Direction: Colin Trevorrow
Actors: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard
It seems like only yesterday when Steven Spielberg captured the imagination of audiences around the world with the first two installments of his blockbuster dino franchise.
After a decidedly tepid third iteration helmed by Joe Johnston back in 2001, Hollywood honchos have now entrusted Colin Trevorrow, whose only previous feature was the quirky sci-fi romance, Safety Not Guaranteed, to re-energise the familiar tale.
This time around, the wonder attraction at the titular theme park is a genetically-modified hybrid dinosaur.
Predictably, the prehistoric beast which is given the Latin moniker Indominus Rex escapes confinement. All hells breaks loose as the rogue creature gobbles up the terrified tourists and even kills other dinos for sport. We are constantly reminded of vintage monsters-versus-mankind movies such as King Kong and Godzilla.
It's now up to the hunky animal wrangler (Pratt) and the park's operations manager (Howard) to get the staff and visitors (including the latter's two young nephews) out alive.
While the dinosaurs look menacingly real, the story isn't that gripping. The interactions between the human characters are mostly lackadaisical. The roller-coaster ride is often weighed down by long-winded dialogue.
The director does orchestrate a few exciting action scenes but overall lacks Spielberg's sense of showmanship. There are token nods to topical issues like the dangers of genetic experimentation. The message is: don't mess with the laws of nature. The script endeavours to capture the pace and tone of the source novel by Michael Crichton.
The performances are competent enough. There is a modicum of chemistry between the damsel-in-distress Bryce Dallas Howard and her saviour Chris Pratt. Meanwhile, our own Irrfan Khan makes the most of his underwritten sole of the park's proprietor.
Reservations aside, Jurassic World provides an entertaining mix of technological razzmatazz and mega-budget eye candy. And, yes, John Williams' classic theme music returns.
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