Review: Jurassic World

Now this may be a little late considering it has been out a few weeks but nevertheless here it is.

So, the park is finally a reality and there’s going to be a new attraction opening that will be bigger and scarier than before that will apparently even “give the parents nightmares”. Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) is running the park and Owen (Chris Pratt) is acting as a zookeeper/animal trainer, but with dinosaurs. Claire’s nephews are here for the weekend, giving us a more child’s eye view of the action, adventure and excitement abound. It’s a simple story really, big dinosaur plus lots of people on an island equals disaster ahead; just when they think they’ve got a handle on things, they go very wrong. Or you could possibly take this as a moral lesson telling us that genetic modification is a bad idea and will never end well, which is an apt topic in today’s world.

We already know that people want to see this film; making the most money ever in an opening weekend and breaking the $500 million mark in record time so there’s no need to discuss whether this film is going to be a success it’s looking at success in the rear view. One thing we have to talk about is that it seems at the moment Chris Pratt can do no wrong. Bouncing from one success to another and getting more handsome in the process; and by all accounts a genuinely great guy. In this instance we’re presented with Pratt: responsible, good in a crisis, animal carer edition. We already know from Guardians of The Galaxy that Pratt can handle himself well and we see even more of that in Jurassic World. Don’t fret though there’s still plenty of the charm and sarcasm we known and love mixed in with his serious side. Owen is the guy you want on your side when things go tits up.

Alongside him is Claire (Howard) going from the unemotional business woman to a kick-arse heroine. Howard hasn’t been overly present on the big screen as of late unlike Pratt, but no-one can forget her as Hilly in The Help and if this is anything to go by look out for more from her from now on. Not to give in to the old female story of “I have to do everything you’re doing in heels, don’t forget” but truly she does and thankfully the writers chose not to make a cheesy joke out of it but respect to the woman who can handle herself in heels when there’s some seriously scary dinosaurs chasing her down. Besides that though, her performance is stellar, the scared but not debilitating so edge is dead on and she still gets a few laughs in there. Starting out fairly prim and proper but there’s no doubt that a certain scene with a flare will no doubt have you loving her in the end.

There’s a few other main players in there too, the nephews who do a fairly good job of saving their own asses; Nick Robinson (The Kings of Summer, Melissa & Joey) and Ty Simpkins (Insidious, Iron Man 3). Park owner and generally pretty useless addition other than filling some gaps Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi, Slumdog Millionaire). Control room workers, Jake Johnson (New Girl, Let’s Be Cops) and Lauren Lapkus (Orange Is The New Black, Clipped) adding some great comedy but not straying far from the characters they’ve played before. The one returning cast member from the original trilogy is BD Wong, playing on hell of a cringe-worthy creep/monster creator who seems to have very little remorse for the trouble he causes. One other being Omar Sy (Untouchable, X-Men: Days of Future Past) as sort of sidekick to Pratt, one which I would have liked to see much more of.

This is a film that clearly respects it’s roots with an abundance of references to the original movies, and to Hammond their original creator. They may not be overly subtle but for fans of the original they’re a welcome addition. As always the dinosaurs are great, the old done in a new way (baby triceratops ride anyone?) and some new creations which are ridiculous but in a good way. From Pratt riding a bike with running raptors to the highly intelligent villain of the film, it’s all impressive (and a huge blockbuster that manages to restrict itself to 2 hours is respectable). Not to mention the director Colin Trevorrow going from directing a great indie film (Safety Not Guaranteed) to one of the top 10 biggest films ever. Either his future will contain more great things or he’ll crumble under the mountain of money and freedom production companies will now throw at him; personally I can’t wait to find out.

It’s a fresh take on an old story, and a fantastic addition to the trilogy; it’s not often a film can pick up where another (rather disappointing) sequel left off 14 years ago and turn it into the behemoth that is Jurassic World.

Verdict: 8/10

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