-art CGI, however, less is more and as visually impressive as it is it looses it’s organic feel. The background CGI of the park it’s self is more awe inspiring than much of the dinosaur set ups. Even with the amazing giant water dinosaur it can’t match the original for impact, but it works in its own right as a good ride and piece of entertainment with some notable stand out moments, including an aviary escape, a velociraptor chase and aquarium killing to name a few. To Trevorrow’s credit it flows from scene to scene rather than in the originals set up to set up, yet due to its pace it’s never spends enough time with its characters for you to really feel for them deep down.

Michael Giacchino score and sound design are great complementing the visual effects, especially the climactic fight scene.  The film takes a swipe at American  war policy, commercialism and the like, however, even with four writers including Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Derek Connolly and Trevorrow the dialogue is not as credible as the previous instalments. There’s plenty of nods to the other films, even a throw away line about why the Jurassic Park and World dinosaurs may not look like the dinosaurs that roamed the earth 65 million years ago cleverly batting off any criticism of the creature designs and any factual inconsistencies.

Thankfully there’s no part III annoying screaming and Chris Pratt’s and Bryce Dallas Howard (as Claire Dearing) performances are great. The cast are enjoyable, funny even if a little ridiculous at times. The exploitation military subplot feels a little unnecessary and the dinosaurs are humanised a tad too much robbing World of its fear factor.

Louder and bigger doesn’t mean better and it lacks any subtly, but it undeniably entertains. It’s Westworld with dinosaurs with a few moments that even encompass the Jurassic Park novel, a reminder as to why you fell in love with dinosaurs all over again in the first place.

Although box office spectacles, summer extravaganzas and leaps in special effects Jurassic Park was fairly unrealised compared to Michael Crichton novels. The three films in total grossed a whopping $1,902,110,926, that’s a lot of dino-dough. Here are ;some thoughts on the franchise so far…
In 1993 after queueing forever I watched the much hyped film and left the cinema unfulfilled, I still feel the same way. The effects still hold up well, although the seams between C.G.I, animatronics and puppets are even more apparent it was a mile stone.
Jurassic ParkAlthough Michael Crichton’s book wasn’t fully realised Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation has some fantastic set pieces, notably the T-Rex attack, raptor kitchen action and closing finale.
Sadly, even though superior in scope it’s not as balanced as West World,the in between segments feel like gap fillers and the characters are given little, albeit some witty dialogue, usually from the most developed character Ian Malcolm played by Jeff Goldblum others are are wasted. Laura Dern is good but the script let’s her down at times making her unnecessary dated feminist fodder. Sam Neill is on form but is given some cringe-worthy dialogue usually involving the kids.
The supporting cast are fine, even the child actors are likable and superb. Samuel L. Jackson Richard Attenborough, Bob Peck are solid and Wayne Knight as crook Dennis Nerdy is memorable. Nevertheless, characters fleet in and out, either killed or never seen again. There are a too many cliffhangers and throw away gags. Events appear as just that, events and it doesn’t flow as well as it should. In addition, the editing doesn’t compliment the earlier action or the dialogue scenes as much as in the later half. Too much happens off screen and I don’t just mean the dinosaur shenanigans.
Jurassic Park (Widescreen Collector's Edition)John Williams score is simply wonderful, and the location feel gives it a unique atmosphere. Even with a lack of blood and an archetype hero to root for Jurassic Park still manages to thrill but these magic moments are few and far between compared to Spielberg’s other works.
An entertaining benchmark in effects history but as a dino-bite of cinema but I prefer the flow of Joe Johnson’s third instalment.
Four years after the disaster at Jurassic Park on a nearby island (site B) dinosaurs roam free but InGen a plan to capture and bring the dinosaurs to the mainland.
The Lost WorldSteven Spielberg’s follow up to Jurassic Park bears little resemblance to the novel and is more reminiscent of King Kong. Missing an opportunity to include Dodgson from Crichton’s novel and the first film, both Joseph Mazzello as Tim and Ariana Richards as Lex briefly return. Like Richard Attenborough’s John Hammond they are welcomed, although simply throw away cameos. There’s far too many unnecessary characters in The Lost World, that said, hunter Pete Postlethwaite and Vince Vaughn are notable. Jeff Goldblum returns as Ian Malcolm, but paranoid after the events of the first film and must rescue his partner Sarah Harding (Julianne Moore).
The Lost World: Jurassic Park - Original Motion Picture SoundtrackIt’s welcomingly darker and pacier than Jurassic Park but unfortunately it’s less consistent in tone and feels rushed which is surprising for Steven Spielberg. Nevertheless, the sound and John Williams score is on the money, the practical and visual effects are superb there are some stand out scenes, including the capturing of the dinosaurs, the raptor attack in the long-grass and the T-Rex cliff assault. Aside from the jarring and disjointed closing act set in San Diego, the set pieces flow making it as satisfying as its predecessor.
Overall, The Lost World: Jurassic Park is packed full of dinosaurs but is also full of peaks and troughs.
An odd couple with ulterior motives convince Dr. Alan Grant to go to Isla Sorna (InGen’a dinosaur site B) to find their missing son.
Jurassic Park III: The Original Motion Picture SoundtrackSteven Spielberg’s hands over the directing reigns to Joe Johnston who does a great job at mixing the feel of Jurassic Park and the velocity of the Lost World. The events of The Lost World are mentioned briefly, which is a nice nod and link for fans of the second but it also allows the action to swiftly move on. Jurassic Park 3 injects some surprises, however, they’re mostly reworked, unused segments from Crichton’s first novel. Despite, Téa Leoni annoying character Amanda Kirby, the other players are entertaining enough including reliable William H. Macy and the welcomed return of Sam Neill in the lead role and Laura Dern (in a cameo).
Jurassic Park III (Widescreen Collector's Edition)Although many ideas and themes are regurgitated from the Jurassic Park novels and movie predecessors, it’s all done slicker by ILM, Stan Winston and Johnston. Topped with John Williams original theme and some great dinosaur setups, including a boat attack, the Pterodactyl aviary and T-Rex battle Jurassic Park 3 doesn’t miss Spielberg’s directing magic but isn’t perfect either, it lacks depth. That said, it’s still a tight entertainment ride.