I admit that when I heard they were doing a new film in the Jurassic series, I was hesitant. The first film came out when I was six, and it was a great entertainment. Sadly, after the unimpressive (but mildly entertaining) The Lost World and the very anti-fun Jurassic Park 3, it seemed the original was doomed to follow the same path of another Spielberg classic, Jaws.
Luckily, the new Jurassic World brings life back into the franchise (unlike the Jaws franchise, in which the fourth one was…..oh, don’t get me started). Set nearly 20 years after the events of the original, the park is now named “Jurassic World” (one character is seen wearing a “Jurassic Park” shirt, and is told not to wear it again, as it reminds them of what problems occurred there). We see two boys, Gray (Ty Simpkins) and his older brother Zach (Nick Robinson) getting ready for a trip to visit their Aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), who helps run Jurassic World. Of course, Zach is not wanting to be there, while Gray is over the moon.
Claire is too busy to attend to the boys, so she leaves them with her assistant. There is a new attraction to be shown, as public interest has been declining. Enter the idea of the Indominus Rex. At first, he looks like a version of the T-Rex who can use his hands to grab things (such as people. I doubt I am giving much away on that.), but there is more to it than that. This may be one of the smartest dinosaurs in film history.
After Owen (the always wonderful Chris Pratt, who is set for another good year after last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy and The Lego Movie) fails to tell Claire and Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan) that it is not a good idea to keep this new creation, all that can go wrong, well does (and if it didn’t, would there really be a movie?) It also does not help when Claire’s nephews decide to escape the assistant and decide to go their own way.
Much of the action sequences are breathtaking, but I felt some of the movie did have a story line or two too many (mainly the one with Vincent D’Onofrio as Hoskins, who is good here). Still, the film brought together an action packed fight at the end that I was ashamed to say I did not know I wanted it, but I truly did (one little girl in the theater, maybe 7 or 8, said as I left the theater “That was the best dinosaur kill EVER!”)
Parents, I admit I was a little afraid to see kids in the theater, but I remember I was that age when I saw the original (though on VHS, not in theaters). Of course it may be scary for little kids, but I think 10 or above would be fine (some sexual innuendo of dialogue is in the film, but none that a kid would understand).
My favorite thing about Jurassic World was the nostalgia (which shows how much respect the film makers put into the film). I for one was excited when I saw the night vision goggles, the old jeep with the number “29” (used by Hammond in the original), a bit of the ribbon that said “When Dinosaurs ruled the earth”, a place in the park called “Winston’s” (a nod, I imagine, to the late Stan Winston, who helped make the original dinosaurs in the first films), and BD Wong as Scientist Henry Wu. Still, the best thing by far was the original theme by the legendary John Williams. As it played, it made me think that this what John Hammond truly envisioned in the first place.
Well, minus the chaos and death.
Overall: Three and a half Stars *** 1/2