Long ago when I was a wee lassie I was too busy playing with Barbies and wishing my life was a Disney cartoon to have any idea I would eventually love action movies, especially ones with giant monsters and/or dinosaurs. I think I had some inkling of the inner ass-kicker within me when my parents (for reasons of their own) decided to let me watch the John Travolta/Nicholas Cage film "Face/Off", which I then made my cousin watch with me after my fifth birthday party. Still it was not until years later that I finally saw "Jurassic Park", the first in what has to date been a rather rocky franchise. I would still argue that that first film is the best of the now four installments. From the interesting premise to the awesome animatronics to the CGI which still doesn't look too bad considering how long ago "Jurassic Park" was made, that film holds up in spite of some definite flaws.
Recently myself and some friends went to see the franchise's newest installment, "Jurassic World". I'll try not to reveal any spoilers, but the premise is much the same as in the previous films: Mankind is not as smart or as skilled as it thinks it is, and we probably shouldn't be playing God. The filmmakers also added in a number of homages to the first film which I won't spoil, but suffice it to say they're pretty cool.
To be clear, this film is not without its plot holes. I don't think there has been one Jurassic Park film that hasn't had them, largely because they're all based on the kind of "science" I normally don't encounter anywhere other than around the Sunday night Dungeons and Dragons table. That being said, I loved this movie. I went into the theater with virtually no expectations other than dinosaur mayhem and human stupidity, and "Jurassic World" delivers both of those. Chris Pratt's performance as Owen, a veteran military man and park employee who innovated a method of training raptors (which was also pretty cool in my opinion) was highly enjoyable and slightly evocative of Sam Neil's work in the first film, while still maintaining a definite distinction. I'd say that while most of the characters are definitely archetypal (the seasoned veteran, the uptight business woman, the kids whose parents' divorce we're supposed to care about even though their total screen time is maybe 10 minutes, etc.), the actors do what they can to make them three-dimensional. I feel that Mr. Pratt in particular has done a great job throughout his film career at taking on characters who could otherwise come across as outlandish or unrelatable and making them very relatable, realistic, and relevant, which is also a credit to the writing. "Jurassic World" is no exception. Bravo, sir.
So, was it amazing? No, not by a long shot. Did it nevertheless leave me cheering and squealing in my seat? Yes. Yes it did. I'm not going to lie, I clapped at the end. I think I summarized the plot pretty well when I said afterward (apologies if anyone is offended by my language):
"People are stupid, dinosaurs go crazy, and bitches get killed."