Magazine article Screen International

'Jurassic World': Review

Magazine article Screen International

'Jurassic World': Review

Article excerpt

Dir: Colin Trevorrow. US. 2015. 124mins

The dinosaurs might be more advanced in Jurassic World, but the people around them certainly aren't getting any smarter. Although the first Jurassic Park movie in 14 years features plenty of ravenous reptiles, they're consistently undercut by unimaginative humans both in front of and behind the camera, resulting in a sequel that's all overkill and very little genuine grandeur or awe.

Releasing in most territories by June 12, Jurassic World hopes to build on the hefty $1.97bn that the first three instalments grossed worldwide. Although the film features rising star Chris Pratt (fresh from last year's gigantic Guardians Of The Galaxy) and Bryce Dallas Howard, the dinosaurs will be the main attraction, their carnage able to translate into any language. Ho-hum reviews could temper box-office prospects a little, but even then this sequel's theatrical riches seem assured. Still, Jurassic World could prove too intense for younger viewers, chipping away at the film's bottom line.

The new film continues the storyline begun with Steven Spielberg's original film from 1993, establishing that the park created on an island offthe coast of Coast Rica is now a popular Sea World-like theme park known as Jurassic World. Visiting the island are brothers Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson), who are being looked after by their workaholic aunt Claire (Howard), an operations manager too busy running Jurassic World to pay them much attention.

The brothers soon run into trouble when the park's scientists (led by a snidely smug BD Wong) develop a hybrid dinosaur they've dubbed Indominus rex that is set to be Jurassic World's super-sized new attraction - until, that is, it gets loose and begins terrorizing everyone. Desperate to stop this rampaging, frighteningly intelligent menace, Claire turns to Owen (Pratt), a strapping dinosaur trainer who had one unsuccessful date with Claire long ago.

Directed by Colin Trevorrow, who previously helmed the charming romantic comedy-drama Safety Not Guaranteed, Jurassic World represents an ambitious leap from the world of indies to the far more treacherous terrain of studio blockbusters. Unable to land on a successful tone - or a collection of integrated tones - Trevorrow shifts awkwardly from gleeful, Indiana Jones-style swashbuckling (accompanied by heavy flirting with the stuffy Claire) to darker and scarier action sequences after Indominus rex starts to devour the park's pitiful security guards. It would be a difficult task for any up-and-coming director to match the visual panache and crack suspense of Spielberg, but Trevorrow doesn't display much affinity for action filmmaking, largely failing to capture the power or wonder of these rampaging lizards and the havoc they unleash.

But what's particularly crippling about Jurassic World is that Trevorrow and his three fellow co-writers populate the film with stock human characters who barely have more personality than their cunning dinosaur foe. Pratt demonstrated a winningly self-deprecating sense of humour in Her, The Lego Movie and on the TV series Parks And Recreation, and his ascension to movie star with Guardians Of The Galaxy was especially cheering, suggesting that he could become an A-lister without losing the modest humanity and sweet common touch that were his trademarks. …

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