After over twenty years, we return to the same island that gave birth to a legend. This is no longer just a park….this is Jurassic World. Our review is straight after the jump.
The Summer is officially here and, with all good summers, we start with a movie blockbuster and they don’t come any bigger than Jurassic World. Set twenty two years after the original, John Hammond’s dream has become a reality and his prehistoric theme park is a open to the world. It’s generating revenue, but not enough as “people aren’t excited when they see a dinosaur anymore”, so states Bryce Dallas Howard’s character states early in the movie. The punters demand more excitement, which leads the park’s scientists to play god once more – by slicing the DNA of a T-Rex and another (confidential) dinosaur, to create the Indominus Rex.
The creation is nearly ready to be shown to the tourists but, before it’s given the chance, it escapes its compound and wrecks havoc across the island. This does feel a lot like what happened in the first movie, but what do you expect?
When we first go to the island, we are greeted by Hammond’s vision along with John Williams’ timeless score that demands goose pimples to break out and hairs to stand to attention. We are instantly transported to Isla Nebular for the first time since 1993. Whilst looking around the new (and old) attractions, we get to meet a former navy officer now Velociraptor trainer Owen (Chris Pratt). He has been spending time making the villains of the first movie to behave like dogs. This does seem a little far-fetched, but it does payoff in the end.
We mostly follow Claire’s nephews – Gray and Zach, played by Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson respectively. Gray is super excited to be on the island and drags his brother around the resort. Of course, they run into trouble in the form of Indominus Rex and it takes Owen and Claire to rescue them. Where the kids in the first Jurassic movies where annoying brats, luckily they are less so in this instalment.
After Joe Johnson’s dismal Jurassic Park 3, Colin Trevorrow takes over the directing duties and, seeing as this is only his second feature film, he does a fantastic job overall. His first film was the very low budget Safety Not Guaranteed, and that movie prompted Steven Spielberg to handpick him for this, and it works.
Whilst it can be a little slow at times, we do get some fantastic set-pieces, especially the final showdown with the Indominus Rex and a classic movie monster, culminating in a couple of surprises for the audience. One problem I had was the need to have a little love story brewing between Claire and Owen. It felt rushed, unneeded and it did sometimes hurt the overall pacing. It would have worked better if it was left out.
Overall, Jurassic World is a great popcorn-muncher and the second best film in the Jurassic saga. It’s great but not quite up to the original’s standards.