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Movie Review: 'Jurassic World' is dino might

Published June 26. 2015 04:00PM

You'd think they would've learned. Not when there was the possibility of another record-breaking box office blockbuster.

When "Jurassic Park" was released June 11, 1993, (becoming the then highest-grossing movie to date with $350 million domestically), it changed the way special effects movies were made. Stop-motion animation was considered for "Jurassic Park." computer generated imagery, in one of its most extensive uses at the time, was chosen. Thus, the Industrial Light and Magic era dawned.

"The Lost World: Jurassic Park" (1997) and "Jurassic Park III" (2001) followed. "Jurassic Park" was re-released in 3-D in 2013.

Those movies, and the depictions of dinosaurs and the mayhem they created, seem quaint in comparison to "Jurassic World," a big, loud, tension-filled thriller so realistic that faster than you can say DNA, you think that the dinosaurs are real.

Zach (Nick Robinson) and his younger brother, Gray (Ty Simpkins) are going to Isla Nublar, near Costa Rica, where the Jurassic World theme park is in full swing like a bizarre Disney World.

The brothers' mother (Judy Greer) was assured by her sister and the boys' aunt, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), the executive in charge of the Jurassic World theme park, that they would be under her watchful eye.

However, because of declining park attendance, she and the Jurassic World operators are preoccupied, including the CEO Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan), geneticist Dr. Henry Wu (BD Wong), security chief Hoskins (Vincent D'Onofrio) and staff (Jake Johnson, Omar Sy, Katie McGrath), as well as dinosaur trainer Owen (Chris Pratt), a sort of dinosaur whisperer.

Things get crazy and once again dinosaurs run amok. Park employees and the public are imperiled.

"Jurassic World" recycles the plot of "Jurassic Park." You have children (Robinson and Simpkins) imperiled. You have young adults alternately attracted and repelled by each other (Howard and Pratt). And you have the requisite scientists, corporate types and bad guys (not only the dinosaurs).

"Jurassic World" is well-paced by director Colin Trevorrow (his remarkable fictional narrative feature film directorial debut was "Safety Not Guaranteed," 2012; "Reality Show" documentary, 2004).

The screenplay was written by Trevorrow, Derek Connolly ("Safety Not Guaranteed") and husband and wife, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (screenwriters, "Rise of The Planet of the Apes," 2011; "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," 2014; "The Relic," 1997) from a story by Jaffa and Silver based on characters created by novelist Michael Crichton (1942-2008) in his 1990 novel.

"Jurassic World" provides time for the characters to bond just before, well ... hear that sound? ... It's the spoiler alert alarm. The stomping and chomping is quite startling, though not all that bloody, even in the 3-D Imax format seen for this review.

Howard ("The Help," 2011) is coolly efficient in her role, a nice balance to the rough and ready Pratt ("Guardians of the Galaxy," 2014; TV's "Parks and Recreation," 2009-15).

"Jurassic World" is in the monster film genre that goes back to "King Kong" (1933) and "Godzilla" (1954). "Jurassic World" extends the form to become the ultimate creature feature thus far.

"Jurassic World," MPAA PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned. Some Material May Be Inappropriate For Children Under 13.) for intense sequences of science-fiction violence and peril; Genre: Action, Adventure, Science-Fiction; Run time: 2 hrs., 4 mins.; Distributed by Universal Pictures.

Credit Readers Anonymous: "Jurassic World" was filmed in Hawaii, California and Louisiana.

Box Office, June 19: "Jurassic World" continues its prehistoric stomping with a phenomenal second-week haul of $102 million, with $398.2 million after two weeks. Its opening weekend take was upped to $208.8 million, making it the highest domestic opening ever, surpassing "The Avengers" ($207.4 million in 2012). "Jurassic World" was also the highest IMAX 3-D opening with $44.1 million, besting "Iron Man 3" ($28.8 million). Its $511 million worldwide opening is also the highest global opening ever.

2. "Inside Out," the Disney-Pixar animated feature, opened close behind, with an impressive $91 million, one week; 3. "Spy," $10.5 million, $74.3 million, three weeks; 4. "San Andreas," $8.2 million, $132.2 million, four weeks; 5. "Dope," $6 million, opening; 6. "Insidious: Chapter 3," $4.1 million, $45.3 million, three weeks; 7. "Pitch Perfect 2," $3.3 million, $177.5 million, six weeks; 8. "Mad Max: Fury Road," $2.8 million, $143.6 million, six weeks; 9. "Avengers: Age of Ultron," $2.7 million, $451 million, eight weeks; 10. "Tomorrowland," $2 million, $87.6 million, five weeks;

Unreel, June 26:

"Ted 2," R: Writer-director Seth McFarlane returns to the scene of his hit comedy, starring Mark Wahlberg, Allentown's Amanda Seyfried, Morgan Freeman and Liam Neeson.

"Max," PG: A dog that that served with Marines in Afghanistan is adopted by his handler's family in the United States. Thomas Haden Church, Lauren Graham and Robbie Arnell star in the family adventure.

"Big Game," PG-13: The President of the United States is helped by a young camper after Air Force One crashes. Samuel L. Jackson stars in the action film.

Read Paul Willistein's movie reviews at the Lehigh Valley Press website,; the Times News website,; and hear them on "Lehigh Valley Art Salon," 6-6:30 p.m. Mondays, WDIY 88.1 FM,, where the movie reviews are archived. Email Paul Willistein: pwillistein@ tnonline. com. Follow Paul Willistein on Twitter @ PaulWillistein and friend Paul Willistein on Facebook.

Three Popcorn Boxes out of Five Popcorn Boxes

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