Jurassic World may be a conventional blockbuster that lacks the inventiveness of the original Jurassic Park movie, but there’s more than enough going on here to please the summer popcorn audience.
There’s a real traditional B-movie feel to director Colin Trevorrow’s reboot of the hugely popular series, and even a touch of horror to how it all unfolds. The creatures are
properly scary. Large crowds run in terror. Things get splattered as they should be.
For some, the movie’s “seen it all before” conventions will grate. We get the high-powered bitch who really needs a man. The gung-ho hero in a vest who saves all around him. The powerful billionaire who won’t listen when he is warned not to toy with science.
Yep, we know where all this is going and the lack of storytelling ambition is telling. Best to check your brain in at the foyer and enjoy this in the spirit it was intended — as an action-packed creature feature.
There are also clever nods to the original film in the park’s design and the staff’s interactions.
We are introduced to the Jurassic World theme park — a sprawling island resort acting as a sort of zoo to various dinosaurs — through the eyes of two young brothers (Simpkins and Robinson).
They’re on a dream visit thanks to their corporate-type aunt (Howard) who is part of a team that has steered the park in a very different direction.
With dinosaurs long extinct but public fascination with them at an all-time high, the team has notched up the dollars with a controversial programme of genetic modification to bring them back to life.
But in a bid to draw more crowds they’ve dabbled with a new super-scary breed containing the DNA of lots of different beasts. Ah yes, you know where this is all going.
The pleasure’s in the execution. Chris Pratt builds on his leading-man status as a sort of dinosaur whisperer, and while he’s not given enough to work with he carries himself well.
Howard almost succeeds in distracting us from how one-note her character is with a fun performance, and there are all sorts of neat tricks like bubble cars the visitors can ride the park in.
Best of all are the creatures — growling, fierce and vicious with a lust for blood. Parents may want to consider whether to bring younger children if they want to avoid scares at bedtime.
The Verdict: A slight but undeniably entertaining monster movie (3/5)