Director: Colin Trevorrow
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D'Onofrio
It would not be too much of a stretch to suggest this movie shared some similarities with the original 1993 film Jurassic Park. The plots are remarkably similar, as are the characters, which range from the cautious experts to the powerful idiots who think they know best. Oh, and there's some dinosaurs on the rampage too! That said, this is a terrifically good action movie, that is well paced, has its fair share of humour and horror, and is very respectful of its origins. For those fans of the original, composer Michael Gianchino makes excellent use of John Williams' theme music, and right away you're taken back to the old Jurassic Park island... except there's been some big changes. The main one being that the island is now a holiday resort, with all things prehistoric being the key feature. Over the past twenty years, the island has been transformed into a dinosaur zoo, thanks to some nifty DNA work by boffins in lab coats. People flock from miles around to see the amazing creatures, returned from extinction, for the benefit of tourism.
In an ironic tip of the hat to the movie industry, it is noted that the dinosaurs are old news, and thus the only way to re-energise the industry is the make something bigger and better than the original. Thus a new sequel is produced for cinema screens and it goes hand-in-hand with a new theme park that cannot wait to introduce their newest attraction: a brand-new dinosaur! Genetically sourced from various species (frog DNA is also old news), the scientists at Jurassic World have created the ultimate predator. Unfortunately for them, the new dino on the block also has a bit of nous about it, and swiftly decides to bring forward the date of it's world premiere by escaping its "escape-proof" pen and go on a self-appointed killing spree of any living thing it comes across.
Needless to say that chaos reigns, and things go from bad to worse when private military contractor (D'Onofrio) sensibly decides he can use a pack of Velociraptors to gang up on the big big dino. The results, shall we say, are a mixed bag. To keep the human interest, we have a heroic park ranger (Pratt) who knows his stuff and can handle himself in dangerous situations, an uptight PR manager (Howard) who understands little about the dinosaurs (but mucks in to help out by the end), and her two nephews who discover first hand how dangerous certain theme park holidays are for teenagers. Ultimately, the film has been so well produced, that despite it being a bigger version of the original story, it delivers and is hugely enjoyable. Those new to the franchise may miss the obvious references to the original, but these are not a disadvantage as the film stands alone well. If you want the definition of a good summer blockbuster, you won't go far wrong here.