The Jurassic Park franchise has been partially renamed, rebooted and full-on revamped to fit the modern era and its technological advancements.
The theme park is filled with wild and wonderful attractions, including the Gyrosphere, a kind of zorbing-like experience that sees visitors fly around herbivores in hi-tech glass balls guided by a sad scientist version of Jimmy Fallon.
There’s also a Sea World-type exhibit featuring a prehistoric killer whale creature who splashes up to soak his spectators when a Great White shark is dangled above him. It’s all run to near-complete cost effectiveness by Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard).
Claire’s sister and her soon-to-be-ex-husband decide that it is entirely appropriate for them to send their two young sons off on a flight by themselves to Costa Rica and then on to dinosaur-land to stay with Claire while they are getting a divorce. However, this is despite the fact that Claire seems to be ridiculously busy and has not seen her nephews for seven years.
When the nephews arrive, they are loaded off on Merlin’s Katie McGrath, who spends most of the time she is supposed to be minding them on her phone discussing a bachelor party.
It doesn’t take much for the brothers to give their minder the slip and sneak off to adventure on their own.
Meanwhile, Owen (Chris Pratt) is hard at work in his role as guardian of the Velociraptors. He’s got a special bond with these animals; he’s their pack leader-of-sorts, and he’s damned if he’s going to let big, juicy bad guy Vic Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio) employ them as Mesozoic mercenaries.
As the good ol’ dinosaur carnage starts cooking up, Owen reveals himself to be the hero of the hour, zooming about the jungle on his motorbike with a gun stuck on his back and a self-assured look stuck on his face. One of Claire’s nephews even dubs him “a badass”.
Believing in de-extinction and dinosaurs coming back is one thing, but the idea that Claire could manage to run around the rain forest in a pair of stilettos was just a little too ludicrous for me.
Owen even comments on her unsuitable footwear at one stage, along with giving her a whole pile of other rather patronising advice, but unfortunately, Claire doesn’t get a chance to swap her high heels for a sensible pair of boots, and so is forced to race through bark, clamber over rocks and hide from Indominus Rex, a creepy dinosaur/cuttlefish/treefrog/ hybrid, in what I assume was extreme pain.
If anyone is deserving of a fish foot spa after the dinosaur drama in this movie, it’s Claire. Owen plays down the ordeal by commenting that it’s “just like taking a walk in the woods… 65 million years ago.”
To be honest, though, that was perhaps a bit of a strange thing to say, as 65 million years ago was the start of the Cretaceous Era, when the dinosaurs died out. And if there’s one thing I can tell you about this movie, it’s that there are dinosaurs in it.
Sure, it’s a bit more of the same reptilian rage and rampage, but it is enjoyable. As movies go, it’s (quite appropriately, you have to admit) a bit like a theme-park ride, with plenty of scares, ups, downs, twists, and excitement.