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'Jurassic World' is a safe, exciting echo of Steven Spielberg's 93 classic
Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins star in "Jurassic World." - photo by Josh Terry
Halfway through Jurassic World, two characters stumble on the ruins of the original Jurassic Park headquarters. Everything is dark and overgrown with foliage, and the familiar When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth banner still lies in tatters on the floor.

Jurassic World makes a conscious effort to advance Michael Crichtons story of modern-day dinosaurs while keeping strong ties to Steven Spielbergs 1993 film. The result is an exciting, safe summer movie that is well worth seeing but falls short of the repeat viewing threshold.

Set in the present day, Jurassic World gives viewers the theme park of John Hammonds dreams, several years into operation. The flaws of the original Jurassic Park have been corrected, and business is booming. Children ride a baby Triceratops in a dinosaur petting zoo. Visitors mingle with the giant Brontosaurus in motorized hamster balls. And, as youve probably seen in the trailer, thousands sit in the stands Sea World-style and watch a sea monster jump out of the water to snatch a great white snack.

Business may be booming, but the powers behind the park are under pressure to find new and better attractions to fill the screens of the smartphones and tablets visitors hold over their heads like theyre at a rock concert. (Its kind of ironic given that, this being the fourth film in the series, Jurassic World audiences are pretty much making the same demand.)

The solution? Indominus rex, a brand-new T-Rex hybrid that blends the best of a Jurassic favorite with well, according to Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), the uptight park administrator, thats none of your business.

But the new hybrid is only one of the issues on Claires park plate. An ex-Navy man named Owen (Chris Pratt) has been trying to train raptors, and a military contractor named Hoskins (Vincent DOnofrio) is hoping to use the finished product for some nefarious purposes. And if that wasnt enough, Claires two nephews are in town, and she has to dump them off on her awful British assistant.

So weve got a few new characters, a new hybrid T-Rex and a fully operating theme park with a human visitor for each of Jurassic Worlds 20,000-plus dinosaurs. You can pretty much guess what happens from here.

For all of its new trimmings, Jurassic World is plenty of fun, but essentially a re-boot of the Spielberg original.

That isnt to say audiences should skip it. On the contrary, Jurassic World delivers lots of frights and thrills and action, along with some expected Chris Pratt-style humor. One scene will even evoke warm comparisons to Alfred Hitchcocks The Birds. But director Colin Trevorrow doesnt bring us any genuine surprises, and plays it safe when some recklessness might have paid greater dividends.

Though Pratt does his best to audition for his future Indiana Jones mantle, Howards Claire is the real protagonist here, arcing from stuffy administrator to action heroine. Those who may have been concerned about the stereotypical relationship between she and Owen can take heart. Claire rises to the occasion, even if she never quite manages to get rid of her high heels.

The animation continues to be excellent, though if were being honest, the Indominus rex doesnt look quite as crazy as you might want it to be (and the 3D option is unnecessary). Like the movie in general, the design of the hybrid monster leaves you feeling like if the people in charge had turned their amps up to 11, the result might have been more memorable.

Instead, Jurassic World nods humbly to the park that preceded it. Its a fun summer ride, but it wont keep you coming back over and over.

Jurassic World is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, as well as some profanity.
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