Twenty two years after the events of Jurassic Park a new theme park is open on Isla Nublar, the site of the original park and everything is going well until a new, genetically modified creature escapes and causes havoc in extremis.

As ridiculous as the premise is, as well as some of the scenarios, this reminded me of my favourite work of graffiti in London (unfortunately it has since been painted over), it was on a wall as you were pulling into Paddington Station and it was an ape with a crown on it’s head and it said next to him “Only the Ridiculous Survive”. Well, at a budget of $150 million it seems to have made over $650 million so far. I guess the ridiculous don’t just survive, they thrive. There are plenty of tongue in cheek moments that poke fun at and self-efface itself (step up, Indominus Rex).

Jurassic World is open and very successful but this isn’t going to last long when dealing with previously extinct creatures, after all what fun would be a theme-park film where everything goes swimmingly. Unpredictable and dangerous, it’s not long before chaos ensues.

I didn’t expect to enjoy this, I really wanted to but heard from friends that it wasn’t cutting it. Having heard from a close friend (whaddup Charlie?) that it was worth a look, I dove in with slight apprehension, suffice to say, I had a top time. I watched Jurassic Park before it and the double bill was a very fun ride indeed.

The cast are a lot of fun; everyone seems to be enjoying themselves and it translates onto screen. Chris Pratt, coming off the back of playing Starlord in Guardians of the Galaxy, cements himself as a goto leading man, reminding me of Harrison Ford’s double hitter of Han Solo and Indiana Jones.

Vincent D’Onofrio gives great baddie, always an actor worth watching. Omar Sy, so brilliant in L’Intouchables is grounded and sturdy, Irrfan Khan, one of my favourite actors, is smooth and confident as the owner of the new park. Bryce Dallas Howard is believable as the manager of this world (although there is a little too much Fay Wray in the way she is directed for my liking) and the always reliable Judy Greer plays Howard’s sister and parent to the two boys, Gray and Zach (Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson having to deliver some hokey dialogue about brotherhood that misses the mark). The very funny Jake Johnson plays one of the park’s technicians and is given some very clever dialogue nodding to the original film and Lauren Lapkus (Orange is the New Black) is his work colleague.

The respect that the original film gets through the dialogue is really well balanced. The first line in the film comes from Judy Greer:

“Boys, let’s do this”

This seems to be a little nod to the audience letting them know to get ready. Colin Trevorrow directs this huge film with confidence, it can’t be easy making a film like this, there are so many elements to it and he delivers in spades, he is lined up to direct Star Was IX, which should be fun. Special mention goes to Michael Giacchino on soundtrack duties, beautifully using the main theme from the original.

A lot more enjoyable than I thought it would be. If you’re interested in a popcorn ride from Hollywood, where you’re in reasonably good hands, check it out.





LET’S BE COPS (2014)


Errr, let’s not.

How to make a joke-free comedy.

This is a terrible film with an on the nose script and all the usual clichés and nothing original to offer, except for the idea.

Two mates have to go to a dress-up party and end up going as cops, quickly getting addicted to the perks and status elevation this gives them.

Jake Johnson is clearly very funny and gets the most interesting part here as a man-child who has no focus in his life. Damon Wayans Jr, on the other hand is far too weak as the other friend who is trying to sell his computer game idea to his company. Johnson and Wayans are friends who both appeared in the tv show New Girl. A shame this film couldn’t deliver as Johnson is a talent that deserves more.

Before long they get involved in a convoluted plot that includes mobsters and dirty cops. Director Luke Greenfield takes elements of the 21 Jump St remake but it just doesn’t gel.
Rob Riggle (21 & 22 Jump St) appears as a bumbling cop and brings his usual very funny schtick to the table. Andy Garcia gives good baddie and Keegan Michael-Key (one half of the very funny Key and Peele) plays a criminal informant, Pupa, and clearly has a lot of fun with his character.

This film falls way short of the laughs it promises from the trailer and there may be a sequel, which will be a travesty but probably an inevitability.

There are too many films like this out there, comedies desperate to hit the funny lottery but unfortunately their numbers come up way short.