This film has been long awaited. Fourteen years since the Last Jurassic Park offering, dinosaur loving fans everywhere have been counting down the days until Jurassic World would land…especially in my house.
Jurassic World returns us to what feels very much like founder John Hammond’s dream of how the original Jurassic Park was supposed to be. It was easy to imagine him amongst the exhibits rubbing his hands with glee at all the visitors. He would have revelled at the sight of several children riding around on baby triceratops. Indeed his statue is there smiling benignly at his public. Yet knowing what we do about how the previous Park turned out, surely foremost in the viewer’s mind is ‘When is a terrifying dinosaur going to escape?’
Times have certainly changed since 1993, and the dinosaur development has cranked up a notch to meet public demand. Dr Wu, an original character played by B.D Wong, is still striding around the embryo laboratory and looking very settled and in control, but he is now more focused on creating a new range of modified dinosaurs. These are needed to keep the Dinosaur Park attractive to visitors…much like Disneyland has to invent a new Disney movie every year to bring in the children who all moved on from Mickey Mouse a couple of generations ago. The flaw in this plan is that apparently in order to be exciting, a dinosaur has to be incredibly dangerous. The more treacherous the better.
Along with a new director, Colin Trevorrow, there are a host of new characters. Managing Jurassic World is Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard). It possibly shows my age when I kept finding myself comparing her to Happy Day’s Richie Cunningham…but she is his daughter after all. She is the type of highly organised woman who prints and hands her suitor a schedule for a first date. Everything is happening at once for her at the moment – the newly invented Indominus Rex is nearly ready to be exhibited, her nephews have arrived for their first family visit in 7 years, and Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio) is everywhere, representing all that is wrong with the Military. (Do we seriously want to contemplate trained carnivores running the next military invasion that happens?) Thank goodness for Owen (Chris Pratt), the laid-back ex Marine now training a group Raptors. He exudes the fact that he can handle whatever the Park is about to throw at him. Owen also helps to fill the gap caused by a lack of both Sam Neill and the classic chaos theories of Jeff Goldblum (although it is possible to catch Jeff on a book cover in the background of a scene).
Very much a continuation of the past Jurassic Movies, there are no real leaps or changes in this one. In fact there are so many nods to the previous films, familiar dinosaurs roaming the plains and sky, easily recognisable locations we have seen before, even original jeeps from the first Jurassic Park, that it was like welcoming the return of an old friend. Combined with the impressive CGI, excellent soundtrack and great touches of humour, this film is well worth a visit. Having enjoyed all the others, especially the first one, it was hugely satisfying to be able to be immersed back into the Jurassic World.
Rating: M Violence.