Twenty-two years ago, director Steven Spielberg caused jaws to drop in cinemas around the world as his movie Jurassic Park made us truly believe that prehistoric creatures could once again roam the earth. Forgetting the two passable sequels, 21st century moviegoers were ready for a return to the land of the dinosaurs and this follow up, with Spielberg executive-producing, harks back to the fun, exciting original in a way that will delight fans of the first movie and introduce a whole new generation to the Jurassic adventures.
If you watch 1993’s Jurassic Park today, you’ll be surprised at the slow build-up the movie has (it’s ages until you even see a dinosaur and longer still until one chomps on someone), especially as we’ve grown used to films like the Marvel comic adventures that cater to audiences with very short attention spans who expect at least one high octane action sequence even before the opening credits have started. So it comes as a cool surprise when Jurassic World begins at a leisurely pace, gently introducing us to the various characters we hope won’t become monster munchies before the movie’s end, and showing us Jurassic World itself – a theme park built on the old Jurassic Park site (don’t these people ever learn?) off the coast of Costa Rica.
Having a holiday there are young brothers Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson), along with thousands of other people queuing up to go on rides that take them near various prehistoric creatures (and kids, you can even ride on a baby dinosaur!). What they don’t know (uh oh) is behind the scenes, those mad scientists (led by BD Wong’s Henry Wu, whom fans will remember from the very first movie) have created a hybrid dinosaur by throwing lots of different DNA into the mix, and said mega-dino is getting very angry. Throw in a subplot about some shifty looking dudes who want to turn the island’s raptors into an army weapon (a rather underdeveloped strand that doesn’t make much sense), and it starts to look like Jurassic World may not be the best place to book your next vacation.
Featuring nods to the original movie and the stunning dinosaur effects we’ve come to expect, this adventure also boasts fun performances. The two young kids are great – scared, wise-cracking in fear, and cute without being cloying – but it’s the two leads that make this extra special. Howard is amusing as the park boss watching everything unravel in front of her (it’s especially funny that she spends the whole adventure in high heels and even outruns a dinosaur in them) but best of all is Chris Pratt as Owen, the ex-Navy guy whose job seems to be to tell everyone just how stupid they’ve been – when he isn’t rushing to everyone’s rescue, that is. As in Guardians Of The Galaxy, he’s both quirky hero and everyman, and while he doesn’t get the sharp Guardians-style lines here, he’s still hugely watchable and likeable even when delivering the movie’s naff final line.
In the end, of course, the movie belongs to the dinosaurs, and they are well worth the price of admission. Raptors, the new genetically made hybrid (the Indominus) and an old friend all get their moments in some terrific set pieces (the attack on a group of troopers is nightmarishly chaotic, the pterodactyls picking off tourists is twistedly hilarious) that make this the sequel Jurassic Park always deserved.
NOTE – this movie is for adults and older children only as it does feature dinosaur attacks and tense moments. Please see comments below.
Is Jurassic World suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
This is a 12A certificate movie, and like the other Jurassic Park films does feature dinosaur attacks, blood, and tense scenes. Note that it will be more intense in 3D/IMAX.
Some characters die in grisly ways (being ripped to shreds, eaten whole etc) and there are various fights and attacks between dinosaurs. Therefore this is not suitable for younger children.
Characters are often in danger, either hiding or being chased by dinosaurs.
There are also scenes of children in peril, though they are not quite as scary as the kitchen/raptor scene from Jurassic Park. The children are unharmed in the movie.
Sensitive viewers and younger children (under the age of 10) may find the scenes too frightening and intense.
There is some swearing.