Movie Review: Jurassic World

Movie Review: Jurassic World


Genre: Sci-Fi Action

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 124 mins.

Premise: 22 years after the events in Jurassic Park, the dinosaur theme park experience is in full operation, luring 22,000 visitors a day.  But, in order to satiate audience demand, the park's geneticists have tampered with the DNA coding and created a new hybrid "dinosaur" by the name of Indominus Rex.  When the I-Rex breaks loose, the park's safety is severely compromised and it's up to raptor trainer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and park manager Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) to save the day.

Behind-the-Scenes: Steven Spielberg serves as executive producer.  This is only Director Colin Trevorrow's second film after the low-budget charmer, Safety Not Guaranteed.  He got the job after Brad Bird passed and recommended him.

The Good: This is the sequel to Jurassic Park we always wanted.  Seeing the park operate captures the wonder and awe that we initially had back in 1993.  The production design is a marvel, and all of the theme park touches and product placement are spot-on.  The movie offers a fairly clever meta-take on the current state of blockbusters.  The action scenes are exciting and inventively staged.  Pratt confirms that he is a movie star (even if he relies on a lot of action hero posturing).  Fast-paced and lots of fun, Jurassic World delivers the dinosaur goods and plays off your nostalgia for the first film like a pro.  The climactic action sequence is chock full of dino-on-dino fights and will leave you cheering.

The Bad: Howard does what she can with a stereotypical role, and remains engaging, but it's hard not to laugh off the obviousness of her character's hair (as informing her character) and ridiculousness of her wearing high heels throughout the film.  Trevorrow does solid work, but lacks Spielberg's artistry.  The movie is frequently dumb, and some of the subplots (involving use of trained raptors in the military) strain credulity.

Should You See It?: Definitely.  This is a great summer blockbuster that will thrill kids and the young at heart.  There's a reason it's cleaning up and setting records at the box office.  So nice to have the Jurassic franchise back in business!

Star Rating: **** out of 5 stars.

Better Than: The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park III

Worse Than: Jurassic Park

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