I've been trying to think of what to write in regards to the recently released 'Jurassic World'. I saw it a week ago and I loved the film, but I didn't want to write a full on review because I don't ever feel like I can write a complete review after just one go at the movies. So I just wanted to write an article explaining what I loved about the film as if I was explaining it to my friends (sort of).
Let's not beat around the bush and let's just jump right into the it!
The story of Jurassic World seems to pay a lot of homage to the first film in that a lot of scenes are actually sort of recreated or at least reference via visual easter eggs.
But this film doesn't come off as a useless sequel lacking creativity and just borrowing everything from the first film. No, it actually follows the first one in a nice way (being that this is considered a truer sequel to the 1993 film).
The ideas that John Hammond had in the first movie are fully realized in this movie as the idea of having a park centered around dinosaur attractions does in fact bring a lot of people from around the world.
But Colin Trevorrow takes an interesting turn as he states the inspiration from this movie comes from an image of a teenage boy texting while standing inches away from a t-rex, separated only by glass. It's basically become a glorified, one-of-a-kind zoo.
Although it's popular, things do seem to be not so pleasing to board members who are in charge of funding the theme park.
This leads to the creation of a dinosaur...no...a monster called "indominous rex".
This, of course, is what the whole movie centers around. You see that these scientists have gotten out of control, creating these dinosaurs with no reverence to life and no respect to these ancient animals that should otherwise be extinct.
You can't help but hear Ian Malcolm's words from the first movie in the back of your head the whole time:
"...your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should." ~Ian Malcolm from Jurassic Park
The entire population of the island suffer the consequences of those scientists' "achievements".
There's a lot working in the film as there are several different storylines going on between people just trying to survive, to people trying to smuggle dino DNA off the island, and some of those people having horrific ideas for that DNA usage.
I won't spoil anything, but there are a lot of gears turning and so it's not just another summer movie where you just turn your mind off and let yourself be dazzled. It's definitely worth paying attention to.
Now, I will say that the story is good, but it's not better than the first movie and really, the end of the film does sort of go a more campy route for a finale, but by then, you've had so much fun, it just feels like one big dino-payoff.
The cast of the film is what made this movie for me (besides the dinosaurs). Actors like Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard do such a great job interacting with each other, interacting with their surrounding cast. Chris Pratt doesn't just come off as the silly guy making jokes the whole time, he's actually pretty serious a majority of the movie, but it's not annoying, it works. Bryce Dallas Howard also doesn't necessarily come off as she seems in the trailer where she's wooden and heartless, she actually does a lot and really brings a great performance to the movie.
There are quite a few other characters that you like in this movie or at least feel they did a good job. First I'll mention Jake Johnson who, although never comes face-to-face with any dinosaurs, brings a lot of heart and humor to the film.
But even though he's a lesser side character, his character has development and it just kind of proves to you that the writers care about these characters because they all seem to matter to the audiences.
Then there was the head honcho of the park, played by Irrfan Khan, who sort of plays the John Hammond-role of the film. But you find yourself really rooting for his character and dare I say it, his character, to me, was better than even John Hammond himself. He played such a passionate guy, not just for the dinosaurs, but for the population enjoying those dinosaurs, and I loved seeing that on film.
Vincent D'Onofrio also brings a different element to the Jurassic Park franchise. He sort of plays a more hostile, warmongering Dennis Nedry from the first film. He provides a good human antagonist in the film, however, he, surprisingly isn't the most fresh character in the film. He sort of falls into the arch-typical dirt-bag.
Then there are the kids. Well, they're just kids, a necessary element to every Jurassic Park movie in the franchise that shows us that no matter how much an adult, often times with weapons, tries to escape dinosaurs, kids are invulnerable to anything more than some mere scrapes and bruises.
The oldest kid annoys me as he's the stereotypical, jerk big-brother which doesn't touch my heart in any way cause me and my older brother have always been best friends, but whatever, if it's needed to have the kid be a jerk I guess that's fine for the story, I just didn't care. I will say though, that the younger kid, was funny to me. He was probably the best child star out of all the Jurassic Park children (except for when Lex does the jello fear-jiggle). I cared for the kid and he had an interesting relationship with all the characters he came into contact with.
Now, if you were like me as a kid, you were telling people that when you grew up, you wanted to be a paleontologist (which might mean you were a pretty odd kid). I loved dinosaurs so much and had a huge book cataloging all the different kinds of dinosaurs that existed throughout the different eras (Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous). It was in this book that I discovered that velociraptors were not actually like the awesome beasts we've seen in Jurassic Park films. No, they were actually somewhat smaller.
Oh, and they had feathers (or protofeathers), but that wasn't common knowledge when I was a kid. The raptors we've seen in Jurassic Park films actually resemble a different kind of dinosaur called a Deinonychus.
The reason for this mix-up is that Michael Crichton (author of the Jurassic Park book) referred to them as Velociraptor antirrhopus, a synonym used during the late 1980's by Gregory S. Paul most notably in 1988's Predatory Dinosaurs of the World.
So you can imagine that after 20+ years from the original Jurassic Park movie, that people would be pretty hard on Jurassic World for not re-creating the dinosaurs to accurately depict their appearances as suggested by popular paleontologists today.
I'm all for authenticity, but this movie, didn't even need that for me. I knew what to expect going in and that was to see awesome dinosaurs (as they are more popularly perceived, which is sort of addressed in the movie) doing awesome dino-things. And boy let me tell you that it was awesome.
The visuals were great! Yeah people knock the film for its heavy use of CGI but really, it didn't take me out of the movie and I allowed myself to sit back and have fun.
If you go into this movie, with that intention, you will have fun.
Well, that's my thoughts on the film. I wouldn't call it a review, I'd just say that I really had fun and would definitely recommend it to whoever was on the fence about the film.
It's not as good as the first movie by any means, but it's a more worthy sequel than both The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III.
If you haven't gone out and seen it yet, go now and watch the film, you won't be disappointed.