Last night David and I went to see Jurassic World! I screamed. More than once.
Jurassic World is the fourth movie in the Jurassic Park franchise, which started twenty-two years ago in 1993. And although we thoroughly enjoyed the movie, it doesn’t match (and arguably doesn’t come very close to) the original characters and story.
The film begins with two brothers, Gray and Zach, as they head to Costa Rica for a weekend at Jurassic World to spend time with their aunt Claire, the manager of the park. Approximately 20,000 visitors stroll through the park each day, but even so, they need to “refresh” the park every two to three years to keep public interest. After all, regular ol’ dinosaurs get boring… right?
A new dinosaur, “Indominus Rex”, which has been genetically spliced together to create a bigger and scarier dinosaur, is introduced. Owen Brady (Chris Pratt) is called in from working with the velociraptors to inspect the cage in which she’s housed.
Owen sums it up pretty well when he says:
You just went and made a new dinosaur? Probably not a good idea.
Yeah, you’re telling me. Clearly they’ve learned nothing from Ian Malcolm.
Owen is proved correct when Indominus Rex escapes her cage. And what follows is a bloodbath in which pretty much everyone dies.
Just kidding. Kind of.
Okay, so there’s a bit more to the story than that, but let’s get right into it, shall we?
So, the negatives of the film first. The plot and characters were perhaps the greatest weakness of this film. The plot was far too simplistic, and almost too close to the original Jurassic Park film without meeting its greatness.
The characters were disappointingly one-dimensional. I like Chris Pratt. He’s a super funny guy! But I had to look up his character’s name on the internet because I couldn’t remember it. The characters in this film are flat and given little to no backstory. There’s no real development either. My favourite character was actually Masrani, the owner and CEO of Jurassic World.
Oh, and the velociraptor, “Blue.”
Seriously, the velociraptors had more personality and character development than anyone else. Which was awesome for them, but not so great for the main characters.
And finally, the message of this story was not conveyed as intelligently or as humorously as it had been in the original Jurassic Park. You just can’t beat these lines:
But your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.
God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs.
… Dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the earth.
With all this in mind, we still loved the movie. It was thrilling, scary, and well-paced (it wasn’t too long). There were some great laugh-out-loud moments coupled with some truly terrifying scenes. During one scene the suspense was so intense that I had to look away… only to scream a second later when I turned back to the screen after seemingly nothing was happening.
But this is coming from a woman who screams every time she sees the scene in Jurassic Park where Ellie Satler turns back on the power.
The action was maybe slightly overdone, but it was just too exciting for me to care. The dinosaurs were also spectacular. Very realistic, some of which even had semi-developed personalities.
The creators of this film also did an excellent job of creating a theme park that was truly believable. During the first part of the film (you know, before everyone dies and stuff) I couldn’t help but think “this place is awesome! I totally want to visit!” Maybe that’s a bad thing, but it really did look like a believable and engaging theme park.
And the music. Totally awesome. They really paid homage to the original through the soundtrack, and the musical score really added a lot to this film. The suspense was intensified because of the swells in the music. Loved it.
And seriously, this movie is just plain fun! My heart was pounding when we left the movie theatre. It was an exciting film that, if you liked the original, you’ll likely enjoy this one.
Just try not to look away. It’ll only make things worse.