Welcome to Jurassic World, located off the coast of Costa Rica; billionaire Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan) has taken the late John Hammond’s vision of a dinosaur theme park and turned it into a popular luxury resort with boatloads of visitors continually pouring into the establishment. It’s here that Operations Manager, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), keeps a watchful eye over the exhibits and attractions to ensure that everything runs smoothly, especially on the lead up to the reveal of the resort’s latest addition – the genetically engineered, highly intelligent Indominus Rex. The creators figure that they need to continue to push boundaries and produce larger, louder creatures (with more teeth), otherwise they risk losing visitors as people are constantly in search of the next big thing. But have they considered the ramifications of their cocktail creations?
Ex-marine and raptor trainer/all-round dino expert, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), doesn’t think so. He makes it his mission to warn the creators about the risk of breeding hybrids, but sadly the crew had misplaced their listening ears at this point in the film. While all of this is breaking out “behind the scenes”, Claire’s nephews Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson) arrive at the park and, for the first time, we witness the world through mesmerised children’s eyes. With their Aunt preoccupied, the two youngsters are free to navigate and explore the attractions while under the supervision of Claire’s personal assistant, Zara Young (Katie McGrath), who is given the responsibility of chaperoning them on the trip.
Meanwhile, Owen is sent into the paddock to investigate what appears to be the I-Rex’s escape but is, in fact, a ploy to coax them into the vast open-air arena, which is essentially a food bowl for these reptiles. Owen makes a quick escape shortly before the ginormous predator follows him out of captivity and goes on a rampage, quickly racking up the film’s body count. Owen uses his knowledge, experience and skills to herd the visitors to safety and away from the prehistoric attack. Meanwhile, Claire, his co-pilot, makes the protection of her sister’s sons her number one priority.
Bryce Dallas Howard, well known for her roles in The Help (2011) and 50/50 (2011), plays a strong female lead in her role as Claire. On the surface, she appears prim and proper with not even a hair out of place, adding to her authoritative demeanour.
The character attracted some criticism for wearing high heeled shoes throughout the film, particularly the moments that she is being chased by flesh-eating dinosaurs, but she dressed appropriately for work, just like any other day. As the story develops, she makes changes to her attire, such as losing her belt and tying her blouse but she keeps the footwear like the total female badass that she is.
Her acting partner in crime, Chris Pratt, who appears in the role of dino researcher Owen Grady, pulls off everything from his one liners to his action-packed stunts in an effortless fashion, making him similar to a Harrison Ford for a new generation.
You can’t have a dinosaur disaster movie without throwing some distressed children into the mix – meet Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson) who have a solid on-screen chemistry as brothers. They are natural in their one-on-one scenes, sharing moments of sibling support, and deliver stellar performances in their high-octane action shots.
Other notable mentions in the supporting cast include Hoskins, (Vincent D’Onofrio), Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan), Lowery (Jake Johnson), Barry (Omar Sy) and Dr. Henry Wu (BD Wong). All of these actors add texture to the script, whether they are playing a hero or a villain, they often made their respective characters their own by way of nuances and quirks, specific to them.
Now, you came to see dinosaurs and you’re going to see dinosaurs. The cinema lights went down and a bright flash stunned audiences, as the camera panned out slowly to reveal what appears to be a dinosaur egg hatching, accompanied by a wonderful score from Michael Giacchino.
We meet our knight in shining armour, Owen Grady, in the pit where he is building a relationship and training his raptor pack that consists of Charlie, Echo, Delta and Blue. Located around this unit, there is everything from a dino petting zoo and rolling Gyrospheres to allow guests to view the Triceratops up-close, in addition to the monstrous Mosasurus in the water zone.
The breakout scene of the Indominus Rex is breathtaking, with the unstoppable predator scoffing humans (as if they were small fries) for his lunch. Soon, Claire unleashes the T-Rex from Paddock Nine, which deservedly receives an air punch from the theatre audience as we head into the jaws of a spectacular Rex on Rex battle.
Colin Trevorrow handles action in a clean and coherent manner, making for a number of memorable scenes. One of the most enduring moments arrives along with an aerial assault from a pack of Pterodactyls, who swoop down to attack a street packed with frenzied and defenceless tourists. The directing style of this scene could be likened to Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963), evoking sheer terror through the sound of screams and visions of body parts flailing all over the place.
The overblown energy was not restricted to this one scene either; the film as a whole was larger, louder and faster than any of its predecessors, making for a non-stop thrill ride that had cinema-goers jumping in all of the right places.