Thursday Night Movie Club
Jurassic World
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Release Date: 12 June 2015

Director: Colin Trevorrow
Chris Pratt
Bryce Dallas Howard
Vincent D'Onofrio
Judy Greer
Jake Johnson
Nick Robinson
Lauren Lapkus
Katie McGrath
Ty Simpkins
BD Wong
Irrfan Khan
Brian Tee
Omar Sy
Eddie J. Fernandez
Andy Buckley
Owen Grady
Claire Dearing
Vic Hoskins
Karen Mitchell
Lowery Cruthers
Zach Mitchell
Vivian Krill
Zara Young
Gray Mitchell
Henry Wu
Simon Masrani
Katashi Hamada
Paddock Worker
Scott Mitchell
Jurassic World movie poster jurassic World movie poster Jurassic World movie poster
Scene from Jurassic WorldThere is something is not quite right at the Jurassic World Theme Park. This is also reflected in the film Jurassic World. Director Colin Trevorrow blatantly steals shot setups from the previous three Jurassic Park films. The result is that the thrill of dinosaurs is gone. Just like the visitors to Jurassic World, the audience has seen it all before!

In "Jurassic Park", scientists created dinosaurs without considering whether they should. Jurassic World concerns passing-the-buck. Everyone passes the blame and responsibility on to someone else. You can almost hear Han Solo whispering in your ear, "It's not my fault!"

InGen, the research and development firm that creates the dinosaurs is still in business. Jurassic World is a separately-owned corporate entity. To protect patents and corporate secrets, the park operators do not know what the InGen scientists are developing. The two companies do not communicate with each other.

Scene from Jurassic WorldJurassic World park owner Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan) is concerned with the profit margin of the park. Every time a new dinosaur is put on exhibit, revenue from tourists spikes. The park needs a new attraction. Masrani tells Dr. Henry Wu (B.D. Wong) he wants a bigger, badder dinosaur. Masrani wants a monster!

Well, O.K. then. Dr. Wu faces a dilemma. DNA is extracted from mosquitos trapped in amber. The gaps in the gene sequence are filled. An egg is fertilized. An embryo forms and the dinosaur is born. Only then do the scientists know for sure what dinosaur they have created. Breeding dinosaurs in the hope that you find exactly what Masrani wants may take decades. It may even be impossible.

Dr. Wu and his team take the next best option. They develop a genetically-modified hybrid dinosaur. Starting with a base framework of a T-Rex, Dr. Wu fills the genetic gaps with specially chosen gene sequences. The result is Indominous Rex. Masrani wanted something monstrous. The name reflects his desire. The end result is unimaginable.

Fans of author Michael Chrichton's follow-up novel "The Lost World" were probably disappointed that his best dinosaur never made it to the screen. Indominous Rex satisfies fan's disappointment and makes the dinosaur even more formidable.

Scientific discovery isn't the only problem facing InGen. The corporation also faces a bottom line. The company must be profitable to further development. Vic Hoskins (Vincent D'Onofrio) has an ulterior solution to raise corporate profits. Hoskins observes Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) training velociraptors. Raptors, trained to follow commands, would make ideal military weapons. Enemy troops, who have no idea there are velociraptors on a battle field, would not stand a chance.

Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins in Jurassic WorldAlthough Steven Spielberg acts as Executive Producer, his finger prints are all over Jurassic World. What would a Spielberg movie be without a dysfunctional family? Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) is the Director of Operations for the park. Her sister, Karen Mitchell (Judy Greer) is divorcing her husband Scott (Andy Buckley). The Mitchell's ship their two sons Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins) to Jurassic World so they can finalize the divorce. Aunt Claire hasn't seen her nephews in seven years. Dearing is too preoccupied with her work to be complicated by family and personal relationships.

Director Colin Trevorrow and screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver carefully and quite deliberately construct the opening of Jurassic World to take the lustre off the dinosaurs. The thrill is definitely gone. Dinosaurs are passť.

Foreboding, suspense and dread start slowly. Dearing proudly shows off Jurassic World's newest asset to Masrani. One of the observation windows is cracked. Dearing calmly tells Masrani, "She tried to escape." Even more disturbing is Masrani's next observation. "Wasn't she white?" Obviously, Indominous Rex changed color as she matured. No problem.

Indominous Rex from Jurassic WorldMasrani is unsure of the containment field around Indominous Rex. He orders Dearing to have Grady "sign-off" on the enclosure. Thus begins a continuing series of homages to the original "Jurassic Park" movie. The homages are cleverly constructed. There is a reverence for what came before while making these references new at the same time.

