It’s sobering to think that the original Jurassic Park is now 22 years old. Wow.
At the time, Steven Spielberg’s dino-adventure flick was the cutting edge of film technology and it’s fair to say it spawned a new generation of realistic CGI-animated characters.
If Jurassic Park gave birth to modern CGI then that child has now come of age and, like any post-teen, it is currently throwing its weight around, in this case in the cinemasphere and generally making sure we all know its there.
Vis a vis the seemingly endless churn of comic book character-films, all of which are saturated with CGI - the only thing is, these days the special effects are so good, they’re almost on a par with real life.
Now the franchise that made CGI believable is back for its fourth instalment and this time producers appear to have side-stepped the cliche.
Sure, the basic format remains the same - humans, including two small children, in peril from big monsters. Read into that what you will. This time, however, there’s a concerted effort to bring us something new and that comes in the form of dino-whisperer Owen Grady (the effervescent Chris Pratt, him of Guardians of the Galaxy, a man who manages to combine physical presence with wry, self-depreciating humour).
Based on characters created by Michael Crichton, this latesst instalment of the blockbusting dinosaur franchise returns to ill-fated Isla Nublar where the Jurassic World theme park is open and functioning under the control of the Patel Corporation.
It also effectively sidesteps Jurassic Park 2 and 3, instead presenting itself as a sequel to the original.
Operations Manager Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) oversees the park on a daily basis including laboratories where scientists are playing God by performing genetic modification experiments to breed a new dinosaur: the ferocious and highly intelligent Indominus Rex.
When this hulking beast escapes confinement and goes on the rampage in a park crowded with terrified tourists, animal wrangler Grady races to the rescue.
Unfortunately, other species also escape their electrified pens and turn on each other in a battle for supremacy. Claire’s young nephews, Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins), are caught in the middle of the prehistoric bloodbath and would make a tasty snack for the rampaging Indominus Rex.
Faced with the terrifying prospect of dinosaurs escaping the island and reaching the mainland, Claire and Owen join forces with surviving Patel Corporation staff to contain the carnage, even if that means slaying every reanimated creature on Isla Nublar.
There’s also a nod to the original, as the film revisits some of the island’s more desolate locations and sees the return of the T-Rex. It’s all edge of your seat stuff, which should thrill the children and, at the same time, almost be a trip down memory lane for the adults.