Jurassic World - Cinema Review

'Trevorrow never forgets this is first and foremost a summer blockbuster, delivering the most satisfying superhero-free big-budget spectacle of recent years outside of the rebooted Planet Of The Apes franchise'.

A reboot inhabiting the curious middle ground between the continuation of its franchise and a spiritual remake of Spielberg's original, to me Jurassic World feels very much like the greatest hits album of the Jurassic Park series. There are influences here plucked from all three previous films - most obviously the first, which has led to many seeing Colin Trevorrow's film as essentially a reimagining of Jurassic Park; but also parts here and there clearly from both The Lost World and Jurassic Park III. And whilst a "best of" compilation can never replace a perfectly sequenced classic album, if done right it can be both immensely satisfying and endlessly enjoyable.

Let's deal with the limiting factors first. Jurassic World never offers the same level of storytelling as seen in Jurassic Park, with Trevorrow happy to leave several of the ethical and moral questions unexplored in any great depth. The same goes for most of the characters - we get to know these people as they are behaving here and now, without much in the way of a backstory for anyone. But that's just one of the many ways Trevorrow manages to capture what was right about Spielberg's original film. We didn't know much about Alan Grant either, but we knew enough to invest in him, watch him interact with others and develop over the course of the story.

The same can be said for the heroes here, Owen Grady (Christ Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard). We learn enough about Owen and Claire in the opening act to make spending time with them during the rest of the film satisfying and enjoyable, a fact boosted further through strong turns from both actors. The only element that ever feels surplus to requirements is the paper-thin romantic history between them; all we ever needed to know is that they don't see eye to eye, and the rest would fall into place as it largely does.

Whilst there are scattered moments of gentler emotion, Trevorrow never forgets he is first and foremost making a summer blockbuster, delivering the most satisfying superhero-free big-budget spectacle of recent years outside of the rebooted Planet Of The Apes franchise. The opening act feels a little rushed and unsteady, but when the dino-based mayhem starts Jurassic World seriously comes into its own. The film dishes out plenty of entertaining action that regularly pushes the 12A rating to its limit, refusing stop until the somewhat abrupt coda.

As stated already, there are beats taken from the three previous instalments, but when they're done this well it truly doesn't matter. And whilst the basis may be familiar, there are enough new ideas here to keep Jurassic World fresh. The Indominus Rex does exactly what it needs to do, and whilst you're likely to have telegraphed the grand finale before it arrives, it certainly doesn't fail to deliver. Perhaps the greatest gamble of all is the "trained" velociraptors: a concept which feels it could very much have been make or break for Trevorrow, but that thankfully comes off with satisfying authenticity and respect to the franchise's legacy, even if it skirts dangerously close to tipping the other way at least once.

Trevorrow smartly balances the nostalgic nods - of which there are myriad, especially to Jurassic Park - with looking to the future, laying the foundations for what has already been confirmed as a new trilogy. The director manages to do both pleasingly well without overdoing either, credibly making Jurassic World a self-contained and entertaining story whilst also producing the most successful entry into the franchise after the iconic original.

By Ben Broadribb. Ben is a regular contributor to Film Intel, having previously written at Some Like It Hot Fuzz. He is normally seen in the wild wearing t-shirts containing obscure film references. He is a geek, often unashamedly so. He's also on and Twitter.

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