All Expenses Paid: Nostalgia, Strong Cast Deliver for Jurassic World

A blog by: Thomas Williamson Domol

“Welcome to Jurassic World.”- Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire in “Jurassic World”

Everyone likes dinosaurs. Even though if around today, these Paleolithic creatures would gobble up all of mankind like a Taco Bell Crunch Wrap at 2 in the morning, we still like them. Through several mediums we’ve been able to come face to face with dinosaurs; like right here in Central Florida at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and at Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park, which hosts the attraction bearing the namesake of the original film in this franchise.

Twenty-two years have passed since we first visited Isla Nublar, billionaire John Hammond’s venue for a prehistoric theme park where 70 million years in the past is brought to life through astonishing science and technology. Chris Pratt takes the starring role as Owen, main protagonist and raptor whisperer, his reluctant love interest Claire, is played by the affable Bryce Dallas Howard.

The banter between the two main characters is often entertaining if not contrived and a bit shoe-horned in for the sake of having a typical love story in the midst of the larger, and we’re talkin’ dinos here so they’re quite large, action themes in the film. So let’s talk about them for a moment. Steven Spielberg has no motivation to put his reputation as a filmmaker on the line for an amateur film exhibition. The visuals are stunning in every scene, breathing life and vibrancy into all the vegetation on the island. The dinosaurs themselves look and move perfectly, a practical effect they are not but they appear as though they could be. They play alongside a brilliant cast bolstered by the show-stealing Vincent D’Onofrio, whom many of you recall for his portrayal as Kingpin in Marvel’s Daredevil series on Netflix. He is fantastic as the antagonist of the feature.

What is not fantastic, however, is the beat-you-over-the-head-with-it product placement found throughout the runtime of the film. I found the types of products placed especially disruptive to the storyline. Random mentions of Verizon Wireless and frequent cuts to the Mercedes emblem in car chase scenes, only deterred my desire for the services these corporations provide. Though I’d probably buy a Mercedes SUV if I could, so on second thought maybe I will.

This movie was far from perfect, but one element I felt was perfect came in the form of call backs and references to the original 1993 film. They were well-placed and made me feel like a kid again, such as in the “spare no expense” line. I suppose this is one of the reasons why the film is collecting such staggering sums of money at the box office, because of the “Mad Men-esque” longing for and pain nostalgia. It takes us to a place we want to visit, just to reconnect to our past selves. You should see this movie because it’s not too long, the action sequences are breathtaking, and because the temperatures outside are, much like the rent, too damn high. As far as indoor Summer activities go, you could do a lot worse than spending two hours at the cinema watching this film. See you next time.

Score: 8.5/10

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