JURASSIC WORLD

★★★

Dir: Colin Trevorrow (2015)

22 years on us pitiless human still never learn. The 1993 Spielberg and Critchon engineered rip roarer is one of the bench marks of blockbuster film making. Jurassic Park stands as one of the finest memories of my goose-bump inducing, cinema going childhood and a recent re-watch hasn’t dulled its teeth. Sadly Colin Trevorrow and Jurassic World, like many of the humans now populating Isla Nublar’s immense theme park have forgotten what it’s all about. Avoiding a single reference to the two failed sequels we head straight back out there to see John Hammond’s dream made real; A fully functioning dino-park which is about to be over run by a genetically tweaked monster.

Bryce Dallas Howard‘s “head-strong” Claire is the manager of the facility; She’s simply painted as an over-achieving and over-bearing control freak. She’s horribly mistreated by the script which lists her strengths as her ability to wear stilettos in the jungle and in stripping down as the tension rises. Her visiting nephews (Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson); Zach and Gray are almost a blue-print of the first film’s Lex and Tim; The younger a dino freak and the older a slightly condescending dreamer. Chris Pratt‘s unexplained Raptor whispering Owen (“He’s from the Navy!”) is both Jurassic World‘s greatest asset and its fatal flaw; A charismatic “Indianasaurus Jones”, clichéd and knowingly ludicrous, who manages to actually pull it off.

Two of the many writing credits on the troubled films cast Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver have worked in a humanistic element to the animals, over doing it near fatally in the last half. Spielberg’s scaly beasts were unchangeable, evolved killing machines but it would seem that Pratt’s Owen has squeezed out 66 million years of killer instinct with a flutter of his eye-lids, some impressive arm muscles and a dog training clicker. One creature can’t be tamed of course; The genetically modified Indominus Rex, who breaks its enclosure and heads straight for the islands tourist hub and, as the film picks up steam, Howard and Pratt grab most of the best scenes with some awkward but fun “Han and Leia” chemistry.

The ensuing carnage action sequences are full of thrills and laughs, but end up dealing out their fair share of pixel fatigue directly to into your eyeballs before the adventure is over. Still, as eye-popping as it is, nothing here matches the visceral brilliance of Spielberg’s raptor-in-the-kitchen set piece. One on one is where the scares have always been. But, making a huge leap from 2012’s rather brilliant Safety Not Guaranteed Trevorrow does a good job in being thrust right into the jaws of a churning Hollywood sequel; Sadly he also loses a lot of his drive for character (especially with the ladies) among all the motion blur and bullets.

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