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.







It was with unexpected joy that there were a lot laugh out loud moments in this film.
It is not strictly a comedy, just a film that knows how to get to the funny bone through situation as opposed to a set up gag.

It is an oddity, in so far as it refuses to go where you expect, which is why it may not do as well as it should. Hard to compartmentalise for the marketeers.
The basic premise is three teenage friends decide to run away from their respective homes and build a house in the woods to live in.

Nick Robinson as Joe, our main protagonist, delivers a performance layered with teenage nuance, confusion and angst and is definitely one to watch. Gabriel Basso (Super 8) plays Joe’s best friend, Patrick and it feels like they have known each other for many years and share a wealth of history.
Moises Arias is the wildcard as Biaggio, a Golem-like oddity who is really the heart of the film. He is absolutely brilliant, delivering strange like no other.

The supporting cast are mostly well-known-the excellent Nick Offerman is Joe’s Dad struggling to keep himself happy living alone with his son, Megan Mullally and Marc Evan Jackson play Patrick’s Mum and Dad with the perfect pitch of ‘parents who just don’t understand’ and their repartee is a joy to watch. Allison Brie (Community) is Joe’s sister who no longer lives at home and Eugene Cordero is her dumb boyfriend and confidently brings his funny to the table. Mary Lynn Rajskub and Thomas Middleditch play cops and every scene they’re in is a treat.

Jordan Vogt-Roberts delivers a comedy that includes some true emotional journeys. It’s interesting to find out that he directed 5 eps of Funny or Die Presents (Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s comedy lovechild) and a few of the actors have also appeared in this show. Work with people you know, you trust and are talented. Simple equation.
And that’s what he’s done.

Also, worth mentioning is the camerawork beautifully lensed by Ross Riege, the soundtrack (Golden Clouds-The Orb feat Lee Perry, stunning), and the brilliant script penned by Chris Galletta.

The trailer quotes a review saying “Superbad and Stand By Me combine to form Sundance’s funniest comedy” Not far off at all.

Definitely worth a looksee. A surprising gem.