Genetically Modified Dinosaurs on the loose!

Please note the review below may contain minor spoilers - I've done my best to keep them to a minimum.

After 22 years we return to Isla Nublar once again. The original 1993 classic promised a ‘Jurassic Park’ in full-swing and this time it delivers. But in a world of instant gratification, Dinosaurs are seemingly yesterday's news.

Jurassic World opens with a birth. The birth of a new type of Dinosaur - scratch that - the birth of a new type of creature, the ampli named ‘Indominus Rex’. With more attractions than you can shake a stick at, attendees are growing bored and the stockholders seek to spice things up.

To accommodate those goals, the genetic team led by Dr. Heny Wu (BD Wong) - who reprises his role from the original - has found the solution; a genetic hybrid Dinosaur, the first of its kind - at this point, the universe of Jurassic World is just poking fun at itself.

But do we have any volunteers for this new Sea World-esque death trap? Well of course we do! Introducing siblings Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins) who are having a little holiday excursion sans parents (because what parent wouldn’t send their kids off to a Dinosaur island).

Whilst at Jurassic World, they are also hoping to spend some valuable time with their Aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) - who herself is the Operations Manager at this new park. It’s all very formulaic, and pretty much what you would expect for a re-introduction of Jurassic Park to a new audience - characters do things, it’s just best not to ask why.

Speaking of which, our next port of call is Owen (Chris Pratt) who is playing, well... every character he always plays - the lovable jokester. When not making off-handed quips, he’s the resident Velociraptor trainer, yes you read that right, in a world of artificially resurrected Dinosaurs, they’ve decided that’s not quite enough - training Velociraptor’s to do circus tricks, seems like the next logical step.

So what’s the endgame? Well here comes your resident ‘hardened war guy’ Hoskins (Vincent D'Onofrio) who suggests turning them into a weapon, to fight on the front lines of combat. It seems the idea of training lions, tigers, elephants and the rest of the animal kingdom was skipped over - straight to Velociraptor’s it is! Again it’s best just not to examine anything in this movie, as it’s straight B-movie material and literally makes no sense.

But what does work, is the Jurassic World park itself. Packed to the rafters with over 20,000 visitors, we get to experience the various attractions as Zach and Gray dart between each one; from baby Triceratops rides (I so want one) to Tyrannosaurus Rex goat feeding time, it’s everything we first imagined how the original park may function. I just wish we had more of it, as honestly for me it was the most interesting part of the movie. I also welcomed the addition of the sea-dwelling Mosasaurs, I just wish we were introduced to more strange creatures other than the few iconic staples of the series.

Jurassic World also brilliantly captures the original's spirit very well, in both terms of set location and the mix of animatronics with CGI. What was missing though is any kind of tension, you never at any point feel afraid of these giant beasts, towering down over you - it’s missing that build up from the original, of showing you glimpses through the brush making you terrified of what just might be around the next corner.

Unfortunately all of the characters within Jurassic World are paper thin, this is not a film with any depth - you’ll not find a Sam O'Neill character in this one, contemplating the moral implications of genetics - it feels like that argument is now done and dusted, put to rest with the unused Dinosaur fossils - instead it’s just pulling out the Dinosaurs for a bit of on-screen mayhem. That’s not a bad thing mind you, there are some brilliant throwbacks to the original (Jurassic Park 2 & 3 don’t seem to get referenced or even exist in this world) which will be a delight for fans of the classic.

The action likewise is good fun, being a loud popcorn movie, delivering in terms of visuals everything you would expect from a modern Jurassic Park. But the ending might be a sticking point for some, as Jurassic World literally ‘jumps the shark’ into further absurdity. I was even half expecting the Dinosaurs to begin talking at one point and then Jeff Goldblum to pop-out with his ‘life finds a way’ line.

Fans of Jurassic Park will find a lot to love in this latest addition. Jurassic World is loud and has moments of fun action, let down by an absurd script and shallow characters. But if you are looking for an entertaining popcorn-flick this weekend with friends, then Jurassic World just might be for you.

Jurassic World is currently available to buy on Blu-ray & DVD via Amazon or on-demand via Amazon Video.

  • Review by
    David Robinson

    Twitter: @5ypher

    Posted on
    12th June 2015

  • 3 Out of 5 Stars
  • Poor script

    Shallow characters

    Underutilised Dinosaurs

    Lacks tension & fear

  • CG & Animatronics

    Well realised park

    Easter-eggs

Film Info

Jurassic World Jurassic World
Rating: 12A
Release Date: 11th June
Runtime: 2 hrs 4 mins
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson & Vincent D'Onofrio

  • Jurassic Park
  • Godzilla
  • The Lost World: Jurassic Park

May be unsuitable for young children. There are multiple scenes of Dinosaurs attacking and killing humans, mostly off screen though implied. Various scenes of injuries, mostly bandaged. And two scenes of a large Dinosaur devouring people.

The original Jurassic Park also released on the 11th June (1993).

It's the first time Director Colin Trevorrow had worked on a movie of this scale, having previously been known for Safety Not Guaranteed.