by Sam Robinson
Rated M. Starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard. Directed by Colin Trevorrow.
Hold on to your childhoods, ladies and gentlemen. Sleepless nights are about to hit a new generation, because we’re going back to Jurassic Park. Only this time, it’s Jurassic World. What we have here – much like the theme park in the movie – is the same old experience with a new coat of paint.
T-Rex snouts through car roofs and velociraptors in the kitchen won’t be enough to make you jump anymore. No, this is a new generation, and this generation desires something bigger, better and more scary. We find that in Indominus Rex, a man-made genetically-modified dinosaur whose recipe is a secret. What we do know about it is that it doesn’t play nice. And of course, you know where this is all headed – and no, nobody gets eaten off the toilet this time.
There’s much to like about Jurassic World. It bathes in nostalgia. Every time John Williams’ theme sweeps through a scene it’s like taking a deep breath of 1993 air, remembering a time when dinosaurs were robots and popcorn was half the price. The characters re-discover the lost world (not the bad sequel), and there’s plenty of 90s blockbuster vibes. Jurassic World spared no expense in production either – with a budget of $150 million you could almost build Jurassic World in real life.
Chris Pratt is fantastic as velociraptor trainer Owen Grady, but his love interest Claire (Howard) is a frustrating character. I felt as though the Indominus Rex was pushed so much that it lost ferocity, but the final battle at the end made up for this, and brought out the thrilled child inside of me. It needs to be said too, that the ad spots in here aren’t subtle, it’s Jurassic World of Product Placement.
The Jurassic Park franchise shows us again and again the arrogance of humanity. That characters can bring back dinosaurs in a “creation lab”, cause mayhem and deaths – and repeat the process – is an insightful reflection of humanity. As director Trevorrow has said, his hybrid beast is ‘meant to embody [humanity’s] worst tendencies. We’re surrounded by wonder and yet we want more, and we want it bigger, faster, louder, better…’
‘She wasn’t bred, she was designed.’
Jurassic World shows humanity trying to play God, and proves that it never ends well. God made us in his image, to rule this earth under him. But we all think we can be God and the result ain’t good. But Jesus is the one who can rescue us from our rebellion. Romans 5:19:
For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
We are not good people. We try to play God, sinfully and arrogantly disobeying his rule. But Jesus is good. He was obedient to his Father, and has offered to swap our arrogance for his perfection. It’s a humbling thought. (For more thoughts like these, watch my chat about Jurassic World with Mark and Ben on The Big Picture podcast below).
Jurassic World is a wonderful blockbuster sequel that is worth the wait. If you’re thinking of seeing this with friends, why not ask afterwards: why do things always go wrong in this franchise? How does this reflect our world today?
I give Jurassic World three-and-a-half out of five stars.
Jurassic World is screening now in cinemas everywhere.