Movie Review: “Jurassic World”

Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Irrfan Khan, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson
Colin Trevorrow

“Jurassic Park III” felt like the final nail in the coffin of Steven Spielberg’s dino franchise. It was obvious that another movie would happen one day, though not anytime soon after Joe Johnston’s atrocious 2001 sequel. Capturing the magic of Spielberg’s original film and, to a lesser extent, his underrated follow-up is no easy task, but while director Colin Trevorrow (“Safety Not Guaranteed”) is unable to reproduce the sense of awe and terror found in the first movie, he does deliver an entertaining summer blockbuster with “Jurassic World.”

After years of setbacks, Jurassic Park is finally open and fully functional. People travel from all over the world to experience John Hammond’s dream, except it isn’t quite what he envisioned. Instead of a place of wonderment, the powers that be are more focused on profits. To raise public interest, the park has created a new dinosaur called Indominus Rex using the mixed DNA of other breeds. When the bloodthirsty dinosaur escapes on the same day that park operations manager Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) is being visited by her two nephews, Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson), she enlists the help of Owen (Chris Pratt), a former Navy man who has a bond with a pack of raptors, to track down the Indominus Rex before it reaches the center of the park.

What “Jurassic World” manages to bring back to the series is actual character arcs. In the first movie, it’s as much about Dr. Alan Grant taking on a paternal role as it is about running and screaming from dinosaurs. The two sequels that followed were more about thin, reactionary characters. The two relationships in this sequel – Claire with her nephews and Owen with his raptors – are well developed. It’s not the most compelling drama we’ll see this summer, but the relationships are effective enough not to be overwhelmed by the spectacle.

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