Trevor­row Land

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The di­nosaurs are com­ing to disc – worth your dosh?

re­leased 19 OC­TO­BER 2015 | 12 | Blu- ray/ DVD/ Down­load

Di­rec­tor Colin Trevor­row

Cast Chris Pratt, Bryce Dal­las Howard, Vin­cent D’Onofrio, Ty Simp­kins

The fourth film in the long - dor­mant dino fran­chise has a sig­na­ture im­age: a bored teenage boy in the theme park’s view­ing gallery on the phone to his girl­friend while a Tyran­nosaurus rex hollers in the back­ground.

It’s 22 years on from the open­ing of the orig­i­nal Juras­sic Park, and John Ham­mond’s lab- birthed di­nosaurs have lost much of their gawp value. “These days, kids look at a Stegosaurus like an ele­phant from the city zoo,” ex­plains stiff- col­lared oper­a­tions man­ager Claire Dear­ing ( Bryce Dal­las Howard). So the pres­sure is on to give peo­ple an ex­tra in­cen­tive to book their ticket to Isla Nublar. The an­swer: the In­domi­nus rex, a lab­o­ra­tory- con­cocted dino cooked up to be big­ger, nas­tier and hun­grier than even its Tyran­nosaurus cousin – a great­est hits DNA pack­age of all the park’s dead­li­est at­trac­tions.

There’s a pleas­ingly meta par­al­lel be­tween the theme park’s need to give its visi­tors a new cen­tre­piece af­ter 22 years and the fran­chise’s need to of­fer up some­thing fresh and vi­tal af­ter 14 years’ ab­sence. Juras­sic Park wowed the world in 1993, but by Juras­sic Park III, CG- ed di­nosaurs were greeted with more of a col­lec­tive shrug than a jaw- drop. Uni­ver­sal then was faced with ex­actly the same dilemma as the own­ers of ( a now re­named) Juras­sic World.

So while the pre­vi­ous Juras­sic Parks were proper dino- en­sem­bles, there’s lit­tle room for any other species ( bar the mar­quee- friendly Rap­tors) in this new movie.

It’s a ques­tion­able move. The ap­peal of the orig­i­nal Juras­sic Park was that it breathed life into crea­tures that gen­uinely once roamed the planet, giv­ing us a vivid evo­ca­tion of our pre­his­toric past. But as soon as you cre­ate your own hy­brid di­nosaur you might as well be mak­ing Godzilla. Even the script seems to blast it­self when Jake John­son’s old- time Juras­sic Park fan­boy Low­ery says, “That first park was le­git! They didn’t need these ge­netic hy­brids, you just need di­nosaurs, real di­nosaurs!”

Writer/ di­rec­tor Colin Trevor­row seems sim­i­larly starry- eyed about that first movie. There are nu­mer­ous lit­tle kisses to Spiel­berg’s 1993 orig­i­nal, from Low­ery’s Juras­sic Park T- shirt to the re­turn of Dr Henry Wu. Spiel­berg is on ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer du­ties, and it must have been quite a feel­ing to be told, in a round­about way, how great you are ev­ery time you view the dailies.

Sadly, Trevor­row doesn’t quite have his hero’s knack with lu­mi­nous char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion. When Joss Whe­don dived in af­ter a clip of Dear­ing’s first meet­ing with Chris Pratt’s Rap­tor- whis­perer Owen Grady was re­leased online, call­ing it “’ 70s- era sex­ist. She’s a stiff, he’s a life- force,” he hit the bulls­eye. While the sec­ond- tier char­ac­ters have colour and

There are nu­mer­ous lit­tle kisses to Spiel­berg’s orig­i­nal

fresh­ness ( John­son has a sweet dou­ble- act with Lau­ren Lap­kus as fel­low em­ployee Vi­vian Krill), Trevor­row has trou­ble flesh­ing out his two leads be­yond a thumb­nail­sized stereo­type. Owen tells Claire off for scream­ing and scolds her for wear­ing high heels; she doesn’t know how to talk to her own neph­ews and calls di­nosaurs “as­sets”. It’s a shame that the movie doesn’t let Chris Pratt be, well, Chris Pratt a bit more. If this had been Peter Quill against the di­nosaurs, and Bryce Dal­las Howard had been al­lowed a lit­tle of the sur­vivor spirit of Laura Dern’s char­ac­ter in the orig­i­nal film, maybe it would have helped Juras­sic World’s leads not seem like such dusty anachro­nisms.

So where do they go from here? An army of In­domi­nus rexes? A killer Di­plodocus? As en­joy­able as Juras­sic World is, we’ve had our fun with gene- spliced dino mu­tants – let’s get back to ba­sics next time round, eh?

Ex­tras Thank­fully, you get plenty of Chris Pratt bang for your buck in the bonuses. He and Trevor­row in­ter­view each other for the nine- minute “Chris And Colin Take On The World”, where Pratt talks about the 2009 home video of him jok­ing about be­ing of­fered Juras­sic Park IV ( catch the whole thing on YouTube). Else­where, you get a cou­ple of stan­dard Mak­ing Ofs ( 29 min­utes/ 10 min­utes), a Pratt- fronted tour of the movie’s In­no­va­tion Cen­tre, and six min­utes’ worth of inessen­tial deleted scenes – in­clud­ing one where Claire has to smear di­nosaur shit all over her­self. There’s no com­men­tary though – boo! Steve O’Brien

The In­cred­i­bles/ To­mor­row­land di­rec­tor Brad Bird pro­vided the voice of the Juras­sic World mono­rail an­nouncer.

As belches go it was a cracker.

Fogle and Hum­ble knew this was an episode of An­i­mal Park like no other.

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