Film review: Jurassic World

After 22 years and two dull sequels, Jurassic Park has finally got the sequel it deserves.

After the events of the first film, Jurassic Park has been re-vamped as Jurassic World, a fully-functioning version of the dino-filled theme park.

However, after years of being able to see Velociraptors and T-Rexs the public are tired of dinosaurs.

The park’s owner, Simon Masrani, sees one alternative, to splice together different dino DNA to create the ultimate dinosaur, the Indominus Rex.

Bigger than a T-Rex and fiercely intelligent, clearly this is going to go well!

Brothers Zach and Gray are sent to Jurassic World to spent time with their aunt Claire, the park’s operation manager who is too busy to do anything else.

When things (inevitably) go to hell, Zach and Gray are trapped in the middle of the park, with the Indominus on their trail.

Claire teams up with Jurassic World’s Raptor trainer, Owen, to save her nephews from the seemingly unstoppable monster.

Jurassic World plays on some of the horror elements of the original, making the Indominus Rex a terrifying enemy who can tear through anything in its path. The film captures the essence of the first film well, there’s no point standing up to these monsters.

You just have to run and hope it doesn’t catch you. Some scenes had me squeezing my partner’s hand close to the breaking point in terror.

The action scenes are exhilarating, particularly when dinosaur is pitted against dinosaur. The use of Velociraptors as attack dogs is a ridiculous concept, particularly as the film can’t seem to decide how domesticated they are.

One minute they seem ready to turn on Owen, the next they’re his faithful pets.

Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are quite good as the film’s leads, although their romance feels a little unnecessary and predictable.

Pratt plays the dashing hero role he perfected in Guardians of the Galaxy, who wants the dinosaurs to be seen as the animals they are, as opposed to attractions.

Howard starts the film completely focused on the business, caring little for the creatures under her care.

Over the course of the film she is humanized through her quest to save her nephews, and is allowed some badass moments of her own.

Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins don’t fare as well as the brothers, often being incredibly irritating.

Robinson as the older brother Zach, starts off unlikable, being more interested in chatting up girls than looking after his brother.

Simpkins plays Gray as far younger than he should be, crying at the slightest provacation. The bond that develops between the brothers is sweet, as Zach finally steps up when they are in danger, but doesn’t feel particularly well established.

Jurassic World isn’t shy about calling back to it’s predecessor, even featuring a return to the still intact Jurassic Park centre. It saves the best callback for last, for one of the best fight scenes you’ll see this year.

The finale starts to feel like a kid playing with their toys, throwing every dinosaur you can think of into one awesome showdown, but for the most part it works.

While some parts of the fight are very contrived, there are also a few nice surprises which I won’t spoil here.

If you’re going into the film expecting a work of art with tremendous acting and beautiful compositions, you may find yourself disappointed.

Jurassic World is a pure blockbuster, full of great action scenes and genuinely fun to watch, but lacking a little in substance.

Image courtesy of Universal Pictures via YouTube, with thanks. 

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