Before I begin, I would like to clarify that I have the three original Jurassic Park movies sitting next to me being borrowed from a friend. I have not seen the originals just yet, but I went and saw Jurassic World anyway. I got criticized by another friend when I told her I haven't seen the originals yet and I kept telling her that Jurassic World didn't confuse me one bit. That being said, I will be reviewing this movie as a movie on its own instead of as another entry in a series.
In my defense, I don't think I need to review this movie as another entry in a series, because this movie works perfectly fine on its own. With the exception of a few nice nods to the events of the originals, at no point was I scratching my head wondering if I missed something, and that's actually a high point for this movie. This movie doesn't need to be seen if you've seen the originals. It's a fun summer popcorn flick that you can't help but enjoy, and a large part of that goes to the lead role played by Chris Pratt. Known famously for his role as Star Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy, Chris Pratt plays the main character Owen with a mix of young action hero and real human spirit who has an emotional connection to the raptors that he's trained himself to tame and take care of. Several scenes in this movie will be long remembered thanks to Chris, such as a visually incredible scene where Chris is riding on a motorcycle, with his raptors running alongside him on all sides. His first scene where we see him taming the raptors is intense and edge-of-your-seat goodness, even though it's only about twenty minutes into the movie.
The storyline is straightforward enough. Chris Pratt plays a raptor trainer on the island of Isla Nublar as part of a dinosaur theme park that's managed by Claire Dearing, the aunt of two boys who are also featured in this film. Let me just say that the reason why I only refer to two characters as 'two boys' like that is because they serve very little purpose in this movie other than to be Claire's own motivation to get from Point A to Point B to serve her own character arc. Anyway, Claire has assisted in creating a new genetically modified dinosaur, called the Indominus rex. Now I think it's safe to believe that there is some underlying message here about genetically modifying stuff and the dangerous consequences that come with it. Unfortunately there is actually very little depth to find here about that, after all at the end of the day this is still just a summer popcorn flick meant to entertain rather than to push you to ask questions, but I didn't walk into the theater expecting a thought-provoking tale so I really have no complaints there.
Of course, as should be expected, the Indominus rex escapes from his "home" and threatens to wreak havoc on the park, leading us into quite the thrill ride with only a few minutes in between to let us catch our breath. The visuals during this ride are amazing, most notably a sequence where we see a large group of pterosaurs attacking tourists in the park. I know I've already mentioned Chris Pratt, but I can't help but bring him up again here because it's through these scenes of frantic running away and shooting dinosaur creatures that Chris proves he can be another great action hero and he makes me laugh. Despite the circumstances the characters are tossed into in this movie, the movie is laced with very well-timed humor (unlike another movie I know, it's called Avengers: Age of Ultron). The humor is there, but it doesn't distract us during the action, but rather knows when the time is right for us to laugh and when the time is right to feel serious.
On a couple of lower notes, I must admit that this movie is a little bit longer than it should've been. Every time I thought the movie was going to end really soon, I realized that it wasn't even close. Also, I know perfectly well that this is one of those kinds of movies where you have to suspend disbelief, but I must point out without giving anything specific away that a lot of the final fight with the Indominus rex felt like it was run by conveniences that feel too good to be true. Deus ex machina feels like it's used several times during the final fight which makes it feel jarring, however it doesn't lower the scale of danger for the characters, as they still have to avoid swinging tails and falling dinosaur bodies.
Overall, this was a fun movie that I actually found myself having a better time watching than Age of Ultron, simply because this movie doesn't try to be so much, but instead just wants to be a straightforward action movie designed to give you a fun time. It doesn't even have an ending that hints at any sequels despite the fact that we've been promised that already. If you haven't seen it already, I strongly recommend gathering some friends and going to see it because I don't think you'll be disappointed.