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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Coming Soon: A Moviegoer’s Guide to June


After a successful start to the summer thanks to surefire hits like “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and over-performers like “Pitch Perfect 2” and “Mad Max: Fury Road,” the blockbuster movie season continues with a pair of much-anticipated sequels, the big screen debut of an HBO favorite, and a welcome return to originality from the brilliant minds at Pixar. This month also features its share of Sundance favorites, so you’ll have a hard time not finding an excuse to visit your local theater a few times throughout June.


Who: Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Jeremy Piven, Kevin Dillon and Jerry Ferrara
What: As his first piece of business as Warner Brothers’ new studio head, former super-agent Ari Gold greenlights Vincent Chase’s directorial debut.
When: June 3rd
Why: It’s been four years since “Entourage” ended its incredible run on HBO, and in that time, there’s been a lot of talk about a potential big screen revival from series creator Doug Ellin, producer Mark Wahlberg and the cast. But now that it’s finally here, does anyone even care? That’s what we’re about to find out, but if “Sex & the City” (which had a similar gap between its series finale and the first movie) is any indication, the studio has nothing to worry about. “Entourage” already has a built-in audience, so the real question is whether non-fans will bother to take the plunge, and perhaps more importantly, how much they’ll need to know about the series to understand the events of the film.


Who: Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne and Jude Law
What: A desk-bound CIA analyst volunteers to go undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer and prevent diabolical global disaster.
When: June 5th
Why: Despite starring in some of the worst comedies of the last few years, there doesn’t seem to be any sign of Melissa McCarthy slowing down. For what it’s worth, “Spy” looks like it might be McCarthy’s best starring vehicle to date, although that’s largely due to the other people involved. It’s nice to see Jason Statham finally getting a crack at comedy (even if he’s playing the straight man here), while Jude Law and Rose Byrne are some of the most dependable actors in the business. The movie also played like gangbusters at SXSW earlier this year, and though that’s not exactly the best gauge of its quality, it can’t be any worse than “Tammy.”

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