With July fourth weekend coming, Jurassic World may be beckoning. It’s big, it’s loud, it’s already popular, and most importantly, it has dinosaurs—lots of them.

This is the fourth installment of the Steven Spielberg mega-hit from over 20 years ago, and there are a number of references back to the original movie. In fact, much of the plot parallels the old one, too—especially the “two siblings in deep trouble” part.

But, as the saying goes, Hollywood is the world’s biggest recycling machine.

As great as the first movie was, advances in special effects make the dinosaurs in Jurassic World even more realistic and (potentially) nightmare-inducing.

But not to worry, another Hollywood rule for this type of movie is that while your favorite characters will get into mortal danger with little chance of survival, somehow they always do survive.

Of course, that doesn’t mean nobody gets chomped by dinos. Plenty do. Just nobody you’ve gotten attached to. Often they’re the disliked characters who tend to deserve it.

Also, unlike the original, you can see this film in 3-D, like I did. More than once I jumped out of my seat to avoid being bitten. Glad to report I left the theater without a scratch.

So, the question of whether to take the kids, as usual, comes down to…the kid.

As it happens, I sat next to a family that brought two girls, ages seven and nine. I asked them afterwards what they thought. “It was cool,” said the older one. The little one didn’t answer and I thought she looked somber.

The action is fast and furious and could definitely be too scary for the eight-and-under crowd. Then again, there are sensitive 10 or 11 year-olds who might get a bit freaked out. It is PG-13, after all. Though I must say, with all the mayhem, the gore is pretty much all off-camera. As for curse words, there is only mild and limited profanity. Those stressed-out folks on screen should be praised for their verbal restraint!

Bottom line, I’m a real sucker for these big special-effects extravaganzas, and like the boy I once was, I still dig dinosaurs. Jurassic World may not be too original, but it’s well-crafted, beautifully produced, and has appealing stars. And the message of not messing with nature, which was integral to the first movie, is emphasized even more here.

If your kids want a joy ride and don’t mind the big, sharp teeth, go for it!

Disagree or have other thoughts for fellow parents…please use our Comments box below.

 

 

 


Featured Image © Jurassic World

 

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