Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Jurassic World: Review

By Scott Unfried

I saw Jurassic World at Cinema City in Anaheim.  Cinema City once was Cinemapolis, which is greek for Cinema City.  Cinemapolis is where I first saw Jurassic Park, among other hits from the 1990's. I rediscovered this theater about a year ago when my screenwriting teacher assigned us to view Princess Bride at one of their classic screenings; I never forgot about it but I thought it was torn down.  Princess Bride had an amazingly lively and enthusiastic audience, especially for a week night. Cinemapolis had old-fashioned marquis letters posted outside each movie auditorium; simulating the ambiance of the classic Hollywood movie palaces was what made Cinemapolis extra special. Nowadays, Cinema City uses digital signs and they are a little tackier overall, but the old Cinemapolis is evident in the themed auditoriums.  Jurassic World was in "The Egyptian" auditorium, which has columns (tacky) along each side and a lighted ceiling that makes it look like there are stars directly overhead, which the Princess Bride screening also had.

Jurassic World lived up to the nostalgic poetry I constructed for myself.  Unlike the other movies in the franchise, there is actually a park operating at its prime.  There are dinosaurs and attractions that are unique from prior installments.  The park is run by Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), who is one of those impeccably presented professionals who is heavily preoccupied and a tad aloof.  She has nephews (Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson) on the way, whose parents are secretly planning a divorce; this will prove to be an unforgettable visit.

The lovely Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire.

The adorable Ty Simpkins.

Jurassic World scientists have resorted to genetic splicing to create a monstrous dinosaur to surprise an increasingly jaded public, which is one of the big problems.  Another problem exists in the form of a military official (Vincent D'Onofrio) who believes it's a brilliant idea to utilize raptors in combat situations.  This doesn't seem too crazy as Jurassic World has a raptor whisperer/trainer, Owen (Chris Pratt).  Owen imprinted on the raptors at birth, which is how he supposedly remains alive and well--he keeps them well fed as well.  All of this collides in thrilling ways.  

Dr. Henry Wu (BD Wong), one of the genetic engineers from the first movie, makes a welcome and chilling return.

Jurassic Park is still somehow scarier but Jurassic World is arguably more fun.  This film continues to demonstrate that this is one of those exceptionally crowd-pleasing years at the cinema, like 2011.  This is my favorite kind of year.

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