Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Jurassic World – Tyranno-Sequel Rex

One of the central conceits of Jurassic World is that the world is bored of ‘de-extinction’ (as the film puts it). It’s that desensitisation that triggers the suits to kick-start the genetic engineering of a brand new attraction; the monstrous Indominus Rex.

And, I’ve found myself struggling with this concept. Can that really be true? Can people be bored of dinosaurs? Because I’m certainly not . . .


The greatest scenes in this franchise reboot are the moments that revel in the magic of de-extinction. The triceratops roaming across the island, an injured apatosaurus mewing in pain . . .

So what a shame, then, that these sparkles are so few and far between. One shot shows us attendees canoeing past a pack of herbivores drinking from the river . . . for a second or two, until the camera whips round to a pair of speeding 4x4s desperately chasing after the loose killing machine.

The movie’s so focused on dino-destruction that they’ve lost track of the wonder that made Jurassic Park such a hit in the first place. There’s nothing here that matches the spine-tingling effect of seeing these great beasts up on the big screen for the first time. The CG effects are slick, and surprisingly hefty, but Spielberg’s blend of practical and digital effects is ultimately far more immersive.

One area where the film does shine, however, is the sound design. The medley of piercing screeches and guttural roars are suitably bone-rattling. But, there’s another layer to the film’s soundscape, Michael Giacchino’s (occasionally dazzling) score.

Yet, like the film as a whole, Giacchino’s at his best when he’s swooning over these great beasts, rather than poking and prodding them. His magical theme is lost in amongst the regimented military orchestration accompanying the action sequences. To the extent that there’s never more than ten seconds or so of the central hook on any of the tracks on the soundtrack album.

The parallels between the plot of the movie and the (presumed) production meetings are uncanny (and don’t go by unreferenced). They wanted something bigger, scarier and more thrilling; I didn’t . . .

★★