Jurassic World 3D review

This genetically-modified sequel should leave film fans roaring their approval...

Two decades after the disastrous events of Jurassic Park, John Hammond's dream has become a reality and Isla Nublar is home to Jurassic World, a fully-functioning prehistoric theme park/biological preserve. But in order to stave off audience apathy regarding dinosaurs, the park's scientist team – led by Jurassic Park survivor Dr. Henry Wu (B. D. Wong) – have been working on cooking up a new, genetically-modified hybrid: the Indominus rex.

Of course, as Jeff Goldblum's Ian Malcolm once said, 'Life, uh, finds a way'. Which means that it isn't long before the Indominus rex has broken free of its enclosure and is slaughtering every man, woman and dinosaur in its path. With the InGen corporation once again looking to use the crisis for its own nefarious ends (will it never learn?), it's up to park administrator Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) and raptor trainer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to save the day.

Now, no matter how hard director Colin Trevorrow tries, there's no way his flick can do anything other than live in the shadow of Spielberg's legendary blockbuster. In the 22 years since Jurassic Park, we've seen Hobbits riding eagles and Transformers fighting in the streets of Chicago; Jurassic World was never going to be able to create the same sense of awe and wonder again.

But Jurassic World is a terrific sequel. The idea of dinosaurs chasing people around a small island should be boring by now, but the decision to have the park up and running, serving up a platter of some 20,000 visitors for the big beasts to chow down on, changes things enough for it to feel like the ultimate realisation of this particular concept. Meanwhile, new story ideas involving training dinosaurs and their potential use as weapons open up exciting avenues for this film (and its inevitable follow-ups) to explore.

Jurassic World also scores well with its dino stars. They are almost entirely CG creations this time around, but feel just as 'real' as their predecessors and have even more personality. The Indominus rex is also a success, a scary and unpredictable threat that builds upon author Michael Crichton's original concerns about scientists being so concerned with whether or not they could do something, that they don't consider whether or not they should do it.

Unfortunately, the humans don't fare quite as well, being stock archetypes who are only as interesting as the actors playing them. Luckily the project attracted the likes of Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Irrfan Khan and Vincent D'Onofrio, who all work hard with what they're given.

Picture: Jurassic World comes to life on Blu-ray with a very impressive 1080p encode, framed at the original – and slightly unusual – 2.00:1 aspect ratio. The first thing to strike home is how bright the film looks, with the high-contrast aesthetic balancing deep blacks with dazzling highlights. Colour reproduction is also remarkable, not just with the garish theme-park backgrounds and lush greenery, but also with the subtle nuances it captures in imagery, such as the close-ups of Bryce Dallas Howard's face in Chapter 2. It's a crisp, sharp image throughout, which benefits both the scaly skins of the CG dinosaurs and the real-world locations they inhabit.

While the film wasn’t shot in 3D, the stereoscopic post-production conversion is still pretty effective. Unsurprisingly, the reliance on so many CG elements (including all but one of the dinosaurs) has aided this, ensuring that the image has plenty of volumetric depth and provides a perceptible sense of space receding back away from the screen. While far less common, there are also a handful of scenes (most notably Chapter 13’s Pterosaur attack) that make effective use of out-of-the-screen effects.

From a purely technical basis, the Blu-ray’s MVC 3D encode is also worthy of praise. Colours appear just as bright and vibrant as they do in the ‘flat’ 2D presentation, while contrast has been tweaked sufficiently to ensure accurate-looking white and blacks throughout. Just as importantly, we didn’t notice any instances of ghosting, crosstalk or other technical anomalies during the film. So even if it isn’t one of the best stereoscopic presentations around, Jurassic World remains a technically proficient effort that should go down well with fans of 3D home cinema.
Picture rating: 4.5/5

Audio: Just like its predecessors, Jurassic World boasts an aggressive DTS-HD MA 7.1 track (there's no Atmos mix, sadly) that engages the full speaker array to stunning effect.

Use of the surrounds is impeccable, bringing the locations to life and placing you at the heart of the on-screen action; sequences such as Chapter 13's Pterosaur attack and Chapter 15's Raptor hunt are 21st century versions of the original's Gallimimus stampede. There's no lack of LFE either, with the weighty appearance of the Mososaur in Chapter 6 liable to shake your cinema room's collection of toy dinosaurs.

In other words, it's everything a home cinema aficionado could want.
Audio rating: 5/5

Extras: For such a big, VFX-heavy blockbuster, Jurassic World offers up a particularly mediocre selection of extras. There's a half-hour Making of…; a 16-minute look at the dinosaur effects; a short reel of behind-the-scenes vignettes (possibly leftovers from an abandoned PiP track?); a quick chat with Pratt and Trevorrow; seven deleted scenes and a short (and jokey) tour of one of the main sets.
Extras rating: 2.5/5

We say: Ignore the disappointing extras and prepare for a monstrous AV experience

Jurassic World 3D, Universal Pictures, All-region BD, £28 Approx