Jurassic World

Twenty years or so ago, dinosaurs were wow, but these days not so much. Well, I guess you can get used to anything. Thanks to modern technology (or maybe just blind luck), though, these days the dinosaur park Jurassic World is at least perfectly safe, even if they do need to "up the wow factor" because attendance is down. Okay, almost perfectly safe. It would probably pass an OSHA inspection. Maybe.

Bryce Dallas Howard (Hereafter) as Claire runs the place, so she's always looking for corporate sponsors for the next, more impressive dinosaur specimen. They've run out of real species that can impress people, so they've started concocting their own in the lab, run by Dr. Henry Wu (BD Wong of Law & Order : SVU, though he isn't exactly a nice guy here). The latest? Indominus Rex, bigger even than the T-Rex herself and sponsored by Verizon Wireless.

Owen (Chris Pratt, aka Star-Lord) also works at the park, at least sort of. He seems to have been sent there by InGen employee Hoskins (Vincent D'Onofrio from Law & Order: Criminal Intent) except something on Isla Nubar is apparently turning former law enforcement people bad, because he isn't very nice, either. Hoskins has Owen testing the limits of the velociraptors as far as their intelligence and ability to learn -- specifically, to learn to obey the commands of humans, though I'm not sure Owen is aware of this at first. He really does look like a dinosaur whisperer, though.

Enter Claire's nephews, freshly arrived from Madison, Wisconsin for a visit: Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins, Iron Man 3). Claire is obviously Not Good with Children -- she's not even entirely sure how old they are -- and passes them off to her personal assistant Zara (Katie McGrath). When things start going horribly wrong, of course, Claire realizes that she shouldn't have done that, but it's a little late at that point and she's forced to ask for Owen's help in finding them.

There are some shout-outs to the original which I thought were done quite well -- they drive one of the old Jurassic Park jeeps at one point, for instance. A couple of parts are silly (Who in the world goes walking through a muddy, treacherous jungle wearing heels? I don't even like wearing heels while walking on smooth, flat surfaces.) but on the whole it's a fun adventure movie that gets a solid four out of five and really helps cleanse the palate after the debacle of Jurassic Park III. I suspect anyone who's seen it is still trying to forget it.

Image: 
The Mosasaurous (the underwater behemoth) grabs a snack.

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