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JURASSIC WORLD (review)

Review by Clay N Ferno
Produced by Frank Marshall, Patrick Crowley
Screenplay by Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver,
Derek Connolly, Colin Trevorrow
Story by Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver
Based on Characters created by Michael Crichton
Directed by Colin Trevorrow
Starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio,
Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Omar Sy, B. D. Wong, Irrfan Khan

Time once again for the Dino DNA to shine!

Jurassic World is produced by Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment and Legendary Pictures to splice 2015 CGI with Crichton and Spielberg’s original vision for the story. New director Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) directs the picture starring Chris Pratt (Parks & Recreation, Guardians of the Galaxy) alongside Bryce Dallas Howard (Spider-Man 3, Terminator Salvation) and familiar faces Vincent D’Onofrio, Omar Sy, B. D. Wong (as Dr. Henry Wu), Judy Greer and Jake Johnson.

To be considered a sequel to the previous films, and not a reboot, Jurassic World brings the fantasy of bringing dinosaurs back to life to a brand new generation.

The excitement, danger, humor and thrill of the original Jurassic Park is all there.

Jurassic World is a wild ride worth the price of admission to Isla Nublar.

Set twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park, the island is under management by the Masrani Corporation to fulfill the original vision of John Hammond. Claire (Howard) is the Operations Manager, struggling to balance the books of the gigantic Jurassic World Park — as public reactions to real live dinosaurs has declined on her line charts. Dr. Wu (Wong) invents a new attraction to save the park — Indominus rex — a hybrid predator sure to sell tickets.

It doesn’t take long for the action to start off on this movie. Claire’s nephews Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson) are given golden tickets to the park over Christmas break while their parents (Greer and Andy Buckley) start divorce proceedings back home. The new halls of Jurassic World pay tribute to the original trilogy with a floating Mr. DNA as well as Dilophosaurus and Brachiosaurus holograms alongside interactive displays for the kids.

The Disney World analog cannot be denied here, on the main concourse are all manner of restaurants from Starbucks to Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville stuffed with kids and parents spending money on dinosaur crap they don’t need like plush dino-masks and balloons. There is even a ‘Gentle Giants’ petting zoo for the tamest of the bunch. A monorail takes you to the various sections of the park where you can pop into a gyroscope ‘car’ that of course replaces the original Ford Explorers for guests to go on dino-safari.

Owen (Pratt) is a trainer, and has convinced a team of four velociraptors to cooperate with him. Using clicker training and treats, the raptors mostly obey. It is not too long before we hear of his colleague Hoskins’ (D’Onofrio) plan to weaponize the trained creatures for military applications.

Claire enlists Owen to help her train and coax the Indominus rex. Upon discovering the creature is no longer trackable in Paddock 11, the people eating beings. Our two young teenagers are out on a ride in a gyrocar and go off path — choosing to ignore the warning to return to home base and that a monster is loose on the island.

Claire and Owen’s mission is simpler now, save the boys. Owen’s Navy training and Claire’s instinct to save her family (or fear the wrath of Judy Greer!) tracks the kids from clues left behind from their grocer gyrocar — now smashed to pieces and chewed on line a toy by the Indominus rex.

From here on out, the rest of the movie is nonstop action and worth the experience so we’ll avoid any major spoilers and focus on some of the fun tributes to the original as well as new and exciting elements in Jurassic World.

Trevorrow (also screenwriter for the movie alongside Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver and Derek Connolly) weaves in key moments of drama from the original Jurassic Park without forcing in easter eggs for superfans to discover. When Gray and Zach come across a ’92 Jeep Utility vehicle emblazoned with the Chip Kidd Jurassic Park logo, they are able to (somewhat unbelievably) get the thing running because they worked on their grandpa’s car.

That exposition was unnecessary but seeing the old vehicles in the old part of the park grown over was great fun. As was the nod in the same scene with Owen and his flashlight.

Obviously, Indominus rex (now with new camouflaging powers courtesy of tree frog DNA) takes the place of T. Rex as the big bad in this film, with heart-pumping moments such as ‘the eye scene’, Indominus picking up and throwing Jeeps and Mercedes-Benz SUV’s all over the place. Also, lots of people are getting chomped up in attempts to subdue the super beast.

Even the paramilitary team brought in by Hoskin’s InGen company, with lots of firepower has trouble containing the island.

Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan), the owner of the park gets his due by personally taking on the Aviary (Read: the place where flying Pterodactyl and Pteranodons are kept!). In a particularly “Shamu” type scene, we’re also introduced to dinos of the depths, the marine Mosasaurs, being fed Jaws-sized sharks by Park vets. Along with the requisite Sea-World audience ‘SPLASH’ soaking everyone on descent, the audience gets to watch the Mosasaurs finish it’s meal through the side of a glass tank. The Mosasaur (or Mossie, as I call him) played a key roll in the immersive experience of Jurassic World as a movie.

There you have it, a mostly spoiler-free review of Jurassic World. The movie is already to set records at the Box Office (a familiar place for Chris Pratt these days), and you can be assured you’ll want to take your heart medication or at least hold on to your butts.

This is one wild ride. Don’t wait for this to come to video, catch it on the biggest screen possible. My 3D IMAX experience made me feel like a kid again.

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