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Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Jurassic World | Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D'Onofrio, Irrfan Khan, BD Wong, Nick Robinson, Judy Greer, Ty Simpkins | Review

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3sm The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is MEDIOCRE Judy Thorburn

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3lg The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is MEDIOCRE


Jurassic World (3D)

You would think by now they would have learned the lesson that you can't mess around with mother nature and not suffer the consequences.

Twenty two years after the original sci fi action adventure, 1993's ‘Jurassic Park’ was released, the fourth installment of the blockbuster franchise series, the highly anticipated ‘Jurassic World’, is yet another exercise in history repeating itself.  Once again, as the result of bringing dinosaurs back to life, things goes terribly wrong.

Set on Isla Nubla, an island off the coast of Costa Rica (but actually shot in Hawaii) ‘Jurassic World’ is a fully functioning theme park where all the attractions including a petting zoo, a performance pool, a museum, and exhibit hall, feature prehistoric creatures brought back to life for the amusement of its visitors.

The story sticks to the usual formula and unravels with a cast of stereotypical, obligatory characters including, but not limited to, a couple of youngsters in peril, a misguided business obsessed figure, a villain, and of course, the smart and hunky hero.

It all begins when a pair of siblings, 16 year old Zack (Nick Robinson) and his 11 year old brother Gray (Ty Simpkins) are sent by their mother Karen (a wasted Judy Greer), who is about to be divorced from their father, to visit ‘Jurassic World’ and spend some time with their Aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), the resort's Director of Operations.

Workaholic, career obsessed Claire is focused on a new, $26 million exhibit and views her visiting nephews as a distraction. Lacking any parental skills, she hands them VIP passes and assigns her British assistant, Zara (Katie McGrath) to chaperone them, although they eventually decide to go off to explore on their own, unaware of what danger lies ahead. As for Claire, she is about to have a rude awakening about her priorities, after the sh-t hits the fan.

Meanwhile, for the purpose of drawing continuous throngs of visitors who are always seeking the latest thrill, genetic engineer Dr. Henry Wu (played by BD Wong and the only character from the original film), has created and designed the first genetically modified dinosaur hybrid, a female Indominous Rex, to be bigger and badder than T. Rex and with unknown capabilities.  Raised in isolation after devouring its only sibling, the menacing creature which is reaching maturity, is scheduled to be revealed in a couple of weeks as the park's newest attraction.  To insure the safety of the visitors, Jurassic World's builder and CEO, billionaire Mr. Mizrani (Irrfan Khan, Life of Pi) insists that Claire bring in someone to inspect the area and check it for vulnerability.  Enter ex-Navyman, turned velociraptor “whisperer”, Owen Grady (the likeable, Chris Pratt), who has a history with Claire (a convenient set up for a predictable, eventual, romantic re-connection).  After years of working and training with a pack of velociraptors at a secluded research base on the periphery of the main park, he has established control and gained the trust of the aggressive and dangerous beasts who view him as the alpha male and with whom he has formed a bond.

Adding to the mix is security specialist Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio) lurking on the sidelines, who  has his own agenda, which is wanting to turn the creatures into military weapons.

When the highly intelligent and terrifying Indominus Rex escapes from its containment and goes on an uncontrollable rampage, chomping on and killing every smaller dino species or human in its path, the horrified Claire and Owen set out on a frantic mission to find and rescue her nephews before they become its next meal.  Bad enough the crowded park turns into a human buffet as visitors are unable to outrun or hide from the claws and jaws of the humongous beast as well as the flying pterodactyls that have escaped from captivity in search of prey.

Steven Spielberg is the executive producer and he has handed over the directorial reins to Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) who cowrote the screenplay with Derek Connolly. Unfortunately, Trevorrow doesn't come close to emulating his mentor Spielberg, and he delivers a film that is predictable, filled with plot holes, clunky dialogue and a ridiculous twist at the end.  Unfortunately, most of what goes on in this “world” is more of the same, or rehash, of what audiences have experienced in the prior installments.  There are even several references to the original Jurassic Park.

On the positive side, the CGI effects are indeed impressive.  However, what's lacking is the sense of awe and wonder that was achieved in the groundbreaking 1993 film which drew audiences in and never ceased to be amazing.

Nevertheless, those who have never seen ‘Jurassic Park’, this latest episode should work as a satisfying action packed thrill ride, as long as you dumb down your brain, leave behind logic, and go with the flow.   As for yours truly, I've been there and done that one too many times.  Despite my opinion, undoubtedly, Jurassic World is going to destroy its competition and make a killing at the box office.

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