Chris Pratt corrals a flock of velociraptors in Jurassic World

In Theatres: Chris Pratt, new dinosaurs run wild in ‘Jurassic World’

Also playing this weekend: 'Live From New York' and 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl'



A Monster Opening NightAll Park and No Bitethe Gnarliest PG-13 Rated Film

The headlines, the word play writes itself for the fourth entry in the Jurassic series, a hoped-for return to Steven Spielberg’s classic, early-90s formula, which would just maybe wipe out the unintentionally comical taste of Jurassic Park III.

20 years or so later, after Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern screamed and stampeded their way through a two-hour theatrical thrill ride, it seems the humans have finally mastered the art of playing god. The dinosaurs aren’t necessarily scary anymore, not above what a lion in a zoo or a shark in an aquarium would be. They can be corralled and tamed, until of course Bryce Dallas Howard’s predictably severe woman-at-the-controls decides to tweak the monsters by one DNA strand too many. That’s when the havoc starts.

Also playing this weekend: Live from New York and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Michael Crichton’s novels – and Spielberg’s first two movies – had a message, a metaphor to rip apart mankind’s cannibalistic ambition. When Richard Attenborough tried to bring the dead back to life, after millions of years as a fossil, he was sure humans could harness his invention and sell it as an attraction. He had trained scientists and hunters and, as he was fond of saying, “Spared no expense.” He even made sure every dinosaur born on Jurassic Park was female, so they couldn’t reproduce. But of course, “Life, uh, finds a way.”

What will the message be in 2015, I wonder? You can only go so far? But where’s the line? The trailers seem to pin the movie’s action on Howard’s character’s naivete, like the real problem isn’t that man re-created dinosaurs but that man invented a new dinosaur.

In Jurassic Park, it was Hammond’s tinkering that was the real enemy. You can’t manipulate the laws of nature with consequence, basically, and if that consequence taps out after a lawyer and Newman from Seinfeld are brutally killed, then really it could have been worse.

Hopefully, those behind Jurassic World have fooled nature in another way, a law that only Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, and George Miller have seemed to beat in the court of public opinion – the sequel is never as good as the original. Definitely not the fourth.

The reviews so far, and this shouldn’t be a surprise for a film that enters two decades later with the weight of the world on Chris Pratt’s shoulders, are mixed. They inevitably will be, because the formula was too perfect the first time.

In his review for Mashable, Josh Dickey writes that 1993’s Park “is downright tame by comparison, and yet somehow scarier” than World. That’s going to be the problem – how do you possibly follow-up on the first time you saw the water ripple in the cup, the first time you heard the T-Rex roar?

The Daily Mail‘s Brian Viner – and of course, that newsroom enjoys everything – called it “top-notch entertainment with a bite”.

“This is a tremendously exhilarating adventure, certain to be a huge box office hit and a worthy addition to what I suppose must be called the Jurassic Park franchise,” Viner says.

“While it’s not very much more than a monster-on-the-loose movie… it’s two hours of superbly realised, really top-notch entertainment.”

So there’s a cynical one and a gushy-eyed one. And there are slamming reviews, too – the Boston Herald‘s James Verniere calls it a “more expensive Sharknado“.

But the best review is the most honest review, this one from the Illinois Times‘ Charles Koplinski:

“The very definition of a summer movie,” he says.

And really, isn’t that what we want?

Just Posted

Woman charged in Saanichton stabbing

One man treated for injuries, released from hospital following Friday assault

Saanich’s Red Lion Inn receives council’s blessing for extended liquor hours

Extension comes more than two years after a major fire

Province continues to investigate Saanich’s Horticultural Centre of the Pacific

Investigation stems from May 2 incident that turned Colquitz River ‘chocolate brown’

Avid Victoria cyclist’s legacy bike ride helps fund end-of-life care

2019 Denis Muloin Ride for Palliative Care invites cyclists for May 26 fundraiser

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read