Before you walk into the auditorium to watch Jurassic World, the fourth film in the franchise, bear in mind that this movie spent more than a decade in what some refer to as “development hell.”
More than two decades have passed since the debacle at the original Jurassic Park, when “John Hammond” brought Doctors Alan Grant, Ellie Satler and Ian Malcolm to evaluate the safety of his creation. In case you missed it, most of the dinosaurs escaped their enclosures and ate most of the people. Now, in the present day, Jurassic World sits on the same island as the old park and is a major world-wide tourist destination.
It is owned by “Simon Masrani” (Irrfan Khan) who has hired “Claire Dearing” (Bryce Dallas Howard) to run the park as its operations manager. Attendance is off and on the very weekend where she is hoping to land big corporate sponsors by giving them a preview of an amazing new creation, her nephews “Zach” (Nick Robinson) and “Gray” (Ty Simpkins) are coming in for a visit. She pawns them off on her personal assistant “Zara Young” (Katie McGrath) to show them all of the good stuff about the park, promising to meet with them later.
The new creation is a hybrid of several dinosaur breeds that they’ve named “Indominus Rex,” the word of “Dr. Henry Wu” (B. D. Wong) who somehow managed to survive the mass slaughter at the original park. Another amazing development is that “Owen Grady” (Chris Pratt), assisted by “Barry” (Omar Sy) has managed to train four raptors with the aid of cranial implants. While they are still dangerous as hell, they do follow and respond to his directions.
When the Indominus Rex manages to escape its supposedly escape-proof display and begins eating everything in sight, there is no initial panic. The park’s Asset Containment Unit is sent to capture this giant and when that doesn’t work; an evacuation is ordered and utter panic and carnage take over.
If you make a comparison of this movie to the original, the new film pales. However, viewed properly, the new film is an excellent effort on its own. Its director Colin Trevorrow, who proved his talents with the outstanding Safety Not Guaranteed, says this film has no relation to the two prior sequels. It is a 124 minute thrill ride that manages to surprise and amaze. While the image of a dinosaur on screen is no longer new, when taken to new levels of size and movement, they still enthrall.
The chemistry between Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard seems a bit forced and unreal but that doesn’t detract much from their strong performances. The two young actors portraying her nephews steal most of the scenes they are in with a mixture of wonder and fear. Vincent D’Onofrio is fun as a corporate mercenary there to exploit the raptors for his employer’s benefit and Jake Johnson is even more amusing as the master of the park’s control room.