‘Jurassic World’ – Awe-inspiring Assets Run Amok

12A, Amblin Entertainment and Legendary Pictures, Universal Pictures

Feel-better Rating Heypressto Feel-better rating icon 2.5 out of 5

Teen Zach and younger brother Gray are off on an apparently harmless visit to their aunt. Their father and anxious mother Karen wave them off at the airport entrusting their care to her sister Claire. Karen's parting advice is prophetic: if something chases you, run. They are met at the Jurassic World theme park, built by Ingen (20 years after the events in Jurassic Park III) on Isla Nublar but not by Aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) who is occupied with executive responsibilities. She must ensure the park makes money, especially to maintain the dinosaurs which she and her colleagues refer to as ‘assets’. Her PA deputises as the boys' sitter and tour guide, doles out VIP ride passes and is quickly shed by the boys. The resort, on the south side of the island, is crowded with families who are being safely entertained by a hologram, a mini dinosaur petting zoo, and a dramatic and drenching ocean world experience.

Meanwhile elsewhere on the island has hero Owen (Chris Pratt) training raptors for unprincipled Ingen security boss Hoskins (Vincent D'Onofrio) who schemes to use them as infantry, naturally armed to the teeth and claws.

At the hub of the resort is the lab where the dinosaurs are produced and new hybrids are being designed. Dr Henry Woo's (BD Wong) pride, but soon to be diminishing joy, is Indominus, an outsize genetic collaboration between T. Rex and two other species whose importance is revealed as the story progresses. CEO Simon Masrani (Irrfan Kahn) has concerns about the holding capabilities of Indominus’s pen in the north of the island. An extra high wall has been erected, the space is rigged with heat sensors plus the dinosaur has a subcutaneous tracking device on its back. Operations Manager Claire calls in raptor wrangler Owen for a security check, regardless of their previous history. Owen notices the glass in the observation room has been attacked and the new guy makes a disastrous botch of feeding time.

Indominus is not all brawn and no brain. She lays a trap and escapes. The Asset Containment Unit is called in but with non-lethal weapons (to bring down but preserve the company's investment) with which they are scarcely a match for it. As Indominus rapidly moves south it goes on a killing spree and unleashes an aerial threat.

Management postpones evacuating the resort but has visitors recalled from rides towards the north. However, Zach and Grey touring in their reinforced sphere decline to respond and soon find themselves in a perilous game of footie, while Claire and Owen make an anxious search for the boys out in the danger zone. With chaos spreading, Hoskins seizes the opportunity to test his new zoological weapon. Owen, Claire and the boys attempt to tackle the crisis and when all hope seems lost help comes from an unexpected source.

The two leads did what they could regarding character development in a movie in which the dinosaurs are the stars. Irrfan Khan gave a cleverly balanced performance in a slight role which kept us uncertain as whether he was good guy or irresponsible materialist. Director Colin Trevorrow filling Steven Spielberg’s shoes, fulfils, as Claire says of the Jurassic World visitors, the demand for ‘bigger, louder’ and ‘more teeth’. Trevorrow and script-writer couple Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver bring us massive eyes at windows, humans on the menu, screams, chases and narrow escapes, ingenuity, fleeing crowds and an unexpected attack from below. Suitable executive wear is put to the test on the jungle run, and a highlight is Owen on a Triumph Scrambler racing to keep up with a pack of hunting raptors. I couldn't fault the special effects and CGI creating a 3D spectacle to rival the Jurassic Parks, however the equity feminism and character development enjoyed in the Parks was not all it could have been in Jurassic World and hopefully will be revisited if there is a sequel.

On an island dominated by risk-taking businessmen, their counterpart scientists and military mania, half a dozen good persons and true contrive to save most of holidaymakers and survive to tell the tale. Apart from the message of respect for nature, the film also demonstrates the importance of establishing a relationship with, and develop an understanding of, the things by which we feel threatened. Jurassic World will likely find its nostalgic adult watchers varying degrees of satisfied, its teen viewers ambivalent and its junior audience thrilled and enthusiastic.

About the Author Chartreuse

Chartreuse is a freelance writer, editor, photographer and promotional videographer. She has written a feel-better film review column for Heath & Happiness Magazine, and is the owner of Heypressto. Chartreuse’ greatest inspiration is Abraham-Hicks. Her favourite quote is ‘You can be, do or have anything you want’.

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