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Jurassic World (2015)
Rated PG13

Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Vincent D'Onofrio

Rating:
***1/2
out of
*****

Nearly 22 years to the day of the release of Jurassic Park, a third sequel has hit movie screens. Jurassic World, almost as much a reboot as it is a sequel, begins with Isla Nublar - the site of the previous three films - having finally been turned into a fully operational and successful dinosaur-filled theme park.

Everything has been running smoothly for the last 10 years but attendance has plateaued. In order to spur renewed interest in the park, now named Jurassic World, inGen management has decided to begin creating new species of dinosaurs through DNA manipulation. Based on focus group research, which seems to indicate that the public prefers large, carnivorous dinosaurs, the company creates Indominus Rex, a 50 foot long predator that dwarves the first film's big dinosaur, Tyrannosaurus Rex. The company, however, does not reveal the source of the new dinosaur's genetic material. As one might expect from a Jurassic Park sequel, this does not bode well for the park's guests.

Of course, Jurassic World isn't all about the dinosaurs. Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), runs the park and knows all about its animals and the guests but doesn't appreciate any of them as more than numbers on a spreadsheet. Owen (Chris Pratt), the badass Velociraptor trainer, is an advocate for the well-being of the dinos but dispises the fact that inGen has created a Frankenstein-ish creature simply to bring in guests. Hoskins (Vincent D'Onofrio) is a member of inGen who sees potential in turning the dinosaurs into military weapons. And, Claire's nephews, Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson), are the obligatory children who find themselves in danger.

Pratt, fresh off his role as Star Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy, proves he can take control of yet another summer blockbuster. Howard makes for a far more engaging female lead than Téa Leone did in Jurassic Park III. Director Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) deftly handles the action and chaos while doing an admirable job with the smaller moments as well.

Jurassic World features a nice helping of nostalgia for fans of the original film. After 22 years and numerous TV airings, it's still a lot of fun to see the familiar dinosaurs in new situations. Of course, the special effects are phenomenal. They may not be as jaw-dropping as they were in 1993 but that's sort of the point of the script. As the park has to ramp things up to keep people interested, so do the filmmakers. By creating a new park with new problems, the franchise can keep going for a few more sequels.

No one should go to see Jurassic World expecting anything other than a typical summer extravaganza. Viewed with the proper frame-of-mind, it delivers the goods in a more satisfying way than either of the two previous sequels managed to do.

Trivia: The motorbike used in the film made by Triumph was given to Chris Pratt as a gift after filming. (Source: The Internet Movie Database)

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