Owen (Chris Pratt) outruns a dinosaur in Jurassic World.

Owen (Chris Pratt) outruns a dinosaur in Jurassic World.

Reel Reviews: These dinos are bad to the bone

Jurassic World puts the monster before the people.

  • Jun. 19, 2015 4:00 p.m.

Twenty years after being first conceived, built and subsequently destroyed, Jurassic World, the only real dinosaur theme park, is finally a success. Twenty thousand patrons per day are treated to exhibitions, demonstrations and a dino safari.

Young Gray (Ty Simpkins) and his teenage brother Zach (Nick Robinson) experience a VIP tour of Jurassic World because their Aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) is park manager.

Owen (Chris Pratt) is a dino-wrangler at the park who has imprinted himself as the alpha of four raptors, now fully grown. Although still wild animals, the raptors respond to his commands. Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio) is a military liaison interested in Owen’s experiment.

Hidden away, not ready for public viewing, a gene spliced, new dinosaur has been created, the Indominus Rex. (Sort of a T-Rex with arms.) When Indominus Rex escapes his paddock and runs amok, everyone re-remembers they’re at a park full of giant monsters, with which they must now do battle or be food.

We say, “Jurassic World puts the monster first.”

TAYLOR: There’s no denying that Jurassic World is fun. Little kids will be scared, but only enough to sit on mom’s lap. Adults will appreciate the straight forward thrill of being hunted by monsters, without the introductory magic of the original, or the unimaginative B-story of the sequels. This film’s subplot is a bit tacked-on, (dysfunctional family dynamic, again) but it is briefly addressed and then more people are chased and eaten. Oh, yes! Many people will be eaten, albeit tidily. It’s scary, not gory, unless you’re grossed out by crunching sounds.

HOWE: Well I am going to have to disagree with you, I didn’t find it fun. I didn’t even find it that exciting. When the original Jurassic Park came out in ‘93 it blew me away. We had never seen such realistic looking dinosaurs on the screen. Nowadays, you can flick on the TV or go online and watch Walking with Dinosaurs. The problem I have with Jurassic World is the storyline. It’s like they have crammed the original two together and made one movie. There’s not even a comedic aspect to it. Yes they tried, with the tech guy wearing the original Jurassic Park T-shirt, but even his one-liners fell short. Oh, where is Jeff Goldblum when you need him?

FENIN: It had some scary moments, Dad. The big dinosaur was really scary but not too much. I liked some of the rides that they went on. They looked cool. But my favourite bit was seeing the T-Rex again.

TAYLOR: Fenin, you are a brave boy. I saw plenty of kids your age hiding their eyes to certain parts. Your dad is right. We were all blown away by the original film, but we can’t go back and reclaim its novelty. We expect contemporary dinosaur depictions to look, not necessarily be realistic. It’s true the film goes through the motions rather clumsily,  but the backstory is almost inconsequential to a film starring monstrous inhabitants. I’m fine with letting pap slide as long as people are being eaten.

– Howe gives Jurassic World 2.5 cell phones out of 5.

– Fenin gives it 4 dinosaurs out of 5.

– Taylor gives it 4 crunchy humans out of 5.

Peter Howe and Brian Taylor review the latest films for The Morning Star Friday and Sunday.