3D Blu-ray Edition
Review by Gordon Justesen
Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas
Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Omar Sy, B.D. Wong,
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Audio: DTS HD 7.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Features: See Review
Length: 125 Minutes
Release Date: October 20, 2015
“Corporate felt genetic modification would up the wow factor.”
“They’re dinosaurs. WOW enough.”
It’s hard to tell these days which franchises still have power in them and which ones don’t, especially when there’s a long gap between installments. Jurassic World comes to us fourteen years after the last sequel in the series, and as of now it’s the second highest grossing movie of all time, domestically. And here I was thinking that it didn’t stand a chance of out-performing Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Perhaps the main element that hooked audiences in was the notion that this was going to be the first sequel to fulfill the intentions of the very first movie. Meaning that, following all the mishaps and casualties that took place before Jurassic Park had plan to first open, a new fully upgraded facility, now known as Jurassic World, has been up and running for ten years on the very same island. And as expected, it attracts visitors from all over the world.
The biggest difference now is that the InGen Corporation has now planted tracking devices in each and every dinosaur in the park. In other words, if they start rampaging about and need to be taken down, security will know where to find them. The dinos have also been displaying signs of better behavior as of late, which always helps.
However, in spite of business booming, the appeal of live dinosaurs seems to have died down a bit. So, of course, the corporate offices have to take things a step further in generating appeal. It is the intention of the park operations manager, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), to secure as many sponsorships as possible so that scientists can proceed with the creation of the next generation dinosaur, known as the Indominus Rex.
But (wouldn’t ya know it?), this particular dino turns out to be not as friendly as the rest on the park. To make matters worse, it begins eating not only humans but fellow dinosaurs. And to make matters even worse (not to mention predictable), two of Claire’s nephews have gotten lost right in the danger zone as the new Rex gets loose.
There’s also a clash amongst various park employees on how to handle the dino’s capture. Park trainer Owen (Chris Pratt), who has expertly trained the dinosaurs to be much cooler and restrained, is the only level headed one who attempts to initiate a logical approach in resolving the situation. Meanwhile, his chief adversary, and head of security, Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio) sees the mayhem as a way of justifying the need to use this new type of dinosaur for military use.
All in all, the movie does have its share of intensely thrilling moments, and the visual effects are some of the best you will ever see in any movie (rivaling the breakthrough work displayed in the first movie). But aside from a few minor differences, this never really comes across as anything more than a retread of the original Jurassic Park. And although the movie features one spectacular death sequence, none of the others are as startling when compared to the first movie, which still has the ability to make you jump out of your seat.
In the end, what many found to be an amazing experience just ends up being an overrated movie, as far as I’m concerned. On a technical scale, there is so much to marvel over (obviously) and the movie almost gets by on that merit alone. But Jurassic World doesn’t really do much in the way of expanding this universe, which is what this series is truly in need of. Hopefully, the already proposed sequels will do a good job of that.
On the plus side, though, we do get one of the best looking 3D presentations of the year. Having seen the movie in theaters, I can definitely say that the 3D Blu-ray echoes that stunning presentation from beginning to end. The depth in the image detail is jaw-dropping for the most part, and colors remain fluent and strikingly natural. Equal marks for the 2D presentation, as well, in terms of detail and color.
It’s a no-brainer for a movie in this series to come with a phenomenal sound mix, and this release from Universal is a front runner for best sounding release of the year. The 7.1 DTS mix delivers everything aspect you want in a movie like this, in terms of the dinosaur roars being as loud and furious as imaginable, as well as action set pieces playing off intensely well as far as surround sound goes. Michael Giacchino’s music score gets a wonderful delivery as well!
Included on this Universal Blu-ray release are Deleted Scenes, a number of featurettes including “Chris & Colin Take on the World”, “Welcome to Jurassic World”, “Dinosaurs Roam Once Again”, “Jurassic World: All-Access Pass” and “Innovation Center Tour with Chris Pratt”. Rounding out the extras is a compilation of attack scenes from each movie in the series titled “Jurassic’s Closest Shaves”.
It has thrills to spare, and some awesome 3D at hand, but Jurassic World is far from anything special and not too distinctive from the game-changing original movie. But I am very much in the minority, it seems, and will state that this is one of the very best looking and sounding Blu-rays of the year.