Month: June 2015

Jurassic World – Review

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After twenty-two years in extinction (barring two forgettable sequels), we are back at the park. Jurassic World has a swagger to it; bigger and louder than its twenty-two year old prequel in more ways than one. But what Jurassic World gains in size and boldness, it lacks in soul and poignancy. The result is an entertaining summer blockbuster, but one lacking a distinctive bite.

Isla Nebular is now officially open for business with a vast array of attractions from dinosaur petting zoos to viewing walkways disguised as a fallen tree in the heart of T-Rex enclosure.

But your standard dinosaur is not enough anymore, as the latest attraction set to be unleashed on the park is that of a hybrid dinosaur genetically designed in the lab.

When the hybrid escapes its enclosure, havoc ensues and operations manager, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), must go in search of her two missing nephews who have gone AWOL somewhere in the park. She seeks the help of dino-trainer Owen (Chris Pratt), who is at war with his wicked security chief over the weaponising of his well-trained velociraptors.

Just like the park’s attempts to create a bigger, louder attraction, you feel that this is exactly what the makers of Jurassic World are trying to do with the movie. The decade Jurassic World spent in the works bouncing from writer to writer really does show. There are numerous plot holes in the script leaving the storyline predictable, unoriginal and without ever emotionally engaging the audience with its characters.

The movie will no doubt roar at the top of the box office and is without doubt a thrilling watch in its defence. There is enough enthralling action and intriguing shots of the CGI and animatronic created dinosaurs (even though they had something a little more genuine in Jurassic Park).

And comparing to the original is something us as the audience will inevitably do. Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park gave us an epic adventure with a believable cast and script, whereas Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World certainly offers a huge and entertaining spectacle, but is seriously lacking beyond that. A fun watch, but not a scratch on its predecessor.

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Spy – Review

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On paper, Spy has all the ingredients for a comedy masterpiece. But Paul Feig’s latest project alongside Melissa McCarthy is nothing more than a moderately funny mess.

McCarthy plays the loser CIA desk jockey, Susan Cooper, who informs the dashing Bond-esque field agent Fine (Jude Law) whilst he goes out on his dangerous missions.

When Fine becomes inoperative, Cooper volunteers to finish off the mission he has started and take down villainous Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne) as she travels across Europe.

Feig and McCarthy worked well in Bridesmaids but struggled to create that same magic in The Heat and now Spy. The comedy has become too predictable and McCarthy continues to play the same underdog character, playing on her image for cheap gags.

Fortunately, McCarthy is more than comfortable delivering some well written lines throughout Spy but the stand out comedy performers are Byrne and Jason Statham. The latter plays the more seasoned and traditional spy – much like the macho, tough guy characters he is used to, but almost overdoing it in Spy, which brings some punchy laughs throughout.

McCarthy is the centre of the action but the best comedy is without doubt coming from the background characters, including a more than comfortable Miranda Hart.

Spy is a fun watch but the action isn’t quite enticing enough and the comedy is too predictable to truly enjoy all the way through. It would be wrong to constantly compare projects between Feig and McCarthy following Bridesmaids but the truth is they have struggled to reach those heights since.