Jurassic park, as a theme park, hasn’t exactly got a good track record. Whilst the idea of real, live dinosaurs is nine shades of awesome, shit always happens. As Ian Malcolm put it in the first film: “Oh, yeah. Oooh, ahhh, that's how it always starts. Then later there's running and um, screaming”. It’s not exactly a spoiler to say that in this, the fourth instalment, there is plenty of running and screaming.
The science blokes, you see, have created a new dinosaur. After all, it’s been twenty years since the first ones were unveiled (and all the subsequent running and screaming) and the public is getting bored of dinosaurs. Basically, Jurassic World is all well and good but to the kids it’s just another zoo. So, they think, what we need is something bigger and nastier to bring the crowds, as everyone loves a good carnivore. They whip it up in the lab, chucking in DNA from all over the shop to help it stick together, then let it grow to full size for some reason before actually letting any experts take a look. This is a bit of a big plothole, to be honest, but who cares that much when you’re watching a daft fantasy adventure flick.
So we have Indominus Rex (easy to pronounce is important, apparently), a massive murdering machine that would surely cause massive havoc if it ever got loose. Phew! Good job the people in the park would never let THAT happen. Cue running and, indeed, screaming.
As far as characters are concerned, we mainly focus on Park bigwig Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), her nephews who naturally choose the worst week EVER to visit and hunky ex navy dinosaur whisperer Owen (Chris Pratt – the new Harrison Ford). Basically, shit hits the fan, kids wander off (like they do), so Claire and hunky monkey go off to find them before they are munched. Yeah, there’s more, including a nice turn from Vincent D’onofrio as an asshole who thinks we can weaponize dinosaurs, but essentially that’s the gist of it.
Thing is, this is a big ass Summer blockbuster movie, and so it’s all about entertainment and not complex plots. I have to say that on that front ‘Jurassic World’ delivers pretty well. There’s more dinosaurs than you can shake a stick at, and the park set up is incredibly well realized. The new kid on the block is suitably terrifying, although my personal favourite is an enormous shark munching sea dino that is kept in a massive pool (warning: Front 100 rows will get wet). We even get a suitable return for Me T Rex and well structured nods to the original move that don’t seem forced. All in all, this does just about everything it sets out to do, with incredible effects, good performances and a solid story. Will there be another one? Well, there may not be another park, but you can bet the dinosaurs will pop up again somewhere.