If there is any film in contemporary cinema that has endured more production hell (other than The Hobbit trilogy) and release complications, it is the fourth instalment in the Jurassic Park franchise. Having waited since 2001 after Jurassic Park III for another dinosaur adventure, here we are fourteen years later with Jurassic World. The film had numerous chips on its shoulders not only for the long-awaited anticipation but how it will deliver on both in its narrative time setting and its technological advancements. Many audiences were dazzled by the visuals and the spectacular experience of the series before this one (though some could debate about Jurassic Park III) and although it has the odd few flaws, Jurassic World is, thankfully, a huge success and deserves the critical acclaim it is currently receiving.
Like Jurassic Park III, the great Steven Spielberg was not at the helm of directing Jurassic World. He had his own vision of Jurassic Park in the 1990s with the first two films, an era when he was at his prime for adventure films that required a high production scale. This time, however, he did not take charge (though he was executive producer) and instead came Colin Trevorrow, a filmmaker who has made Jurassic World only his second directed film. To an extent, like many rebooted franchises these days, may have needed a brand new cast, director, producer etc to present to a new generation a broader interpretation of the franchise’s narrative and visual scale whilst simultaneously reflecting on the past. In Jurassic World, the plot is identical in many ways to the original Jurassic Park in 1993 (which may have let it down a tad), but the technological advancement caught up with the visual potential of the series and Trevorrow gave us an insane thrill ride. Emotionally, it attained to many aspects of the original film, like the heroic protagonists, the imaginary experience of witnessing dinosaurs for kids, the glorifying extreme-wide shots (like of the park and of dinosaurs in the fields), and the intense and terrifying action scenes. Of course, on a visual scale Jurassic World delivers and it is undoubtedly has the greatest computer-generated effects in the series so far but also narratively, the film is very entertaining and redefines the experience of the 1993 instalment but could have been more original.
It may have been a considerable to challenge to even come close to replacing Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Julianne Moore as the franchise’s leading cast. These days, though, if there’s any leading star with an acting charisma to deliver at the highest level of adventure films, it would undoubtedly be Chris Pratt. His character does resemble Alan Grant in the original Jurassic Park with his standard leading male hero characteristics but Pratt certainly lead a cast that has massively rebooted the Jurassic Park series (and he would be a strong candidate for rebooting Indiana Jones, too). In addition, Bryce Dallas Howard has starred in various films over the years, usually with mixed or failed critical reception, but she shines in Jurassic World as Claire Dearing, the park’s operations manager, and she fits into a similar role as Laura Dern did in the original. Meanwhile, Jurassic World demonstrates the terrified but also dazzling experience of dinosaurs through the eyes of children, like the original. Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson portray brothers Gray and Zach (who are Claire’s nephews) who recreate the original’s adventure for children of their age today.
In some ways, Jurassic World may be considered a remake of the original Jurassic Park than a sequel, mainly because the plot is very similar but with more technological advancements, but this fourth installment is set over 20 years after Jurassic Park and it does provide hints and references to it, but it is a stepping stone to rebooting the franchise. As previously stated, the plot could have been more adaptable away from its original roots but that didn’t stop the film’s enjoyment. Alongside successful rebooted franchises like Planet Of The Apes, Star Trek, Batman, X-Men and James Bond, Jurassic World is the start of recreating the beloved series for another generation and while maintaining the spectacular adventure of its past familiarities. It certainly was worth the fourteen year wait, there is bound to be a sequel to the series (hopefully to be even better) and its original director Steven Spielberg should be proud.