REVIEW: Jurassic World

jurassic world

Venture capitalist John Hammond’s dreams of a dinosaur theme park have finally come to fruition. Not only have the InGen labs genetically reconstituted and cloned an array of fabulous previously extinct creatures, they’ve been able to incorporate these monsters into a fully functioning vacation spot.

The park’s investors have been calling for something bigger to add to the attraction line-up. So the lab boys whipped up a super beast that’s a blend of DNA strands from the T. rex, velociraptors and a bunch of other top-secret sources. This gigantic terror is an incredible nightmare; smart, powerful and fearsome. And sure to be a massive draw. They call it Indominus rex.

A new enormous attraction means more work for Claire, the park’s administrator. She’s been frantically pulling everything together—from investors to proper facility construction—before revealing this new beast to the public.

That includes dealing with staff members, like rugged ex-military guy Owen, who was brought in to care for the raptors and “evaluate patterns of vulnerability.” Owen is raising questions about the safety and wisdom of genetically creating something like the I. rex. But Claire figures he’s got no clue about the business side of this kind of enterprise.

That changes when the sly Indominus starts developing abilities the lab tests never predicted. And when the giant concoction manages to escape and begins killing everything in sight… Claire runs straight to Owen for a real chat about business. By then, everyone else is running as well.

And screaming.

POSITIVE ELEMENTS

Claire has two other things to worry over, her young nephews Zach and Gray. They’ve been sent to the resort while their parents work through some marital problems back home. The boys are initially one more problem for Claire, but eventually become precious connections to family.

In the midst of all the new dino-danger, the brothers also grow closer. Teen Zach initially shrugs off the possible effects of their parents’ potential divorce, but later stresses the ties of family to his younger sibling. “We’re brothers,” he tells Gray. “And we’ll always come back to each other. No matter what.”

Both Claire and Owen repeatedly risk their lives to save or protect each other and those around them. Owen shows empathy for the “innocents” in the dinosaur kingdom as well. (We see him comfort a wounded brontosaurus until it dies.)

SEXUAL CONTENT

We see a few formfitting, low-cut tops. Owen flirts with/taunts Claire, saying that, like dinosaurs, humans often have a need to eat, hunt and mate. (He makes a motion to indicate the latter, wondering, a bit sarcastically, if she might be able to relate to at least one of those things.) The two do eventually share a kiss.

VIOLENT CONTENT

There are a few moments when the camera glimpses some foliage that’s dripping with blood and/or spattered wall after a mangling monster mash. Or the camera hastily glances away just before a few flesh-ripping kills, leaving us to listen to the crunch and crack.

The gigantic I. rex leaves scores of men and dinosaurs dead in its wake. We see it snatch cowering people off the ground in one gulp, throw some around like toys and stomp others beneath its feet. It chomps and claws at various dinosaurs and gnaws on the whole head of one dino foe. The creature smashes through buildings and picks entire vehicles up in its massive jaws.

Soldiers blaze away at their dinosaur foes with rifles and machine guns. One bazooka-like shell knocks a colossal creature right off its feet. A militarized helicopter blazes away before being hit and sent to its exploding destruction. The resort itself is badly battered by a rampage.

CRUDE OR PROFANE LANGUAGE

Close to half a dozen s-words join three or four uses each of “d–n” and “h—.” “A–” and “b–ch” are trotted out once or twice each.

DRUG AND ALCOHOL CONTENT

We see a guy picking up two margaritas at a resort cantina. Owen flirtingly jokes about the craziness of maintaining a diet that doesn’t include tequila.

OTHER NEGATIVE ELEMENTS

Early on, Zach is a “typical” obnoxious teen who continually scopes out pretty girls and pushes his younger brother to break the rules. (Though he eventually sees the cost of those choices.) Hoskins talks of militarizing dinosaurs for use in war.

CONCLUSION

It’s not easy to effectively resurrect a popular movie franchise after it’s languished for a decade and a half. Especially when the iconic pic that started it all was a Steven Spielberg-directed edge-of-your-seat classic that pretty much defined the term “must-see blockbuster” when it released in 1993. But Jurassic World certainly gives the task a Mosasaur-sized, swimming good try.

Things here aren’t quite as sharply drawn and memorable as that first flick. But you still end up enjoying the efforts of a couple of cheer-worthy heroes in the heat of action. You’ll hear solid statements about sticking by your familial loved ones—even when not threatened by a gob full of foot-long razor-sharp teeth. You’ll walk out with an I-can-finally-breathe happy ending. And, of course, you’ll witness an awesome thrill-ride exhibition of some truly incredible giant-reptilian CGI magic.

But speaking of those terrifying teeth, you’ll also see some seriously freaked-out folks being gobbled up whole, squashed by gigantic monster mitts or swept screaming into the air by sharp-clawed creatures in this feature.

This review was adapted from Plugged In: the entertainment guide your family needs to make family appropriate decisions through movie reviews, book reviews, TV reviews, and more.

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