Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Jurassic World

Zach (Nick Robinson) and his brother Gray (Ty Simpkins) go on a one-week vacation in Costa Rica to visit their Aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), who acts as the operations manager of a dinosaur theme park. Relying on advanced DNA technology, the park owners and their team of scientists have been able to revive many of the once extinct species. Dinosaurs are no longer bred, but rather “designed” based on the whims of corporate investors who see the whole process as one big profitable venture. Their quest for a more vicious and controversial hybrid leads them to their latest masterpiece: the Indominus Rex. What happens, then, when a park with more than 20,000 tourists falls prey to an untamed monster with advanced genetic capabilities out on a hunting spree? It is up to Velociraptor trainer Owen (Chris Pratt) to save the day, and his girlfriend. If they could outwit a giant reptile that can camouflage and hide its thermal signature, that is.

Anyone who has seen any of Godzilla’s many film incarnations would probably think that this film is no longer worth the admission price. Besides, is it not the same drill over and over again? Giant reptile terrorizes the neighborhood! Why should you bother watching, then? Well, because this is more of an updated version of a classic story that all of us loved as kids, adapted to a modern setting that would make you indulge in a lot of what-if scenarios.

What will really catch your attention is the way the dynamics between science and business are laid out. If we are indeed to find a way to revive these creatures, how exactly would it happen? Who would be the main actors involved? Would we all live happily ever after? The film sheds some light on these questions, and they come up with a plausible scenario here. Come to think of it, who would really have the money and resources to fund such projects? Giant corporations! And these enterprises could not really care less as long as they maintain a respectable profit margin.

In interviews with the director, he has also mentioned several times how the Indominus Rex itself is a symbolism of human greed, and if you look beneath the surface, it actually is. It was “designed” not so a species could be revived, but rather to be an attraction that would drive profits off the charts. In fact, the film is full of hybrid dinosaurs that really look creepy. The Pterodactyls are not simple Pterodactyls anymore! Some of them do have the body but possess the head of a different dinosaur. It has reached that point where everything is manufactured to meet the market’s demands.

As for the plot, it is already quite predictable how things would develop. You know that there would be trouble in paradise, and that the main cast would be running around chased by giant reptiles who think of them as food. What is ideal is to see this film as a modern adaptation cum sequel of a classic story instead of something totally new. But there are many new developments as well, including a new way of looking at Velociraptors, who are still menacing but manage to show a different aspect of their being which makes them slightly adorable. SLIGHTLY!

In terms of casting, you have the obligatory teenager and prepubescent kid who would cause some trouble. And then you also have the main couple around whom the story would revolve. It is a good thing that Pratt and Dallas Howard share good chemistry onscreen. It also helps that both of them are believable in what they do. Add a bit of humor and you are all set for a summer blockbuster. Watch with kids to enjoy their reaction. Watch as a kid to enjoy the experience.

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