The much-delayed-retro-sequel phenomenon that brought us the outstanding Mad Max: Fury Road earlier this summer and will offer the “I hope it doesn’t suck” Terminator Genisys on July 1st now presents Colin Trevorrow ‘s Jurassic World, a follow up to 1993’s groundbreaking Jurassic Park that all but ignores it’s somewhat unfairly maligned previous follow ups in 1996’s The Lost World and 2001’s Jurassic Park 3.
22 years after the tragic events of Jurassic Park, a new, wildly successful park named Jurassic World sits on the old site of Isla Nublar, but as Park Operations Manager Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas-Howard) says, “people aren’t impressed by dinosaurs anymore”, so the park scientists genetically engineer what they call an “Indominus Rex”, a mix of several predatory thunder lizards. Of course things go horribly wrong, and Raptor trainer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) is brought in to help get the situation under control before InGen (not Umbrella, not Weyland Yutani) Head of Security Vic Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio) can manipulate the events to weaponize the dinos and send them to war.
Make no mistake, that description might sound post-Dark Knight dour but this movie is fun, maybe even more fun than the original. Sure nothing’s ever going to be as innovative as that, probably ever again, so stop wringing your hands about that BS and just sit back and enjoy the ride. And this is definitely a ride, seeing the movie in 3D I half expected to have the seats rumble or water shot at me during appropriate scenes. The cast seems to be enjoying themselves as well, with Pratt not quite as entertaining as he was in Guardians of the Galaxy but still fully capable of carrying a movie like this. Howard does really well with a somewhat thankless role and manages to make her initially off-putting character really likable by the end, and D’Onofrio just oozes the same villainous magnetic charm as he did in Daredevil. We also appreciated the more action and horror leaning slant some of the scenes took, resembling the Alien and Predator franchises at times. The dino action is fact and fierce and the violence and suspense might be overwhelming for smaller children but 10-ish year olds should eat it up, I know I would’ve at that age. Trevorrow here is more Spielberg than Spielberg, channeling Jaws and the Spielberg produced Poltergeist and Gremlins more than the original JP when it comes to the monster/horror/action and the film is all the better for it.
This thing made 500 million over the weekend so you probably don’t need me to tell you to go see it but if you’re one of the 3 people left on earth who hasn’t yet what the hell are you waiting for? Get off your ass and go take in one of the biggest and best adventures of the year.