Dir: Colin Trevorrow
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins, Vincent D’Onofrio, Irrfan Khan, Omar Sy, B.D Wong, Jake Johnson, Lauren Lapkus
Run-Time: 124 Mins
Expectations hardly ran high for Jurassic World after the diminishing returns of the previous Jurassic Park sequels, the near decade in development hell and a by-the-numbers trailer which appeared to suggest that Chris Pratt had somehow trained velociraptors. It may be damming it with faint praise, but Jurassic World is easily the second best film in the franchise.
Pratt – after his career boosting turn as Star Lord – plays Owen Grady, a trainer who has set-up a programme to make the Velociraptors commandable, NOT controllable. The first scene in which we meet Grady it is made perfectly clear that his Cretaceous friends would gobble him up in an instant. Pratt fails to hit the heights of Guardians of the Galaxy, but this is down to a script that only calls for him to be an eye-candy action hero and his romance with Park Operations Manager Claire Dearing (Howard) is straight from the book of action movie clichés. The human characters are the let down. Fresh from his masterful role as Kingpin in Marvel’s Daredevil, Vincent D’Onofrio is a 2D snarly security head while pantomime villains have more depth than B.D Wong’s sinister scientist.
Others fare better. Bryce Dallas Howard is also cast as the eye-candy action star although she is allowed something of a character arc; while Nick Robinson and Ty Simkins manage to play kids in a family blockbuster whom you don’t end up wanting to strangle.
Jurassic World pays numerous homages and tributes to the original but in a way which never feels forced or cheap or perfunctory. They serve the story or the next block of action or suspense at these are the real strength of the movie.
Jurassic World works as an all-the-budget-on-the-screen blockbuster. It takes its simple story of a genetically spliced super-dino escaping and running wild through the theme park and tells it with thrilling set-pieces and plenty of exciting action. As a shock-paddle to the heart of the franchise it works; establishing the franchise as a summer-spectacle and not trying to do anything more.
The Verdict: If anything Jurassic World feels like it’s cautiously trying to not repeat the mistakes of the earlier sequels; setting out to simply be an entertaining popcorn flick and it achieves exactly that. 22 years ago Steven Spielberg – serving as an Executive Producer here – gave us a modern classic and while Jurassic World fails to match that high, it does finally give us a worthy sequel.