‘Bigger, louder, and more teeth...’
In the original Jurassic Park, scientists reanimate dinosaurs on a tropical island and quickly discover their arrogant folly.
“Life breaks free. It expands to new territories and crashes through barriers,” wisely observes Jeff Goldblum’s doom-mongering chaos mathematician.
His words reverberate throughout this fourth instalment of the franchise.
Director Colin Trevorrow and three co-writers step back in time, using the structure and heightened human drama of the first film as a solid template for this return to Isla Nublar.
Jurassic World begs, borrows and affectionately steals from the 1993 box office behemoth, including a cameo for the Mr DNA animation and a set piece in the iconic visitor centre (now overgrown).
Two stricken children are a focal point when the park goes into meltdown, and mission control boasts a nerdy computer wizard (Jake Johnson) for mild comic relief.
If the nuts and bolts of the screenplay are unabashedly retro, the special effects are undeniably state-of-the-art, realising creatures great and small, which chomp through countless extras and stars.
This is by far the bloodiest chapter of the Jurassic saga, if not the best.
Jurassic World opened to the public in 2005 and now welcomes more than 20,000 visitors a day.
Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) oversees park operations, while Dr Henry Wu (BD Wong) plays God in the laboratories, splicing DNA strands to create terrifying new breeds.
“Consumers want them bigger, louder, more teeth,” Claire tells investors.
Thus the ferocious and highly intelligent Indominus Rex is born.
“This will give the parents nightmares,” shudders park CEO Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan), who took up the mantle from John Hammond to open an isle of prehistoric wonders.
When the Indominus Rex escapes, Claire begs naval officer-turned-animal behaviour specialist Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) for help.
He has been working on the island with Vic Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio), head of InGen Security, on a top-secret project involving four captive velociraptors.
Claire is distraught because her nephews, Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins), are trapped in the middle of the bloodbath.
This is a muscular romp that captures some of the thrills and awe we felt more than 20 years ago when Steven Spielberg first unleashed dinosaurs back into the world.
Pratt is a likeable hero and catalyses a simmering screen chemistry with Howard as the workaholic who faces the dino-pocalypse in highly inappropriate footwear.
D’Onofrio glowers as one of the film’s boo-hiss villains, who views the creatures as expendable assets.
Action sequences are orchestrated at a lick, seamlessly integrating digital trickery with live action including chaotic scenes of a flock of pteranodons plucking visitors from the ground.
“Remember: something chases you, run!” advises Zach and Gray’s mom in the opening scenes. Wise words.
If you haven’t already seen Jurassic World here are some dinosaur facts to wet your appetite.
1. One dinosaur has been named after the Harry Potter book series - Dracorex Hogwartsia (‘dragon king of Hogwarts‘).
2. Some large dinosaurs lived up to 300 years.
3. The first dinosaur fossil to be discover was a Megalosaurus and was found in Oxford, England in 1824.
4. Usain Bolt is 12mph faster than a T-Rex.
5. Dinosaurs actually survived two mass extinctions over the course of their 165-million year reign. Even now their ancestors live among us in every corner of the planet, making them the some of the most successful animals that have ever lived on earth.
6. Britain use to be a dinosaur ‘paradise’, as it was the land mass that used to connect Europe and North America. This is why it was home to over 100 different species including the Tyrannosaur.
7. Dinosaurs share traits with our feathered friends. Some use to have feathers (including raptors), wish bones … however they could not fly!
8. The Archaeopteryx is the first fossil evidence of evolution. This was the first feathered dinosaur to be discovered in 1861- just 2year after Darwin published his theory of evolution.
9. T-Rex had teeth the size of bananas.
10. Dinosaurs had giant flees that were 10 times the size of modern flees.
This information has come from experts at the science and technology magazine How It Works who have compiled ‘101 Gigantic Facts About Dinosaurs’.