‘Jurassic World’ finds balance with new, old elements

By Office Assistant

No one goes to see a “Jurassic Park” sequel expecting it to outshine the sheer awe and glory of the original—It just doesn’t seem possible.

With that being said, if a record-breaking $511.8 million global opening weekend at the box-office is anything to go by, naysayers may find themselves dumbfounded.

After a slew of disconcerting trailers, die-hard fans of the series like myself wondered whether “Jurassic World” would ruin their childhood. Is “Jurassic World” to the series what “The Phantom Menace” was to “Star Wars”?

Some might argue that the second and third installments of “Jurassic Park” have already achieved that distinction.

There wasn’t much else to lose, because anything better than the infamous talking dinosaur dream sequence in the third installment would have been a welcome improvement for the franchise.

Announced in 2013, “Jurassic World” finally came to fruition after years in development purgatory.

The film was directed by Colin Trevorrow and executive-produced by Steven Spielberg, with Chris Pratt playing the lead role as Owen Grady, a continuation of the Harrison Ford-esque image he’s been cultivating since 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

The cast also includes performances from Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Irrfan Khan and B.D. Wong, who reprises his role of Dr. Henry Wu from the original “Jurassic Park” installment.

The “Jurassic Park” franchise has been drenched in irony to zealous observers from the very beginning.

Ian Malcom said it best in the first film: “Before you even knew what you had, you patented it, packaged it and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, and now you’re selling it.”

And so was the story of “Lost World: Jurassic Park” and “Jurassic Park III.” In “Jurassic World,” the meta-quote award goes to Dr. Wu, who rebukes the park owner for asking for something bigger, stronger and “cooler.”

Howard plays the park operator, a dissociated dramatic who believes dinosaurs have lost their “wow” factor.

In an effort to revive the dinosaurs’ appeal, the park genetically engineered a dangerous hybrid of the biggest and baddest creatures that dominated the Mesozoic Era.

With more dinosaurs, crowds, victims and weapons, the film successfully delivers its promise of a fully functioning amusement park—something fans anticipated since the franchise’s inception.

However, a question lingers: Does more volume mean more gravity? 1993’s “Jurassic Park” packed more of a punch with a handful of deaths, but 2015’s “Jurassic World” ups the ante with diminished returns.

Much like the park, the film is almost too ambitious and grandiose, nearing the point of self-parody.

The script might just be the most determinedly formulaic of the series so far, so much so that the dinosaurs seem unnervingly willing to bend to the screenwriter’s whims.

If any credit is due, it is for the extreme competence displayed by the filmmakers. Much of the film is undeniably self-gratifying, but the result is awfully rewarding for viewers who grew up loving the first movie.

The visuals are arranged spectacularly, and thankfully the computer-generated imagery is not as distracting as some may have feared it could be.

Overall, the fun of “Jurassic World” overwhelms its predictability. The simple moments are the most rewarding, while the grander scenes allow more opportunities for missteps.

Long-time fans will be pleased, as the film effectively balances between new and old elements of the series. The filmmakers may have tweaked the formula, which will no doubt aggravate plenty of viewers, but the story is structured in a way that makes it massively entertaining, and maybe even a little patronizing.