Jurassic World

 

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You can't keep a good dinosaur down...

 

Jurassic World

 

It has been twenty-two years since Jurassic Park was launched – and was abruptly closed. But the new resort, now called Jurassic World, on the island of Islar Nublar, off the coast of Costa Rica, is a unique and smoothly running theme park featuring real, genetically recreated velociraptors, apatosauri, pterosaurs, pteranodons and mosasauri. However, such is the public appetite for novelty, visitor figures have already started to decline and so InGen has designed something bigger, louder and scarier – the Indominus rex. And the very day that the park's operations manager Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) is expecting a visit from her young nephews, the damn thing breaks loose…

 

The template of the original idea – supplied by Michael Crichton’s 1990 novel – remains irresistible and the CGI here is even more seamless than before. But the new director Colin Trevorrow is no Steven Spielberg, and he finds it harder to tease out the formulaic from the formula. Claire is a career-driven stereotype in pencil skirt and killer heels, although Bryce Dallas Howard does her level best to animate her, while Chris Pratt as her blue collar opposite brings gravitas to his role as a resourceful raptor handler. The remainder of the cast members – as genetically varied as their charges – include Irrfan Khan, Omar Sy, B.D. Wong and Jake Johnson, but they are largely wasted. And Trevorrow is not helped by his cheesy opening: an ominous close-up of the talons of a bird landing in the snow, accompanied by a reverberating thud. Huh?

 

Nonetheless, once events get out of hand and the beasts take centre stage, the fun begins. The main attraction, our indomitable Rex, is bigger and more intelligent than anybody had hoped for. He’s so bright, in fact, that he lays diversions for his human trackers and chews out the transmitter embedded in his shoulder. Even more worrying is the fact that he’s adopted the camouflage technique of the cuttlefish DNA in his make-up and enjoys killing for sport. The old clash of science vs entertainment vs monetary gain vs military intervention adds an extra – if predictable – ingredient (allowing for the unscrupulous involvement of Vincent D'Onofrio), but it’s the dinosaurs that we really care about and they duly deliver the thrills. It’s all too generic to be totally terrifying, but is intense enough to grab older children and those of a sensitive disposition.

 

JAMES CAMERON-WILSON

 

Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D'Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Omar Sy, B. D. Wong, Irrfan Khan, Jake Johnson, Judy Greer, Jimmy Fallon, Colin Trevorrow.

 

Dir Colin Trevorrow, Pro Frank Marshall and Patrick Crowley, Screenplay Derek Connolly, Colin Trevorrow, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, Ph John Schwartzman, Pro Des Ed Verreaux, Ed Kevin Stitt, Music Michael Giacchino, Costumes April Ferry and Daniel Orlandi.

 

Amblin Entertainment/Legendary Pictures-Universal Pictures.

124 mins. USA. 2015. Rel: 11 June 2015. Cert. 12A.