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.







“Welcome to Jurassic Park”- a theme park with a difference and a bite.

In 1993, when this blockbuster was released it made such a splash, CGI technology was making massive leaps in the special effects world and we, the public, were getting to see things we never thought we would. The dinosaurs looked realer than ever before coupling the visual with the sounds and the incredible direction of Steven Spielberg, it kicked open the door of room ‘what is possible’ and declared itself a resident.

Pretty much everyone has seen this so this is a throwback review, it was the first time I had seen it in 20 years and what a ride it still is. It is amazing how brilliantly Mr Spielberg handles the set pieces and manages to ratchet up the tension.

Sure, there are some hokey lines in there but the killer lines outweigh any okey-hokey-ness. Most of the best lines are delivered by Jeff Goldblum playing chaotician, Dr Ian Malcolm:

“What have they got in there? King Kong?”

“Yeah, but, John, if The Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don’t eat the tourists.”

“Must…go…..Faster” etc etc.

Some of the acting is a little slippy sloppy, veering off into cartoon territory but this is outweighed by the sheer scope of the film. Special acting mentions go to Bob Peck “Clever girl” and Jeff Goldblum having the time of his life tic’ing away as the rock star scientist.

Based on the novel by Michael Crichton, this does what it can to translate the excitement of the book onto celluloid whilst at the same time allowing the children in. Dean Cundey is on cinematographic duties and manages to shoot us a world that looks epic, real and scary. This is the ultimate theme park ride realised as a film, in the tradition of Westworld and does what it says on the box. Finally, the mighty John Williams is on usual Spielberg soundtrack duties and creates a big score for a big film; pure iconography.

I watched it as a precursor to the watching Jurassic World and it remains highly enjoyable.