Movie date: Jurassic World
STARRING: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Irrfan Khan
DIRECTOR: Colin Trevorrow
THE SKINNY: Set 22 years after the disaster that closed Jurassic Park, the dinosaur theme park has been renamed Jurassic World and is a thriving holiday destination. But visitors want more and so the Indominus Rex is cooked up in the lab. Naturally, it escapes and park operations manager Claire (Howard) and velociraptor trainer Owen (Pratt) have to prevent park visitors from becoming dino food.
Jurassic World - part homage, part sequel and part audition tape for Chris Pratt.
It would never be an easy gig. Even Jurassic Park director Steven Spielberg himself scuffed the first sequel.
As an action film, it's not bad. When the Jurassic poop hits the fan, director Trevorrow does a good job of disguising the gore (people do get eaten) just enough to not totally freak out the kids.
It's only his second feature film, so we can only speculate what it could have been if he didn't show off to the boss. The many nods and callbacks to Spielberg's back catalogue are distracting.
If he really wanted to take a lesson from the original, I'd suggest using less formulaic characters. Pratt is action-hero man, Howard is uptight woman. And that's about it.
And then there are the huge plot holes.
A resort with a history of dino-riffic disaster that also sent a T Rex on the rampage in San Diego has nothing better to stop rogue carnivores than a few cattle prods?
And there isn't one emergency shelter should leathery death come flapping from the sky?
It's lazy, and turning those plot holes into gags for Pratt to point out is even lazier.
That said, this is the best Jurassic sequel so far. But considering the awe Spielberg induced with the original movie's brontosaurus sighting or the terror felt during the T Rex attack, it shows there's still a long way to go in perfecting cloning.
JONATHAN ROBERTS (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Bigger, badder, cooler.
That's the memo Jurassic World scientist Henry Wu (BD Wong) receives, something he follows to a T.
Ditto for Trevorrow, who ups the level of action, breathing new life into the extinct franchise and delivering a dino-tastic romp.
The new Jurassic World theme park is a visual spectacle and so are the creatures that roam the island.
Fans will be happy that this edition pays tribute to the 1993 original without being a slave to the tropes.
Back then, a T Rex and a couple of velociraptors scared the amber out of us.
Here, it may just be one dinosaur going on a vicious rampage, and while the thrills may not be as suspenseful, the newly-minted Indominus Rex is one terrifying monster.
Dr Wu, who survived the horrors of Jurassic Park, obviously hasn't learnt his lesson.
Humans simply can't play God. We will just end up becoming a meal.
Howard makes a good heroine and Pratt is a fitting Indiana Jones-like protector (Jurassic World really doubles as his audition for the mooted Raiders reboot).
Forget the plot holes and all that "respect the animals" mumbo-jumbo and just let your inner child loose.
Much like its predecessors, the movie belong to the dinosaurs.
Fun, exciting, scary... this is one ride you don't want to get off.
JOANNE SOH (email@example.com)
THE CONSENSUS: Get down to Jurassic World for a roaring good time.