Monday, 29 June 2015


“We all have a dinosaur deep within us just trying to get out.” - Colin Mochrie

The sequel, of a sequel, of a sequel… It seems that movie screens are being flooded with such regurgitated pap lately. One only has to look at the Batman series of movies (or the Superman, or the Spiderman, or any super hero ones for that matter); or perhaps the Godzilla spawn, or the Nightmare on Elm Street series, or any number of fantasy/sci-fi movies that seem to be multiplying in plague proportions. What is it with sequels? Is it movie producers sticking with a good milch cow and squeezing every drop of milk from it, or is it perhaps a public that yearns to retread familiar old paths, or stick with familiar characters and fave actors? Whatever the case is, there is no shortage of sequels and movie series…

The latest new kid on the block is Colin Trevorrow’s 2015 “Jurassic World” starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Ty Simpkins. Now I must admit that I watched and enjoyed Steven Spielberg’s 1993 “Jurassic Park”. At the time I saw it, it was fresh, engaging, thrilling, exciting, full of great special effects, and a great music score. I saw the sequel, Spielberg’s 1997 “The Lost World” and this was OK. By the time the third sequel came out, Joe Johnston’s 2001 “Jurassic Park III”, I’d had enough of dinosaurs and refused to watch it. A good choice, my friends who had seen it told me.

The newest arrival, “Jurassic World”, sets the action 22 years after the original Jurassic Park failed. The new park is open for business but as the novelty of dinosaurs has worn off, a new attraction is needed to bring in the crowds. The friendly neighbourhood mad scientists create a new hybrid dinosaur called Indominus rex – a gigantic, fearsome animal that was made to awe and terrify visitors. It seems to be doing the job and the crowds flock to the island to be wowed. But things go wrong and the dinosaur goes on a rampage… Sound familiar? Hmmm, yes, of course, it’s the sequel of a sequel, of a sequel…

The special effects and creatures in this film are probably the best in the series up till now. Some CGI are obvious, but not distracting. One comes to expect that with the advances in movie-making technology. Carnage, violence and body count are all higher in this movie than in any other of the films in the series, however, it has lost its edge… Add to that a predictable script and the movie becomes a “creature feature”, more of a horror movie with a malevolent and dastardly creature wreaking havoc, rather than an intelligent sci-fi that poses some ethical questions.

Chris Pratt is playing a fairly standard heroic role and his one of the few likeable characters in the film. One good actor/character can’t hold the movie single-handedly, which he has to do as the remainder of the cast are cardboard cuts outs (including some bad acting), and some sexist stereotypes of women. The script has pretty bad dialogue and a lacklustre plot. Chris Pratt is likeable hero, but he’s not given the chance to lift the film into the stratosphere, with mediocre direction and internal script and plot deficiencies.

See this movie if you want some mindless entertainment, cheap thrills and you are in horror movie mood. Order lots of pizza and get a few friends together so you can take the mickey out of the scenes that don’t work as well as the director hoped. You’ll probably enjoy it more if you haven’t seen the original movie…