Published on June 29th, 2015 | by The Kitsap Scene0
‘Jurassic World’ goes back to the park
By Evan Coleman
When Michael Crichton was working on the original manuscript that would eventually become “Jurassic Park,” he conceived of a screenplay about cloning a pterodactyl from fossil DNA.
But it was missing something. It needed a convincing reason people would go through the effort and immense expense of cloning dinosaurs.
Crichton’s solution? Set the story in a theme park.
The screenplay eventually morphed into a book and became the best-selling “Jurassic Park.”
The screenplay came later when, in 1993, Steven Spielberg adapted Crichton’s novel for the big screen. Spielberg’s film managed to achieve the same lofty goal its characters aspired to: It brought dinosaurs to life.
At least, it came as close as anything ever had to presenting people with a vision of what real-life dinosaurs might look like.
Fast-forward 22 years, and the Jurassic Park franchise has returned to the theme park.
The original movie spawned two sequels, both of which more or less departed from the theme-park … err … theme.
While both sequels contain references to the original park, in the sequels, the theme park facilities are in disarray and abandoned, save the dinosaurs, free to roam the island uninhibited, and a few adventurous souls.
“Jurassic World” feels like a return to form, though it succeeds in some areas better than others. First, it actually returns to the theme-park idea. Jurassic Park has evolved into Jurassic World, a crowded theme park that feels like a combination of Universal Studios, Sea World and the San Diego Zoo, all on crack.
The company that runs the park is eager to build attendance by creating bigger and badder dinosaurs, even going so far as to create a genetic hybrid, a veritable dino wildcard.
Of course, this blows up in their faces spectacularly, and it provides an opportunity for the movie to get a little philosophical (as much as a summer blockbuster is allowed to get philosophical) and explore questions about the ethics of turning a profit at all costs. It’s a call back to the moral questions raised by the first film — questions about whether man should be playing god in the first place.
Now, let’s get real for a moment. Nobody really walked into “Jurassic World” to see Chris Pratt or Bryce Dallas Howard on the big screen. They came for the dinosaurs — the true stars of the show.
But while Spielberg’s film managed to make the viewer interested in the characters visiting the park, “Jurassic World” seems to have thrown in its characters, their sometimes hilariously cornball dialogue, and their motivations, as an afterthought. If you came for the dinosaurs, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re one of those rare specimens who came for the human characters, you’re guaranteed to be disappointed.
Sit back. Turn your brain down a notch. Enjoy the pretty dinosaurs. You’ll have a good time.
Summary: "Jurassic World" tries to take the franchise back to its roots, and succeeds somewhat, mostly on a visual scale. If you're looking for well-drawn characters to get invested in, even a little, find another summer blockbuster.