The highly anticipated sequel to the beloved Jurassic Park franchise finally arrived in 2015, 22 years after we first visited Isla Nublar.
Returning with an updated concept, a stellar cast and enough Easter eggs to make even a Jurassic Park novice nostalgic, Jurassic World saw monstrous box office returns on its release that were far from surprising.
After a fellow billionaire vows to grant John Hammond’s dying wish of the park to open one day, Jurassic World is born and we finally get to see the park that Hammond envisaged in all its glory. Guests flood in by the thousands to get a look at all the attractions; including a T-Rex, a baby dinosaur petting zoo, a Sea World-esque mosasaur show and tours of the lab where the dinosaurs are created.
With a view to keep one step ahead of so-called focus group demands, the park’s corporate team obtain sponsorship for a genetically modified hybrid in order to ensure high numbers and to maintain interest – because apparently, the modern dinosaur theme needs something bigger, cooler and with ‘more teeth’ to keep visitors satisfied.
Jurassic World’s Operations Manager, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), hires dinosaur researcher Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to inspect the new attraction’s paddock in order to give it the green light for opening day. Upon discovering that the dinosaur is not quite what it seems, it escapes and all hell breaks loose on the island.
Meanwhile, Claire’s two nephews (Zach and Gray) are visiting the park for the first time. After escaping the watch of Claire’s personal assistant, they find themselves in the deep end of all the chaos and must fight their way back to safety.
This new addition to the franchise certainly fared better than the poorly received Jurassic Park III. Jurassic World cleverly references corporate sponsors, upping the wow factor, and the need to make things bigger and better, to directly reflect modern blockbuster culture. It manages to take things back to the basics of why we love this prehistoric nightmare, but manages to pull them off in a bigger way with great flair. With many call backs to the original film, and one very special returning character (Henry Wu), it is an homage to its predecessor whilst also bringing the story new life.
Despite the questionable role of Bryce Dallas Howard’s character (an uptight workaholic who runs throughout the movie in stilettos), the character dynamics are fairly refreshing and there’s classic adventure movie beats to enjoy. Claire does get some good character moments as she starts to realise what’s really important when everything else goes south, and delivers an ending that really hits the spot (as well as giving a Jurassic Park icon it’s moment).
Chris Pratt as Owen Grady is great; he’s the glue of the film, and does well at balancing being a good guy who has a familial bond with the raptors and true care for the dinosaurs, whilst hitting all the action man beats you’d hope for in this kind of movie.
Vincent D’Onofrio is full on panto villain as military man Hoskins, and Irrfan Khan is really memorable as Masrani, the billionaire investor in the park who wants to make Hammond’s original vision a reality.
The young stars, played by Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkin, add a family dynamic to the story – Simpkin in particular does really well at showing the wonderment at the scale of the park and it’s inhabitants on screen, as well as tugging on the heartstrings as their backstory is revealed.
There’s lots of fun here to get stuck into – big set pieces, some tense moments as our stars do their best not to get eaten, twists as we learn the full capabilities of the park’s new dino creation and lots of warmth and heart too.
We’re giving Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World a solid 4 stars – he’s delivered a thoroughly entertaining ride with all the comedy, suspense and action you’d hope for, if not a little cloying cliché on the side. It’s a well-made blockbuster which might not match the classic status of the original, but sets up the franchise pretty well for the next phase of the story.
Own Jurassic World on DVD here, and have a look at the trailer below:
If you were as much of a fan of Jurassic World as we are, you’ll be pleased to hear there’s another instalment on the way – Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom will see the return of Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, as well as the legendary Jeff Goldblum coming back to the series. It is directed by J.A. Bayona and will hit cinemas in summer 2018.
The Fallen Kingdom full trailer landed recently – take a look below!