This record-breaking, sci-fi adventure film is technically the fourth installment in the film series, but basically continues the plot from the first film Jurassic Park. Jurassic World fulfills the dreams of John Hammond, played by the late Sir Richard Attenborough, who developed an amusement park with actual dinosaurs regenerated through genetic technologies.
This fully functioning park on Isla Nublar has been going for 10 years now and corporate managers decide to increase the “wow factor” with a new genetically modified dinosaur. The locations are amazing as filmmakers orients viewers to each component of the park before the non-stop action begins. Filmed in Hawaii, California, and Louisiana, Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) does great work as director while Steven Spielberg acts as executive producer.
The action is considerable with enough scares and thrills without pushing the boundaries of the PG-13 rating. The Gallimimus stampede sequence is a definite highlight with other showcases involving dinosaurs like the Anklosaurs and Velociraptors.
Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy, TV’s Parks & Rec) headlines the cast as Owen who mainly handles the Velociraptors who have been relatively “tamed”. His working relationship with Claire, the park’s operations manager, played by Bryce Dallas Howard (Spider-Man 3, The Village) anchors a strong acting core for the film with particular strengths in problem solving then swift, strategic action – something they desperately need for these extreme situations.
Judy Greer plays a mom named Karen who has two sons, Gray, played by Ty Simpkins (Iron Man 3) and Zach, played by Nick Robinson who visit the park. Their relationship with another character add more emotion in the plot while the theme “don’t ignore the rules” comes through loud and clear, especially to younger viewers.
Jake Johnson (TV’s New Girl) echoes Jeff Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm character from the first two installments as tech expert Lowery. He offers some comic relief and has some memorable dialogue like “I like to think there is just enough stability to keep it from collapsing into anarchy.”
B.D. Wong is the only returning cast member, geneticist Dr. Henry Wu who helps the new “creation lab” that yields the new genetically modified Indominus Rex – a hybrid of Tyrannosaurus and other unique creations. Filmmakers expertly and simply reveal this new creature’s abilities, which provide a main drive for the plot.
Vincent D’Onofrio plays Hoskins the head of InGen security while other key characters include park CEO/owner Simon Masrani played by Bollywood star Irrfan Khan; Claire’s assistant Zara, played by Katie McGrath (TV’s Merlin); Asset Containment Unit (ACU) leader Hamada, played by Brian Tee (The Wolverine and upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2); and Owen’s co-worker Barry, played by Omar Sy (The Intouchables). Comedian Jimmy Fallon has a prominent cameo role and Jimmy Buffett has a quick, but notable appearance.
Music score composer Michael Giacchino (Up, Inside Out) produces an excellent musical score that includes main themes from John Williams’ classic Jurassic Park musical scores. Giacchino previously composed musical scores for two Jurassic Park video games as well, so this Oscar-winning composer is a great fit for this special effects-filled film.
Veterans of this film series will spot several references including Mr. DNA on a sign and familiar gear like Jeep Wranglers and the night-vision goggles from Jurassic Park while enjoying new pieces like a monorail and the gyrosphere that allows park visitors a close view of the well varied dinos.
The 124-minute Jurassic World comes recommended (*** out of four stars) and is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of science-fiction violence and peril. Also playing IMAX and IMAX 3D theaters. Pratt should be very busy between sequels for Guardians of the Galaxy, The LEGO Movie, and Jurassic World plus a possible Indiana Jones lead role, but does he have that much time?
Copyright © Michael Siebenaler