By Bill Arceneaux
In a summer movie season that features superheroes, cyborgs, and more superheroes, it may be hard to believe, but dinosaurs kind of get lost in the shuffle. For the most part, I wasn’t terribly excited for the latest Jurassic Park film, Jurassic World. Despite being shot in Louisiana, nothing else about it spoke out to me, giving me the impression that it would just be another churned out “product.”
Thankfully, I was wrong and heavily surprised.
While World doesn’t have the same magical impact as Park, it does accomplish the cathartic giant creature feature aspect extremely well. For your approval, here are some similarities and differences between the first and the fourth.
It’s been roughly 20 years since the original film and its events, but the fingerprints and memories of what happened remain.
Jurassic World is very much a love letter to Park, throwing in self-referential cues that bring us back to the past, almost in the vein as an episode of Star Trek. Road flares guiding dinosaurs, the old Park jeeps, and some mad science are sprinkled in, giving us a familiar feel in a new story. The music, developed by Michael Giachinno, puts a twist on the popular John Williams score. When characters enter building ruins, a dark and faded variation of the theme plays. When young kids experience attractions, a more dream like version hits.
It’s a new World, but the old Park foundations still exist. Just don’t expect a “coupon day” for patrons.
Years of progress have not only lead to a fully functional zoo/theme park but also to new dangers created by man. We know that the dinosaurs are genetically pieced together from DNA samples and strains from frogs and such. In World, a whole new creature is made from scratch, completed with materials from various predatory animals—something that could only be a “good” idea, of course. If man was going against nature in Park, they are now playing god.
In the real world which the movie audience lives in, a noticeable difference will be the downplaying of animatronics in favor of computer generated effects. Not every dinosaur is completely made up of pixels, but a vast majority are, and some critics have seen this as a distraction/detraction. In 3D (and I assume 2D), the images all blended seamlessly, crafting a world that looked strikingly real at times. How it was all pulled off from an animation standpoint must be fascinating.
Almost as much as the first Park was, this World is entertaining and stunning.
For more from the author, follow him on twitter @BillReviews and visit his blog CriticalNO.com.