Jurassic World

Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard in Jurassic World.

Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard in Jurassic World.

It’s been 22 years since the first Jurassic Park left audiences enamoured with the concept of a dinosaur theme park and that sense of wonderment has been successfully reinvigorated in this fourth sequel. Jurassic World happily skips over sequels two and three and gives plenty of nostalgic nods to the popular original.

The park, also named Jurassic World, has been open to the public for 10 years. It’s a comment on modern society that humans are already bored of it, treating the dinosaurs like run-of-the-mill zoo animals. The big-wigs want a new attraction, one that will bring in the crowds with its wow-factor, so they create their own. It’s an obviously dangerous concept revisited from the original — just because we can, doesn’t always mean we should.

The spirit of Spielberg is evident in Jurassic World

The spirit of Spielberg is evident in Jurassic World. It’s a testament to director Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) who has stepped up to take the reins of his first major blockbuster and knocked it out of the (Jurassic) park. The use of suspense is on point — a full dinosaur isn’t seen until at least 20 minutes in — and there are plenty of thrilling twists and turns masked with exciting, adrenaline-filled action sequences to keep audiences on the edge of their seats.

Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard star as the leads and do a solid job of being co-heroes. They are obviously romantic interests for each other but that takes a backseat to the character arc of Howard’s stiff Claire and the training relationship Pratt’s tough-guy Owen has with his team of raptors. Thankfully, the concept of ‘trained raptors’ (which easily could have been ridiculous), is handled in a believable way. The new dinosaur is a truly terrifying creation, and the first real non-human villain of the franchise, clawing it’s way through people and dinosaurs alike.

While there are some weak points — two-dimensional supporting characters and a shoe-horned sub-plot featuring villainous plans meant for a sequel — none of that will matter in one of the most anticipated sequels ever made.

**** /5

In Australian cinemas June 11

(Review first published in City Hub)

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