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Thursday, 22 October 2015

DVD Of The Week: Jurassic World (2015)


The most exciting entry in the enduring franchise since Jurassic Park back in 1993, Jurassic World is a bombastic blockbuster that does what it does really well. This isn't Citizen Kane, this is wall-to-wall action and dinosaur-feeding frenzy.

Taking place two decades after the original Jurassic Park has been rebranded as Jurassic World, little time is wasted on set-up and exposition as it's presumed that most people seeing this movie will already have some grasp of the backstory of the island of Isla Nublar.

One element of this tale that spins out of this is that the general public has become blasé to living dinosaurs now and so the park needs to "invent" a new creature through genetic manipulation.

And it's this new creation, the monstrous Indominus Rex, that sets the plot going when it bust out of its confinement and starts prowling the island, snacking on other dinosaurs and some of the island's 20,000 visitors!

Man-of-the-moment Chris Pratt leads the human cast as Owen Grady, a velociraptor expert and trainer, alongside Bryce Dallas Howard as the park's cold and analytical operations' manager, Claire Dearing.

The day the Indominus Rex decides to break free happens to be the first day that Claire's annoying nephews - Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach Mitchell (Nick Robinson) - are visiting the park.

While clearly meant to remind us of the two kids from Jurassic Park, these two are very tedious and two-dimensional in comparison; Gray is a whiner and Zach is a hormone-driven teenager. Sadly (but unsurprisingly) neither gets eaten.

There are a number of homages - both overt and subtle - to the original film, including revisiting one of its (now overgrown) key locations.

B. D. Wong even reprises his role from Jurassic Park as Dr. Henry Wu, the park's chief genetic scientist.

As all this chaos is unfolding, evil corporation InGen - who've been bankrolling the genetics experimentation - steps in to lock down the situation (as part of its scheme to weaponise the dinosaurs for real world scenarios), with the aid of security chief Hoskins (Daredevil's Vincent D'Onofrio).

Thrilling, visceral, action; relentless pacing; and incredible CGI dinosaurs create a feast for the eyes - if not the brain - that helps gloss over some of the weaker, story moments.

Much like the recent Mad Max: Fury Road, Jurassic World's main motivator is the momentum of its cool, effects-driven, eye-candy rather than its deep character development.

Unfortunately, it does, occasionally, try to have its cake and eat it; and when it takes a stab at doing "character" that's when there's the odd bump in the road.

For instance, what was the point of the scene - not referenced anywhere else, or even hinted at - when Gray is bleating on to his brother about their parents' getting divorced? Was this supposed to make us more sympathetic towards them? Because it didn't work.

But those few moments aside, Jurassic World is a brilliant rollercoaster of a monster movie that will hold your attention for two hours of pure, high-caliber, CGI overload.

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