It's been a long time since I screamed loudly during a movie. The first time was watching Jaws on television, and it's that famous shark's 40th birthday this year.
Jaws' director, Steven Spielberg, went on to produce other scary creature classics, one of the most memorable the dinosaur series Jurassic Park.
Twenty-two years after the first Jurassic Park, starring our own Sam Neill, Spielberg returns as executive producer of Jurassic World.
The theme park now extends over an entire island off Costa Rica managed by the beautiful and lizard-like Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), who has no time for love nor children. Her lab has developed a hybrid dinosaur that will bring in crowds and corporate sponsors.
Claire's white-suited perfection is a contrast to that of Owen (Chris Pratt), the Indiana Jones-like velociraptor trainer, who is brought in to test the safety of the classified lab creation, the Indominus Rex.
Throw in Claire's nephews visiting the island for the first time -- a sullen teen with an eye for the girls, and his sensitive little brother, plus "baddies" who want to use the dinosaurs as military weapons. When the Indominus goes on a killing spree, it's left to Owen and Claire to save the day.
Claire may have seemed a wooden workaholic, but she quickly morphs into a bad-ass dino-fighter.
There are plenty of dinosaur-eats-human action to grip you (and make you scream). Crowd scenes are impressive when pterosaurs escape from their aviary and terrorise tourists, or when a Mad Max-ish Owen on a motorbike leads his team of velociraptors to chase Indominus.
In the final showdown, Claire turns to an old friend who may no longer be attracting corporate sponsors, but who still "has it"-- an old school dino favourite, the Tyrannosaurus rex, who got cheers from the crowd in our cinema, with my 8-year-old daughter shouting, "Go on boy, you're born for it -- kill him!"
It's a breathless, bloody, batty romp, that will suitably terrify adults and delight kids.
Like T Rex, Spielberg still "has it" in spades. My 10-year-old son remarked it was the best movie he had ever seen and if they made a sequel he would pay $100 to see it. A sure winter hit.
Jurassic World (M)