The fourth installment in the evolution-defying Jurassic Park franchise is less of an expensive swagger show and more of an old-fashioned adventure featuring a variety of people in various stages of peril. The stock set of characters in Jurassic World includes a couple of attractive and resourceful flowers of American youth, a hunk who tames both monster and troublesome woman, and good and bad dinosaurs.
The 124-minute movie is designed both for followers of the Jurassic Park movies, especially the first one, and also viewers who have tired of men in latex and Godzilla iterations. It is set on Isla Nublar, once home to the park where cloned dinosaurs ran amok and now a holiday destination where a new, and potentially dangerous attraction has been designed to entertain visitors who crave variety and bigger creatures to click with their mobile phones.
Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), who initially seems to be something of a bionic woman herself, is the park’s operations manager. Her loyalty to her boss Masrani (Irrfan) is tested when the highly evolved cloned dinosaur Indominus rex breaks out of its cage and puts her visiting nephews (Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins) in danger. Velociraptor trainer and the only sensible man on the island, Owen (Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt), steps in as the broad-chested knight, whose rapport with the raptors comes in handy in some of the movie’s best scenes.
Directed by Colin Trevorrow, the fourth entry in the franchise has a judicious mix of thrilling chase sequences, dinosaur-generated mayhem, and ethical lessons on the futility of tinkering with evolution. The war on terror casts its shadow on a movie that is already labouring under the larger shadow of the franchise progenitor. Vincent D’Onofrio’s unscrupulous security head suggests one way in which subsequent movies could go: what if we deployed the cloned monster in Tora Bora
Until Hollywood’s finest come up with scenarios in which man-made dinosaurs with hyper-active DNA crush army tanks and Islamist terrorists in the graveyards of Afghanistan, we are left with the classic spectacle of all-American tourists discovering the evergreen values of running and sticking together. Events move at a fast clip, the paleontology talk is kept to a minimum, the computer-generated effects are beautifully realised, and the characters perform their parts with the required efficiency. The raptors easily steal the show, especially in the sequence where they hurtle through the woods in pursuit of the Indominus rex, as ugly-cute as pit bulls.