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The Movie Guy: A worthy sequel to Jurassic Park

“Jurassic World”

Universal Pictures

Directed by Colin Tevorrow

Starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Irrfan Kahn, B.D. Wong and Judy Gold.

Rated PG-13

3 Stars

Steven Spielberg’s 1993 blockbuster, “Jurassic Park” finally gets a worthy sequel in the form of “Jurassic World.” This is a movie that succeeds because it isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel. It simply revisits much of what worked in Spielberg’s original film, but makes the dinosaurs even bigger this time around.

As this film opens, “Jurassic World” has become a wildly successful theme park, thronged by thousands of tourists each day. The park’s management is worried that the visitors are getting bored, so they have been bioengineering dinosaurs. The new attraction is indominus rex—basically a bigger, nastier and smarter version of a tyrannosaurus rex.

Chris Pratt plays Owen, an animal trainer who is called over to check and see if idominus’ paddock is secure.

It isn’t secure.

The dinosaur escapes and immediately heads toward the main park where thousands of tasty snacks, er, tourists are stuck waiting for evacuation. It’s up to Owen and the park’s Operations Manager, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) to get everyone off the island safely before indominus can sink its teeth into them. Claire also has to track down her two missing nephews (Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson) who picked the wrong weekend to visit.

There’s also a silly subplot about how the military is working on training velociraptors to be soldiers. It all leads up to the moment where Owen jumps on his motorcycle and heads off into the jungle to stop indominus, flanked by a squad of four velociraptors. This is the film’s biggest misstep, as it gives “Jurassic World” a fantasy feel, rather than keeping it an adventure grounded in plausible reality.

Audiences shouldn’t mind this scene too much, as it leads to a nice action sequence where indominus attacks a squadron of mercenaries. It’s a predictable slaughter, made humorous by the fact that none of these soldiers have blood running through their veins, as the PG-13 massacre is surprisingly gore free.

Of course audiences shouldn’t be too concerned, as they are mostly interested in seeing the cool dinosaurs and thrilling action sequences. The action will frequently have you on the edge of your seat and the dinosaurs are very cool, completely believable at all times.

The only problem is that we’ve become so accustomed to seeing completely believable special effects in movies that the dinosaurs don’t evoke the same sense of wonder as they did back in 1993. Still, when projected up on a big, 3D, IMAX screen, it’s difficult to argue with the spectacle of all those marauding dinosaurs in “Jurassic World.”

Movie reviews by Sean, “The Movie Guy,” are published bi-weekly in “The Port Arthur News” and seen weekly on KFDM and KBTV. Sean welcomes your comments via email at smcbride@sbgtv.com.com.