Jurassic World

WRITTEN BY: Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Colin Trevorrow, Derek Connolly
DIRECTED BY: Colin Trevorrow
STARRING: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Vincent D'Onofrio, BD Wong, Irrfan Khan, Jake Johnson
RATING: 4.5 stars

Taking place 22 years after the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park called Jurassic World, which follows the vision of John Hammond. But after several years of operation, owner Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan) wants more from the park because the novelty of dinosaurs has worn thin and people look at the animals like zoo creatures. So, geneticist Henry Wu (B.D Wong) creates a hybrid dinosaur that is more intelligent and fierce than any other species. Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) manages the park but her life becomes more complicated when her two nephews Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins) arrive for a visit. Meanwhile, former naval officer Owen (Chris Pratt) works on training the velociraptors, but head of security Vic Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio) wants to use them for military purposes. When the hybrid goes missing, Claire seeks Owen's help to rescue her nephews while the others work on keeping the park running.

Jurassic Park is about as close to a perfect film as Hollywood has ever produced. The 1993 film was innovative, visually spectacular and still holds well today. With such a high bar set, it was always going to be a challenge for Jurassic World to reach those heights – but it almost gets there. It was perhaps a risky move to enlist small-time director Colin Trevorrow to lead the film, but it pays off. He also worked on the script and it was clear from the start of Jurassic World that the main people working on this film were fans of the franchise and wanted to do it justice. The film remains true to the original, and without ignoring the other two sequels, it specifically follows on from the first film because it is set on Isla Nublar where there is now a fully functioning facility very similar to United States theme parks such as Sea World.

Pratt is unsurprisingly perfect for the role, which allows him to be smart, brave and funny. He also has some good banter with Howard who, despite running around in high heels for the entire film, is never really a damsel in distress. Simpkins and Robinson are also convincing, particularly in their awe of the park and fear of the dinosaurs. D'Onofrio nails the slimy bad guy role too. There are a few minor players who are also used to great effect, especially Jake Johnson whose character works in the control room providing laughs and insight. Some characters face predictable endings but that is acceptable for the genre. There are also some lame moments but all is easily forgiven when the audience leaves the cinema reflecting on the more nail-biting moments. The final battle is also thrilling. Jurassic World is everything audiences want and expect in a blockbuster. It is worth seeing in 3D too.