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Chris Pratt Promo Still (Photo by: Christopher Polk/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Film Journeys

Chris Pratt

on
June 12, 2015

You may not yet know the name – but you will know the face and by this time next year … everyone will know his name. It’s Chris Pratt.

Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt, Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins in Jurassic World. (Universal Pictures)

Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt, Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins in Jurassic World. (Universal Pictures)

FILM 1: JURASSIC WORLD (2015)

22 years after the first film stunned us all, the dinosaurs are back and Isla Nublar, (the island from the first film), now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond and I hear that they spared no expense in it’s construction.

After 10 years of successful operation, and with visitor rates declining, a new attraction is created to re-spark visitor’s interest, which backfires horribly. It’s a case of one corporate mandate too many, naturally.

Chris Pratt plays a character called Owen, who, at first glance, appears an amalgam of Jeff Goldblum form the first film and Bob Peck from the second … chaos meets handyman, meets master hunter. In one of his first scenes in the movie, he sets out to explain the dynamics of dinosaur ‘family groups’ and hierarchy; which perhaps doesn’t sound particularly scary. Or action-packed. However, it’s all scene-setting and, to be fair, the dinosaurs he’s describing are veloceraptors. However, later-on, you do get more of the dino action that you’ve paid your ticket price for, a lot more!

It’s rated a 12A, so there are some naughty words in it and a little blood. Some of the scary scenes are quite intense too – essentially, and I know this sounds dumb, but imagine what Jurassic Park would be like if they made it now and you’ll get a good idea!

The Lego Movie. (Warner Bros.)

The Lego Movie. (Warner Bros.)

FILM 2: THE LEGO MOVIE (2014)

Staying with the family theme, but skewing towards a much younger audience is this gem from last summer. THE LEGO MOVIE was the first in a line of titles that, when announced, most people scoffed at, including a film based on Battleships, (which went the way most thought it would – hit, sunk!) and a movie based on Monopoly, which is still in development … presumably not passing ‘go’ and, not yet at least, collecting £200.

Some cynics complained that the movie was simply a ploy to sell more Lego product – a 90 minute advert for toys – to which I’d ask them to show me some modern-day entertainment that isn’t, in some way, shape or form, advertising something, (even simply in terms of paid-for product placement). The second criticism laid at the film was that it spends much of its running time, extolling the virtues of not living by the rules – of throwing away the manual, (literally and metaphorically in the case of the Lego characters who use actual Lego instruction pamphlets to create their new dwellings); and embrace creativity and innovation with all the enthusiasm those approaches rightly deserve … however, the film plot is, itself, reasonably formulaic and, of course, the toys that come out in time for the movie come with – yes you’ve guessed it – instruction pamphlets.

It’s all a minor detail as far as I’m concerned. The film is a delight to watch; it’s very funny, (surprisingly so), has some great dialogue and is beautifully crafted, with great production design. The fact that it didn’t get a nod at the major film awards is a travesty.

Quickly – before we finish on this film – to all the parents out there who haven’t watched this, but have watched those 40 / 50 minute Lego films based around existing franchises: if you hated those; if they bored you to the point of painful tears, then fear not, you will absolutely love this. And don’t let the catchy theme song put you off either.

Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista star in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2014). (Marvel Studios)

Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista star in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2014). (Marvel Studios)

FILM 3: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2014)

This was the film that proved Marvel could put – pretty much – anything up on screen and we would all flock to go see it. It helps that it’s well-written, deftly directed and places its own tongue firmly in cheek throughout, of course.

Chris Pratt plays a character called Starlord. At first glance, Starlord and his gang would seem to be the baddies of the piece; but really they are the anti-heroes. They all have their reasons for doing what they do, but there is a larger threat that throws them all together. This is where, if I’m being honest, the film gets itself in a little muddle as layer, upon layer of interconnected characters and back-stories are woven into the mix.

Overall it’s a really fun romp; very enjoyable and is the film that solidified Chris Pratt in Hollywood.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  • Her – Where Joaquin Pheonix falls in love with the automated, personal assistant on his phone.
  • Parks & Recreation – a very popular comedy TV show in which Chris plays Andy Dwyer.
  • Indiana Jones? – There is strong talk that Pratt might take on the fedora and bullwhip in future outings for the archaeological hero.
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