PG – 28mins – 2016
RE-AK A-TAK THE BLOCK
“DNA, the building blocks of life.”
Expanding on the success of last year’s franchise-spanning LEGO Jurassic World videogame, The Indominus Escape is a bright and frivolous half hour comedy short which is neither prequel or sequel to Colin Trevorrow’s record-breaking 2015 JP revival, more a tongue-in-cheek retelling. Not being cannon it’s hard to be certain, but it manages to both retrofit key scenes from the film (gyrosphere; raptor pen fall, Indominus gene reveal) and dialogue from the classic theatrical features (“Spared no expense!”) into a kooky new story.
Eager beaver Grey and his teenage brother are absent, but rugged dino-hunter Owen Grady (A.J. LoCascio) and park manager Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard gamely reprising her role) take centre stage, turning to head scientist Dr. Wu to quickly ‘build’ a new star attraction after Simon Masrani’s (Sendhil Ramamurthy) questionable piloting skills see him unleash the pteranodons from their aviary – D’oh!
It would be easy to look too deeply into the character implications on display here and despair at billionaire company owner Masrani’s flat-out incompetence, or the dubious implication that the entire JW fiasco is “sweet, simple, naïve” Claire’s fault, but in a blocky CG ‘toon where Owen rides a pteranodon called Tango and devious antagonist Vic Hoskins (Fred Tatasciore) hunts a park mascot wearing a T-Rex suit believing him to be a real dino, you have to learn just to dismiss this as colourful children’s entertainment.
There are some neat touches in amongst the fatuous fluff: Command centre screen-watchers Lowery and Vivian (Lauren Lapkus, returning) get a sweet cameo, as does Colin and the film-crew who are shooting a “documentary” of the events (how meta!). “Wu’s wacky creations” are a colourful pack of hybrids and some of the dialogue sparks (“it wants a whole army of raptor lackeys!”). Alas, overall this is never more than dispensable and lacks the witty panache of the LEGO Star Wars parodies, culminating in a dreadful own-goal of a punchline.
CR@B’s Claw Score: