Cert 12 | ★★★★☆
Devil-may-care action hero? Check. Uptight career woman? Yup. Evil corporation? Obviously. Science gone wrong? Kids in peril? Emotional family drama? Check, check, and check.
Jurassic World is a relentless succession of clichés – but, damn, it’s a lot of fun. After two relatively disappointing sequels, this is a pulpy, brash, simplistic, excessive, trashy, flashy, glorious return to form for everyone’s favourite Boy’s Own, dino-disaster franchise.
It’s over 20 years since the original, and almost 15 since Jurassic Park 3, so Jurassic World almost serves as a soft reboot. It is essentially a retelling of the original story (with a mostly new cast), only bigger, dumber, faster, and more spectacular.
The dinosaur theme park is finally up and running, but customers are reluctant to pay unless the dinosaurs keep getting scarier. So, the scientists combine dinosaur DNA with that of other animals to produce hybrid apex predators that are true monsters.
Meanwhile, Owen Grady (who used to be in the Navy), is training velociraptors with a combination of intense staring and motivational speeches. Guardians of the Galaxy’s Chris Pratt plays the part with swagger and charm, despite a script that allows the character no room for personal growth. No-nonsense Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) is the park’s operations manager, trying to keep things together as a genetically engineered Indominus Rex threatens to tear everything apart.
It’s appropriate that a film about gene-splicing should have such rich and varied DNA. It steals mostly from the works of Steven Spielberg; the previous films in the Jurassic franchise, of course, but it also serves as a surprisingly satisfying 40th anniversary tribute to Jaws. Godzilla is ever present, and there’s a good lot of James Cameron in there too, especially his sequels for Alien and The Terminator.
Jurassic World reduces down the essence of action-adventure movies, and packages it into something that feels familiar to fans of 80s movies, but which bursts off the screen with all the style and bravado that modern audiences have come to expect. Jurassic World is captivating, childish entertainment.
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