★★★★☆ – The ever ill-fated park welcomes us back with open arms. Death, danger and of course, dinosaurs mark Jurassic World as an unmissable fourth installment this summer.
With it being over ten years since the last installment in the franchise was released in cinemas, Jurassic World represents a new era for dino-junkies everywhere. With the park now fully operational and open to the wider population, exploring Isla Nublar has never been more exciting – Colin Trevorrow has crafted a film simultaneously futuristic and nostalgic, and it is a pleasure to watch. Whilst some parts may feel a little slow or borrowed from the previous films, Jurassic World stays true to its roots, providing a thrill ride of theme park amusement, state of the art sci-fi inventions, and a whole load of prehistoric beasties.
Introducing us to the family dynamic of Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson), the film begins by following these two brothers on their adventure from their home to the island. Concerned mother (Judy Greer) has arranged for her sons to be escorted around the park by one of its leading officials, conveniently their aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), allowing for a while host of VIP treatment and up close experiences. Valuing her work over her family ethos, Claire leaves the children with easily distracted Zara (Katie McGrath) – and so the two children are set free upon the park to do as they please. Inside the lab however, genetic engineering of dinosaur DNA is underway – with a new species, the Indominus Rex, being made available for sponsorship from corporate entities. With a whole host of mixed animal genes spliced into the creature, the newly designed rex is as unpredictable as it is huge – opening up the premise for Jurassic World‘s inevitable calamitous dinosaur escape, and ensuing site-wide destruction. Throw in hunky and laid-back raptor wrangler Owen (Chris Pratt) to save the day, and the plot thickens to an interesting degree.
With its hearty combination of romance, suspense and all-out action, Jurassic World is a triumph to its name in almost all aspects, providing a host of excellent acting performances, twists and turns – and some truly disturbing (yet awesome) character deaths. Yet, as simultaneously great and terrifying as these may prove, it’s still Chris Pratt and the raptors that steal the show – as the trainer, guardian and ‘alpha’ to their group, the connection between them is palpable, paving the way for some nerve-wracking scenes of interaction between human and dinosaurs alike. The relationship with Pratt and the dinosaurs is one that arguably is more emotional than that of Howard and him; CGI magic is a wonderful thing, is it not? This doesn’t mean that the Pratt/Howard relationship isn’t a fulfilling one however, as his performance is oneof cleverly timed humour as well as touching sentiment, complementing Howard’s clinical and acute approach to the role – both coming together to create a magnetic leading duo.
Filmically, there are some moments that feel slow, borrowed or underdeveloped – which is bound to happen in the fourth part of a film saga that is building on its predecessors. Thankfully however, these are fairly few and far between. What Jurassic World does better than its rivals in the science-fiction/thriller genre is to not take itself too seriously: it knows that its main audience is young people and those that grew up with the originals, paying particular attention to rewarding those that have seen the previous trilogy. There’s certainly enough references for die hard fans to be impressed by, though in saying this, Jurassic World definitely still delivers for all members of the audience, whether they’re completely fresh to the franchise or veteran park goers.
A summer blockbuster packed with entertainment: both heartwarming and heartbreaking, suspense driven and full of laughs – Trevorrow’s film is a lighthearted adventure that anyone can enjoy, catch it in cinemas whilst you can for the full experience.
Jurassic World (2015), directed by Colin Trevorrow, is distributed in the UK by Universal Pictures, Certificate 12A.