Movie review: ‘Jurassic World’
Special to the Bonanza
B (3 stars out of 4)
• Directed By Colin Trevorrow
• Starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins, B.D. Wong, Judy Greer
• Rating PG-13, Sci-Fi, 123 minutes
The “Jurassic Park” films (based on the Michael Crichton bestseller) prove placing people and dinosaurs in the same space and time also places billions in studio coffers.
The first film introduced incredible computer-generated animation. The spine-tingling action presented an awe-inspiring T-Rex, along with a pack of wily velociraptors.
Tension was relieved by Jeff Goldblum, whose comic turn as a mathematics professor and proponent of chaos theory predicted the consequences of our attempt to control nature.
On the heels of that film’s enormous success, two more Jurassic Park films support the theory that dinosaur extinction was necessary in order for mammals to become the planet’s dominant life form.
Chapter four, arriving 22 years after the first film, reawakens our fascination with experiencing dinosaurs up close and personal. Even as the film’s villain, the hybrid dinosaur Indominus Rex, kills anything that moves, we realize that once a dinosaur resort theme park becomes possible, someone will build it and we will come.
While the dinosaur action delivers the promised thrills, the human characters in this installment are among the series’ most forgettable. Chris Pratt fulfills, but hardly impresses, in the heroic role of dinosaur wrangler Owen, while Jurassic World’s stiff CEO Claire is played by a remote Bryce Dallas Howard.
On the very weekend the theme park’s new dinosaur attraction breaks free from its supposedly escape-proof enclosure to run amok through the park, Claire’s young nephews, 9-year-old Gray (Ty Simpkins) and 16-year-old Zach (Nick Robinson), are rolling about inside a clear-shelled ball, smack in the middle of the dinosaur’s kill zone.
Although no scene recreates the tension generated when the original film’s brother-sister pair are hunted by velociraptors in the resort’s commercial kitchen, the human hamster ball scene is a hoot. What’s more, we’re not shorted on dinosaur sequences that feature Indominus Rex, a pack of velociraptors, everyone’s favorite T-Rex and a couple of new species.
Ultimately, it matters little whether the plots or philosophic musings of these films make any sense, since we go to “Jurassic Park” movies not for their stories but in search of wicked-fun dinosaur action.
“Jurassic World” gives us enough of that to justify its existence, though it’s more surprising the film’s opening-weekend ticket sales are the second largest in history. T-Rex is king. Long live the king.
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