IN THE original Jurassic Park, scientists reanimate dinosaurs on a tropical island and quickly discover their arrogant folly.
“Life breaks free. It expands to new territories and crashes through barriers,” wisely observes Jeff Goldblum’s doom-mongering chaos mathematician.
His words reverberate throughout this fourth instalment of the blockbusting dino-franchise.
Director Colin Trevorrow and three co-writers step back in time, using the structure and heightened human drama of the first film as a solid template for this return to Isla Nublar.
Jurassic World begs, borrows and affectionately steals from the 1993 box office behemoth. Two stricken children are a focal point when the park goes into meltdown, and mission control boasts a nerdy computer wizard (Jake Johnson) for mild comic relief. If the nuts and bolts of the screenplay are unabashedly retro, the special effects are undeniably state-of-the-art, realising creatures great and small, which chomp through countless extras and the main cast.
This is by far the bloodiest chapter of the Jurassic saga, if not quite the best.
Jurassic World opened to the public in 2005 and now welcomes more than 20,000 visitors a day. Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) oversees park operations, while Dr Henry Wu (BD Wong) plays God in the laboratories, splicing DNA strands to create terrifying new breeds.
Thus the ferocious and highly intelligent Indominus Rex is born.
“This will give the parents nightmares,” shudders park CEO Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan), who took up the mantle from John Hammond to open an isle of prehistoric wonders.
When the Indominus Rex escapes her paddock, Claire begs naval officer-turned-animal behaviour specialist Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) for help.
He has been working on a top-secret project involving four captive velociraptors. Claire’s nephews, Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins) are trapped in the middle of the bloodbath and she implores Owen to rescue them.
Jurassic World is a muscular, rollicking romp that captures some of the adrenaline-pumping thrills and jaw-dropping awe we felt more than 20 years ago when Steven Spielberg first unleashed dinosaurs back into the world.
Pratt is an instantly likeable hero and he catalyses a simmering screen chemistry with Howard as the workaholic who faces the dino-pocalypse in highly inappropriate footwear.
Action sequences are orchestrated at a lick, seamlessly integrating digital trickery with live action.
“Remember: something chases you, run!” advises Zach and Gray’s mom at the beginning of the film. Wise words.