Jurassic World – Film Review

This is the first sequel to do the original 'Jurassic Park' movie any real justice

Arriving 22 years after the original Jurassic Park, Jurassic World is designed as a pretty much direct sequel to Steven Spielberg’s beloved 1993 adventure movie. The pair of inferior films that followed, 1997’s The Lost World: Jurassic Park and 2001’s Jurassic Park III, aren’t so much scrubbed from franchise history as tactfully set aside – they take place on a different island, Jurassic World‘s director Colin Trevorrow has explained, whereas this film returns us to Isla Nublar, the rock off the Costa Rican coast where Richard Attenborough’s John Hammond once dreamed of creating an awe-inspiring dinosaur theme park.

When Trevorrow’s film begins, this dream has finally been realised. Isla Nubar is now home to Jurassic World, a futuristic uber-zoo stuffed with stegosaurus, triceratops and various other prehistoric wonders with more unpronounceable names. Though Hammond is of course no longer with us, he’s honoured with a bronze statue in the welcome area, and the park is being run by stiffly efficient operations manager Claire Dearing (Spider-Man 3‘s Bryce Dallas Howard). She’s so obsessed with her job, she doesn’t even take time off when her two young nephews (Ty Simpson and Nick Robinson), whom she hasn’t seen in seven years, are sent to Jurassic World to visit her.

At first, Trevorrow’s film feels affable but a bit mechanical – it’s obvious some form of dinosaur-based danger will force Claire to bond with her nephews; and it’s equally clear she’ll eventually be wooed by Chris Pratt’s Owen Grady, a charismatic and oh-so-manly dinosaur trainer. Thankfully, its slightly tepid opening stretch gives way to genuine excitement when the park’s prized exhibit, the Indominus rex, escapes from her enclosure. This monstrous hybrid dinosaur, concocted in the park’s laboratory to boost visitor numbers, is a genuinely terrifying creation that possesses both brawn and brains. She can hide from heat sensors, change colour at will and seemingly kill anything that crosses her path.

With Indominus rex on the rampage, Jurassic World turns into a thrilling fight for survival between the genetically modified super-dino and Claire, Owen and her nephews, flanked by a small group of park employees who choose to stay and help rather than flee for safety. When a preview clip featuring Pratt and Howard’s characters was released last month, Avengers director Joss Whedon branded its depiction of gender roles [url=https://www.nme.com/filmandtv/news/joss-whedon-brands-jurassic-world-preview-clip-70s/375643]”’70s era sexist”[/url], but as the film progresses, Claire becomes less brittle and more badass, and ultimately a match for the heroic Owen. Factor in some nostalgic references to the first Jurassic Park film, which it would be a shame to spoil here, and Jurassic World feels even more satisfying. It may not match the audacious entertainment of the original movie, but this is the first sequel to do Spielberg’s ’90s classic any real justice.

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