One look at the enclosure and Grady is very concerned. Grady's background is with the Navy but he has learned a lot about animal behavior from his work with the velociraptors. Indominous Rex has been kept in isolation since her birth. She has already killed her sibling. All Indominous Rex knows of the world is constrained to her small-by-comparison enclosure. She knows nothing about hierarchy, being an Alpha animal, and how big the real world is.

Grady is the only person on the island of Isla Nublar who realizes the full truth to the situation. The geneticists have "not" created dinosaurs. All of the assets are mutations! How can anyone know what to expect?

Dr. Wu and his team of geneticists create dinosaurs. Once the animal is born, they turn all control and responsibility over to the park's operations and maintenance departments. Once the animal is gone, they wash their hands of the whole affair.

Indominous Rex has been engineered to be a very intelligent animal. While Grady is inspecting her enclosure, the heat sensors suddenly fail! The animal has escaped. Grady and two security officers investigate inside the enclosure. Claw marks on the wall clearly show the animal climbed out.

As a security measure, all animals are implanted with a tracking device. The tracking device indicates Indominous Rex is still inside the enclosure. What is going on? Is the animal inside or outside the enclosure?

Chris Pratt in Jurassic WorldWhen King Kong crashes through the gates on Skull Island, the scene is fantastic. Kong pounds on the gates until they crash open. When Indominous Rex sees her opportunity to escape, she smashes the gates like they are made of paper!

Then comes the running and the screaming!

Jurassic World soars into the upper stratosphere. The terror is real. The suspense is palpable. Surprises and terror mount as more background information is revealed about the genetic makeup of Indominous Rex.

Those who ignore the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat them! A delicately balanced ecosystem rapidly collapses into chaos and anarchy. Jurassic World turns into a battle of Man against Man, Dinosaur against Dinosaur, Dinosaur against Man, and Indominous Rex against All! Woman might finally inherit the Earth.

Director Trevorrow cleverly mixes humor with suspense and terror. Brothers Zach and Gray go off-road in a gyroscopic transport. Zach says, "Wow, look at the four dinosaurs." They are looking at a group of Ankielosaurs. "See, One, Two, Three, Four", Zach counts. Gray points to the window of the gryro, "Five." The fifth dinosaur, standing behind them, is reflected in the glass.

Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard in Jurassic WorldThe acting in Jurassic World is nothing to write home about. Pratt and Howard are serviceable. Seemingly, there is a blossoming relationship growing between Grady and Dearing but there is no spark between Pratt and Howard. Dearing must be too far gone to be able to express emotions. At the end, Dearing wonders what they do next. Grady says, "We team up." Yeah, and pigs fly.

Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins as as Zach and Gray Mitchell are not as annoying as the two kids in the original film. Any actor could have portrayed Simon Masrani without hurting the final film.

Two actors do stand out. Vincent D'Onofrio plays Vic Hoskings as a ball of controlled glee. Hoskins is "boys-with-toys", but he's got it in spades. He has a crackpot idea that has absolutely zero chance of success and yet, Hoskins has been able to convince InGen and the military that this is a good idea. Dinosaurs can be controlled. It's easy as pie. The animals are our property. The dinosaurs know this. Simple. Yeah, and the Cubs just won the World Series!

B.D. Wong is fantastic as Henry Wu. Wong reprises his role from the original but he has much more to do in this installment. Wu is a company man, a yes man, a brown-noser. Wu has a job. He gets paid very well. He follows orders. You want a dinosaur. I'll create you a dinosaur.

In the pivotal scene that sets up the coming terror and carnage, Wu is explaining to Masrani what he did to custom-create Indominous Rex. Wong is perfectly controlled and calculating in his performance. Wu ticks off the list of genetic alterations that comprise I-Rex. Masrani is increasingly mortified. Finally comes the kicker of a question. Masrani asks Wu, "Who approved this?" Wu calmly, matter-of-factly, straightforwardly replies, "You did." You asked for it. You got it. A... (insert 5South joke here).

Scene from Jurassic WorldOnce again, the dinosaurs are truly spectacular. They are real. They exist. They interact with their environments. The special effects craftsmen have gone to great lengths to cover all of the bases. Trees move with the dinosaurs. Dust is kicked up from the dinosaurs' feet. They leave footprints. Water splashes. Tables, chairs, souvenir stands go flying.

The end result: Jurassic World is every bit as terrifying as "Jurassic Park". Look closely, this film follows the same plot development as the original. The homages to the original are crafted with care and reverence to the past. The audience has seen most of the elements of Jurassic World before. This is the whole point. But, at the same time, there are truly original and frightening scenes! Be prepared to jump out of your seat. You might lose your popcorn, and your lunch.

Jurassic World is great fun!