Juras­sic World

Park Strife

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Rated -

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

12A | 125 min­utes Di­rec­tor: Colin Trevor­row Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dal­las Howard, Ir­rfan Khan, Vin­cent D’Onofrio, Judy Greer

“No one’s im­pressed by

di­nosaurs any­more,” says Bryce Dal­las Howard’s tightly- wound Claire Dear­ing, early on in Juras­sic World. It’s a fair point: some 22 years since Steven Spiel­berg bril­liantly breathed life into these pre­his­toric crea­tures in Juras­sic Park, see­ing di­nosaurs roam the Earth – or rather on a pri­vate is­land near Costa Rica – is no longer quite the won­der it once was.

Even if the T- Rex and its pals have been largely ab­sent from cine­mas since 2001’ s Joe John­ston- di­rected Juras­sic Park III, their mytho­log­i­cal coun­ter­parts have not. From Pa­cific Rim to Godzilla, mod­ern au­di­ences have been well- served with CG- driven beasts caus­ing wan­ton de­struc­tion on the big screen. So, like the lady says, why on earth do we need another Juras­sic Park?

In­com­ing di­rec­tor Colin Trevor­row ap­proaches the ques­tion with zeal. Inspired by a trio of ideas be­stowed to him by Spiel­berg, Juras­sic World is a fiendishly crafted block­buster: old- fash­ioned thrills, hero­ism and ro­mance, locked in­side a smart, self- aware shell. Quite an achieve­ment for a di­rec­tor whose only pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence was the like­able- but- lim­ited 2012 time- travel in­die Safety Not Guar­an­teed.

Un­like John­ston’s se­quel and Spiel­berg ’s own ear­lier 1997 fol­low- up The Lost World, both of which were guilty of re­cy­cling ideas and char­ac­ters from the orig­i­nal, Juras­sic World fi­nally re­alises the vi­sion of John Ham­mond, Richard At­ten­bor­ough’s bil­lion­aire who first dreamt of a theme park full of pre­his­toric di­nosaurs. It takes us back to Isla Nublar, where this ul­ti­mate at­trac­tion has been open to the public for a decade – backed now by Mas­rani Global, the cor­po­ra­tion that took over Ham­mond’s In­Gen af­ter his death.

With ticket sales dwin­dling, Ir­rfan Khan’s he­li­copter- fly­ing ty­coon Si­mon Mas­rani has opted to rad­i­cally stim­u­late in­ter­est in Juras­sic World, with a ge­net­i­cally- mod­i­fied di­nosaur hy­brid that’s been bred in iso­la­tion. With this so- called In­domi­nus Rex set to be un­veiled, over­see­ing fi­nal safety checks is Howard’s afore­men­tioned Oper­a­tions Man­ager – on the very same week­end that her two neph­ews, the hor­mone­sprout­ing teen Zach ( Nick Robin­son) and his younger, di­nosaur- crazy brother Gray ( Ty Simp­kins), are set for a long- over­due visit.

It doesn’t take a palaeon­tol­o­gist to pre­dict that the In­domi­nus Rex will es­cape, nor that these squab­bling sib­lings are set to be prime dino- feed. Sav­ing the day is largely left to Chris Pratt’s park ranger Owen Grady. Part David At­ten­bor­ough, part Steve McQueen, he’s sooth­ing Rap­tors one minute, rac­ing with them on mo­tor­bikes the next. If Guardians Of The Gal­axy’s Star- Lord was Pratt’s Han Solo, then Grady is his In­di­ana Jones. Should the ru­mours of Pratt’s ap­point­ment as a re­booted Dr Jones come to pass, then surely the bar­rel- roll he does un­der a clos­ing gate of the Rap­tor en­clo­sure serves as the ideal au­di­tion.

More prob­lem­atic is Bryce Dal­las Howard’s con­tri­bu­tion. It’s her first film since 2011’ s The Help, and with her char­ac­ter forced to cross a far big­ger emo­tional canyon than Pratt, it makes for a tricky come­back. Her role is the ca­reer- driven cold- heart who must find her soul en route to sur­vival, and it’s not hard to see why Joss Whe­don tweeted that early footage of her made him think of “’ 70s- era sex­ism”. It doesn’t help that, rather ridicu­lously, she spends the en­tire film in high heels ( even sprint­ing in them, in one se­quence).

As he did with Safety Not Guar­an­teed, Trevor­row toys with archetypes – and, to be fair, the ban­ter be­tween Pratt and Howard’s char­ac­ters is more en­joy­able than of­fen­sive; think Har­ri­son Ford and Kate Cap­shaw in Spiel­berg ’s own In­di­ana Jones And The Tem­ple Of Doom. Im­pres­sively, when ro­mance flares, it’s swift, un­ex­pected and makes the heart leap. And while a safety video fea­tur­ing US talk show

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