Editors Notes: Jurassic World is out on 3-disc 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack tomorrow October 20th.
Jurassic World (Universal) is the fourth movie in a franchise that makes dinosaurs the stars. The perfect summer film, it features action all the way through with few slow spots, mostly because director Colin Trevorrow keeps assorted dinosaurs on screen most of the time.
The island off the coast of Costa Rica that first saw the rebirth of dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, Steven Spielberg’s 1993 megahit, has gone corporate. Now a massive theme park along the lines of Disney World, it attracts tourists from all over the world. The attraction’s operations manager, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), is highly organized and prides herself on running a tight ship. So thoroughly focused is she on every detail of the park’s day-to-day workings that she has delegated the job of looking after her visiting nephews (Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins) to an assistant.
To keep the customers coming, the research branch of the corporation has been genetically engineering new species. Indominus Rex, a hybrid of Tyrannosaurus and other secret ingredients, will be the park’s newest cash cow.
Animal handler Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) has been training a quartet of velociraptors to respond to simple commands. His success at this endeavor has caught the attention of Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio), a military contractor who sees the potential of the animals’ use in warfare. When the park’s dinosaurs start acting up as we expect and other characters are panicking, Grady uses his knowledge and instincts to deal with the crisis. Pratt has an Indiana Jones aura about him — down to earth, knowledgeable, sensitive, and ready to step in when his know-how and guts are most needed.
Among the remarkable visual sequences, some are surprisingly tranquil, such as a park ride in which two people enter a contraption much like a hamster ball that travels through open grassland filled with gigantic herbivores who amble by, unconcerned by the occasional intrusion of these humans rolling by in bubble containers. There are also numerous ghost-like holograms throughout the park, heralding various exhibits. These look especially cool with the film’s 3D enhancement.
But when it comes down to what this picture is all about, it’s the dinosaurs running amok, rendered more realistically than ever. One terrific sequence after another builds to an exciting climax. Folks who come for the dinosaurs will leave satisfied. Although the plot recycles some of the elements of Jurassic Park, such as children in peril, science versus commerce, and humanity’s arrogance at attempting to control nature, it also addresses the issue that the dinosaurs are living creatures and deserve to be treated as such rather than as mere profitable attractions.
The plot echoes the challenge of real-world Hollywood studios who have to freshen up franchises with what’s “bigger, better, greater” to keep audiences coming. Rated PG-13, “Jurassic World” delivers those thrills with exceptionally well crafted sequences of prehistoric animals gone amok in a modern world.
The 3-disc 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack contains three formats: 3D Blu-ray, 2D Blu-ray, and DVD. Bonus features exclusive to Blu-ray include “Closest Shaves,” a series of clips from all the films in the franchise showing scary encounters with dinosaurs; Chris Pratt and director Colin Trevorrow discussing key moments in the film supported by behind-the-scenes footage; and a making-of featurette. Bonus features on all formats include deleted scenes and the featureless “Dinosaurs Roam Once Again” and “Chris and Colin Take on the World.”