Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the park with genetically modified dinosaurs! When Steven Spielberg first opened the gates to the awe-inspiring world of Jurassic Park back in 1993, he could probably envision its success overnight. However, he could’ve also predicted the inevitably uninspiring sequels to come.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park had its moments. But even Jeff Goldblum couldn’t save it from its absolutely ridiculous ending that still doesn’t make sense no matter how many times you watch it. Oh and I almost forgot karate gymnast girl who loves to boot Velociraptors through windows. I mean, come on.
Let’s not even get into Jurassic Park III.
But twenty-two years after park creator John Hammond (played by the late, great Richard Attenborough) decided not to endorse Jurassic Park, because you know, the dinosaurs started eating everyone, along stomps Colin Trevorrow’s fourth instalment to the saga, Jurassic World.
(‘Everything is roar-some!’ The Indominus Rex gets ready to chow down.)
Where Hammond’s original park had only a handful of different species of dinosaur, a simple safari style tour and two programmers that controlled the entire Costa Rican island, this new park makes the old one look like a flea circus. Now a fully-fledged theme park with monorails, futuristic cable cars, nifty little self-controlled glass orb thingys and dozens of species of dinosaur, Hammond’s dream has become the new Disneyland.
The film has many a nostalgic pop; Mr DNA, the heavy so they’re expensive night vision goggles, even Dr Wu is back from the original. But Jurassic World’s supreme sentimental moment and one of the best moments of the film, comes after we follow young Gray Mitchell (Ty Simpkins) out onto the balcony of his hotel suite, getting our first proper look at the park. If the combination of sweeping visuals and John Williams’ infamous Jurassic Park theme (slightly modified by Star Trek composer Michael Giacchino) doesn’t give you goosebumps, then you’re dead inside.
Gray and his bigger brother Zach (Nick Robinson), who’s clearly more interested in girls than Gallimimus’, find themselves at the park after their parents send them off to spend some quality time with aunty and park operations manager Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard).
Clearly though, normal dinosaurs just aren’t enough for some people, with investors keen to maximise the park’s potential by tampering with dino genetics creating new hybrid species that will really wow visitors and spike attendances. “They’re dinosaurs. Wow enough,” says Raptor trainer – yes you heard me, Raptor trainer – Owen, played by Chris Pratt, who executes his best Indiana Jones audition yet.
Enter the Indominus Rex. Jurassic World’s big, and I mean big, bad. Of course it escapes and of course they can’t contain it, sending the park into meltdown with thousands of lives, including Claire’s nephews’, in danger.
Obviously Jurassic World is no match for the original. No past, present or future Jurassic film will ever be. Trevorrow knows this and instead of trying to recapture the feel of Spielberg’s classic, The Safety Not Guaranteed director shoots straight for an all-out dino disaster movie. And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
It’s pure box office gold. A record breaking $1 billion to be precise. At times it’s a mindless blockbuster; an utterly predictable, CGI blasted gumf. Mostly however, it’s a really fun and enjoyable thrill-ride. Will we see another Jurassic sequel in the near future? A billion dollars says we might.