JURASSIC WORLD – Review by Susan Granger

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This fourth installment in the “Jurassic Park” franchise, based on Michael Crichton’s best-seller, is back on track as a terrifying creature feature. 22 years after the tragic events of the original “Jurassic Park,” Isla Nublar, that island off the coast of Costa Rica, has become Jurassic World, a dinosaur theme park with safari-like excursions, rides on baby triceratopses, and a petting zoo. Read on…

CEO Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan) is a visionary whose scientists, led by Dr. Henry Wu (BD Wong), are preparing to introduce their newest attraction: a fiercely ferocious, genetic hybrid called Indominus Rex.

That doesn’t sit well with wise-cracking wrangler Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), a “dinosaur whisperer”/behavior specialist, who has been training a quartet of velociraptors to obey his commands.

But constant improvements are necessary, stresses Operations Manager Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), whose visiting nephews (Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins) have just arrived.

“The park needs a new attraction every few years to reinvigorate the public’s interest, kind of like the space program,” Claire explains.

Problem is: Indominus Rex escapes from her paddock, destroying everyone and everything in her path.

And that’s just what a scheming military contractor (Vincent D’Onofrio) has been waiting for. He’s eager to see if trained velociraptors can trap the renegade reptile and, in the future, be weaponized to augment troops in battle.

Under the obvious supervision of Steven Spielberg, working with writer/producers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver and co-writer Derek Connolly, director Colin Trevorrow (“Safety Not Guaranteed”) stacks the emotional stakes while propelling the imaginative action-adventure – with nods not only to the 1993 original but also to “Indiana Jones,” “Jaws,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “The Birds.”

With “Guardians of the Galaxy” under his belt, Chris Pratt is the hero-du-jour, while Bryce Dallas Howard is the formulaic damsel-in-distress, forced to run for her life in “ridiculous” high heels.

But the real stars are the marauding digital dinosaurs, swooping pterodactyls, and Indominus’s adaptive camouflaging ability.

On the Granger Gauge of 1 to 10, “Jurassic World” is an exciting 8, a reinvigorated thrill ride.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.