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‘Jurassic World’ roars into theaters, delivers thrills

“Jurassic World” makes its message clear – society is destroying itself through its constant need for things to be bigger and better than ever before. The film pokes fun at this notion by creating an over-the-top action thriller filled with overt and sometimes backwards clichés to demonstrate what consumers truly want.

Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard star in "Jurassic Park." (AP Photo)
Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard star in “Jurassic Park.” (AP Photo)

Using the theme of the bigger and the better, the filmmakers created a visual masterpiece. “Jurassic World” is a combination of human touch and computer generated effects that draws audience members further in with each scene. Theme park consumers wanted a new dinosaur every few years that was bigger, scarier and had more teeth than its predecessors, according to Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), the park’s operations manager. This mentality of course leads to the film’s main conflict because scientists then created a hybrid dinosaur that was out of their league.

The need for larger than life dinosaurs was spurred not only by the park’s fictional consumers, but also by real world consumers of movies. Each year, the standard for action films is raised. Explosions are made louder, weapons become more advanced and more action sequences are incorporated into these films in order to keep moviegoers interested. The filmmakers wanted to show that society’s quickening boredom leads to more innovation, but this often comes at a price.

Simon Masrani (Irrfan Kan), the owner of Jurassic World and CEO of the Masrani Corporation, makes it clear that his goal is to honor John Hammond’s original “Jurassic Park” dream of showing humans just how small they are in Earth’s history. His hopes are overrun by the park’s sponsors who want to tie their name to the over-the-top dinosaurs rather than the “boring” older models.

In spite of the over-the-top action scenes and the explicit lesson in consumerism, at the heart of the film was the essence of classic Hollywood. Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) was the handsome hero and voice of reason within the film. He was often pictured drinking Coca-Cola out of a glass bottle and working on a motorcycle. Grady contrasted the well put-together Dearing, who unrealistically embarked on adventure while wearing a skirt and heels. These clichés are well outdated and do nothing to progress the gender expectations of today’s society. Still, a motorcycle chase and a big kiss after the hero fights off a villain serve as reminders of what makes a movie timeless, even with dinosaurs roaming in the background.

This testament to classic cinematic elements also serve as the film’s biggest flaw. Dearing is seen as the uptight woman who gave up family for career – an instant double standard compared to Grady. Unlike her male counterpart who is seen as rugged and sexy for living life on his own, Dearing is seen as an unfit woman who needs to find a man and children to take care of. Going with the classic movie magic, the writers wrote this story out to a T. There was a lot of potential to make Dearing a strong independent female character who could have been revered by the audience and her peers, but the writers fell short. As a classic action movie the film hits the mark, but its mindset should have been left in the past.

Grady was the core of the movie, a smart-mouthed, know it all, who had more of a connection with scientific mutations than people. Character development was not a major component to the film, but Grady was able to deliver the movie’s main message in a more subtle way, showing the complexity of what humans create when those experiments begin to take on a life of their own. He also demonstrated the density of human experience when he had to keep choosing between his military background and saving his raptors, which the military were trying to exploit.

The film was a true homage to the idea of cinema being a focus on the visual. It would have been just as good if it had been a silent film since the dialogue added little to the blockbuster. Brothers Zach and Gray Mitchell (Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins, respectively) were the representation of the 21st Century family. Zach, a stereotypical teenager, is obsessed with girls and his phone, so much so that he ignores his sensitive younger brother and the unbelievable sights around him. It isn’t until Gray breaks down on the monorail over their parents’ divorce that Zach finally opens his eyes to the world around him. As their brotherly love was supposed to manifest, the lines felt forced and too scripted. But the message was clear, allowing audiences to look past the forced overhaul and see genuine moments while the brothers teetered on the edge of survival with only each other to lean on.

The goal of the film was never to win an Academy Award for “Best Original Screenplay” or even to upstage the original Spielberg series. Instead, “Jurassic World” serves as a truly thrilling film that complements its origins. The film kept constant reminders of the original movie, even using the original “villain” velociraptors to save the day, which made it a genuine sequel to love. There was glamour to the chases and even the last fight scene between dinosaurs rather than humans, kept the audience’s attention at all times. “Jurassic World” was more captivating through its action sequences and bold scenery than through its dialogue and story. By acknowledging the over-the-top nature of the film, “Jurassic World” became a hit that deserves its box office records and praise.

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