In case you didn’t know, this is a movie about a dinosaur theme park in which the dinosaurs escape and some privileged white kids are put in danger (sound familiar?). It’s up to an animal handler (Chris Pratt) and the park administrator (Bryce Dallas Howard) to find the kids, capture the animals, restore the status quo and get a bit touchy feely before too many punters get all chewed up. Did I mention one of the dinosaurs has been genetically modified to be especially mean? Yep.
This movie has been rated PG-13 – there are a couple of scary bits and quite a lot of gorey people deaths but no worse than you’d see on the evening news
Ok, so for the purpose of this review I’ll assume you’ve seen Jurassic Park (1993). If you haven’t, go home, you’re not welcome here. This movie is set 22 years on from the events in the original park, John Hammond has entrusted the island (and it’s toothy contents) to the playboy-esque Mr Masrani (Irrfan Khan) who has made Hammond’s dream of a family friendly dino theme park a reality.
The park is kept in ship shape by Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), who has no problems balancing a hectic schedule of running a busy theme park, entertaining the owner, keeping her hair perfect and minding her two visiting nephews. Actually she was crap at the last one – busy career girl lets family relationships slide, you know the drill. Anyway, despite the place looking like Disney land on overdrive with mega long queues for attractions (skip the herbavores if you’re on a 1 day ticket I says), popularity is waning and Claire feels a new attraction is required.
Enter Indominous Rex (surprisingly not played by Andy Serkis) – a genetically engineered dinosaur made from the left over bits of other dinosaurs and one or two mystery ingredients. Bigger than a T-Rex and with plenty of added features, Indomino is sure to get park numbers to sky rocket, what could possibly go wrong? Without spoiling it for you: he’s a jerk, gets out of his box and makes a mess of the place.
Cue Owen (Chris Pratt), former Navy SEAL employed by the park to turn vicious velociraptors – with their 6 inch retractable claws and co-ordinated attacks – into performing circus animals, teaching them cool tricks like “look at me”, “run away” and “don’t eat the intern”. But, as we all know, where there are performing raptors the US military can’t be too far behind. With head of park security Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio) cracking the whip behind Owen, it’s clear he has ulterior motives for the raptor’s cute, yet pointless, obedience.
Claire gets Owen to check out the enclosure for the new genetosaur (which they are apparently building around the dinosaur!! Seriously??) and that’s when things go pear shaped and havoc ensues. Meanwhile Claire’s nephews take an offroad excursion in a pretty cool Gyroball thing and Claire and Owen must mount a rescue mission before the lads’ mum finds out.
Will they get to the kids before one loses a leg? Will they contain the genetosaur or just nuke it like Michael Crichton always intended? Will Claire and Owen get that second date? You’ll have to watch to find out.
- Strong performances from lead characters (Pratt dials it back to 50% Chris Pratt – which is good)
- Plenty of dinosaur screen time and people munching (why else would you go see a dino movie?)
- Some of the interplay with minor characters (Lauren Lapkus and Jake Johnson especially) adds some nice subtle humour
- CGI better than expected!
- Nice cameos from JP characters – Henry Wu, picture of Ian Malcolm, Mr DNA, T-Rex
- Makes you forget how crap JP II and III are (…maybe not)
- Genetically created dinosaur?!? really??? Because dinosaurs weren’t cool all by themselves?
- Some pretty major plot holes – in fact a lot of it won’t make sense if your brain is operating at more than 40% (of normal usage, not potential – that’s just crazy!)
The pros far out weigh the cons on this one – true I’m a sucker for dinosaurs and Bryce Dallas Howard is very easy on the eye, but when they got things right in this movie they got them spot on. A nice flick that pays homage to the first JP and a big middle finger to the next two. 6 out of 10