‘Jurassic World’ adds new wrinkle to dinosaur franchise

By Bob Bloom
“Jurassic World” is a fun and thrilling adventure because it showcases its dinosaurs in a matter-of-fact manner.
It has been 20 years since the original “Jurassic Park,” and the awe and wonder that surrounded the behemoths in that film has faded.
Smartly, the creative team behind this new venture recognizes that wrinkle and has used it to their advantage.
The theme park in “Jurassic World” is like any other amusement facility, needing to add bigger and more novel attractions to lure in more visitors.
jurassic park kidsLike Disney World or a Universal park, it is loaded with restaurants, coffee shops and stores, selling all kinds of toys, trinkets, clothing and stuffed animals.
Attendance at Jurassic World is leveling off, so scientists at the park are splicing genetic materials from here and there to create a new, bigger and scarier dinosaur. You’d think these guys would have learned their lessons after the fiasco of the first film.
Of course, this new mean monster escapes and begins to wreak havoc throughout the park. It sets off a domino effect of disaster as workers and tourists alike become dino chow.
Smartly, director Colin Trevorrow, who helmed the quirky sci-fi indie film “Safety Not Guaranteed,” shows restraint. The scenes of people being devoured are dispatched quickly and not that graphically.
Trevorrow is aware of his audience’s demographics and concentrates more on the dangers and tensions of the situation.
The film focuses on four main characters — Chris Pratt’s Owen Grady, who is working with the raptors; he’s sort of a dinosaur whisperer who has tamed them as much as possible; Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire Dearing, who helps run the park; and her two visiting nephews, teenager Zach (Nick Robinson) and younger brother and dinosaur geek, Gray (Ty Simpkins).
As in the original film, it’s the youngest cast members who are continually fleeing, hiding and making hair-breadth escapes from the ravenous monster, who, it seems, kills for sport, not for food.
It’s up to Owen and Claire to save the boys and end the reptile’s reign of terror.
“Jurassic World” does not spend much time on character development; as long as the main characters can scream and run, you need not know any more details about them.
As for the rest of the cast, which includes Vincent D’Onofrio, Irrfan Khan and B.D. Wong, it’s easy to discern early in the film who will or won’t wind up as a dinosaur’s delicacy.
The special effects, CGI and animatronic dinosaur work all heighten the film’s enjoyment quotient.
At times “Jurassic World” is simple, dumb and predictable. Overall, though, it is a rousing, entertaining and well-paced excursion that, at times, will have you giggling or cheering.
The film’s 123 minutes race by like a speeding raptor on the hunt.
Simply sit back, buckle yourself in and enjoy the ride.

Bloom is a member of the Indiana Film Journalists Association. His reviews appear at ReelBob (reelbob.com) and The Film Yap (filmyap.com). He also reviews Blu-rays and DVDs. He can be reached by email at bobbloomjc@gmail.com or on Twitter @ReelBobBloom. Other reviews by Bloom can be found at Rottentomatoes: www.rottentomatoes.com.

JURASSIC WORLD
3 stars out of 4
(PG-13), intense sequences of action and violence, language

 

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