Directed By: Colin Trevorrow
Story By: Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver
Production Company: Amblin Entertainment & Legendary Pictures
Distributed By: Universal Pictures
Seeing as this review will contain spoilers (as marked below), rather than risk spoiling anything to those who generally skip down towards the end of the review allow me to share my opinions on the film and taking into account what is already seen/known through the trailers.
This movie is awesome and well deserving four-and-a-half out of five stars from me. If you have any hesitation in seeing it for fear of a repeat of the third film, be assured that no such thing exists here and go see it posthaste! Jurassic World is better than The Lost World and a thousand and one times better than the third but is it better than the first? I do and yet, I can’t bring myself to say it is a fair comparison between them. There is not only a significant age gap between the two films, and thus an entirely different level of technology used to make them and utilized in the films proper, but the stories are virtually polar opposites of each other.
Jurassic Park was a tale of a park losing control before it even had a chance to truly shine, a park that was literally still under construction when the film’s events occur and how we, in our arrogance of control, realize too late that we never had it to begin with. Jurassic World showcases a completed park and has a similar, if not slightly altered message in that it is not arrogance of control but the result of having too much of it. The park is so controlled, so exact, that those in control have grown lenient, stagnating in their common sense that warns of the worst case scenarios until they go from impossible to improbable to RUN.
Going strictly from the trailers, one of the chief complaints that I’ve heard from people is the inaccuracy of the dinosaurs showcased in the film. Many have spoken ill of this primarily because the first film revolutionized how dinosaurs are perceived by the general public and put an end to many of the common tropes at the time such as them walking somewhat upright or their slow and gangly ways of walking.
I myself was admittedly disappointed at first but at the same time, I didn’t see a reason to object to it either. It has long since been established even in the first film that none of this dinosaurs are purebreds of their respected species with the geneticists having to toss in different samples of frog DNA to put in the gaps that were missing, leading to that whole “breeding in the wild” thing. Heck, small spoiler here but I feel worth noting, the chief geneticist himself admits that the dinosaurs at the park look vastly different than what they should look like thanks to them having had to substitute gene sequences in their DNA.
Aside from the in-story reasoning one has to remember that we’re talking about a film series that is so deeply ingrained into people across the entirety of the world that making a sudden and drastic change to the appearance of the dinosaurs would result in many being confused and even more ornery because the differences wouldn’t match up with how they looked in previous films. It’s one of the reasons the raptors were lambasted in The Lost World and the third film; they looked far too ridiculously different between films.
That and the stupid plane scene but that’s neither here nor there for now we’re going into the film proper here, ladies and gentlemen!
SPOILERS AHEAD!!! HOLD ONTO YOUR BUTTS!!!
There is a fair amount of the film that showcases the concept of Jurassic World the theme park. Though a majority of these scenes were shown in the trailers, there are a few delightful surprises in the film including, and I kid you not, an actual petting zoo and riding for little kids. Of course, the dinosaurs in this little exhibit are all adorably cute babies that just had to include a strangely appropriately sized Apatosaurus being hugged by a little girl and giving me all kinds of feels for The Land Before Time and—
Sorry. Just… There is a surprising number of heart wrenching scenes in this movie but more on that later.
On the human side of things… Going in, I honestly expected the humans to be… not quite carbon copies of those we’ve already seen and come to know but rather predictable character tropes that can be identified within minutes. I am proud to say that every prediction I made failed to come true both as far as my expectations of their characters and their developments are concerned. As to the deaths of certain characters, I’m sorry to say that I did predict two but, to be fair, one was the bad guy and the other was the “shock” death, at least for me.
Y’all recall that scene wherein the Mosasaur comes leaping out of the water biting down upon a Pteranodon? Yeah, there was a person being clutched in the claws of the Pteranodon before the Mosasaur decided to have a two-for-one special there and let me tell you, I saw that person’s death coming but I did not expect it like that! It was like, the filmmakers had something against the kind of person whom the person represented and took a little too much vindictive pleasure out of killing them off but I digress.
This movie has just the right amount of scenes with dinosaurs throughout. Contrary to the first film where they kept you waiting until the right moment, we know the dinosaurs are here and ready for viewing by the general public and they are everywhere and I loved it. There weren’t so many that one was practically tripping over them but I’d say the longest time spent without some manner of ancient beast being on the screen was… five to ten minutes give or take?
On the note of dinosaurs, let me speak of one of my favorite dinosaurs in the franchise aside from the T-Rex because, let’s be fair here, it’s a mother f-ing T-Rex and nothing can compare to the awesomeness that is the Tyrant Lizard King. The Velociraptors are outright amazing in this film, which, to be fair, they have been so since the first movie but this is the one where they truly shine as hunters and as actual animals.
In the first two films they were… not necessarily evil but one has to admit that they were rather obsessed with killing off the humans and the third film… Aside from that whole affair of communication, they had a legitimate excuse for hunting the humans down but were far too… odd looking for my taste. This one they do, however briefly, turn on the humans but the beta of the pack, appropriately named Blue, reaffirms the pack’s loyalty to Owen, their trainer, before they turn on the one who bade them to turn on him in the first place, the Indominus Rex.
Now, to those who are unawares, there was a script way back in the early 2000’s wherein there was a plot that involved, and I swear to God I’m not making this up, dinosaur-human hybrid super soldiers. Who the heck thought that was a good idea for a movie based on Jurassic Park deserves a good smack upside the head. It’s not a bad idea for a film, because let’s be honest here, if the possibility was there, y’all know there’d be a list of volunteers across the entirety of the United States, but for Jurassic Park? That’s like having a Godzilla movie without anything remotely Godzilla in it but the name!
… I’m looking at you Devlin and Emmerich!
Anyway, despite some massive changes throughout, there are some elements to this concept in the film primarily seen in the taming/training of the Velociraptors but more heavily on the Indominus Rex whose creation was a massive opportunity for a militarily minded character to showcase the idea of utilizing dinosaurs as creatures of war. Basically, replacing attack dogs and such but on a larger scale. See, the Indominus was created purposefully to be terrifying but was genetically created to be the top alpha predator it could be, containing elements of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, Velociraptor, and certain species of poisonous frogs, snakes, and cephalopods. It can see thermal radiation like a snake, is easily bigger than a Tyrannosaurus Rex, more intelligent than a Velociraptor, and it can camouflage itself like a freaking squid!
Unfortunately, whether by way of its genetic make-up or how it was kept in a cage with no social contact whatsoever, the Indominus is mentally unstable. It not only killed its own sibling, something that can generally occur in the wild but not commonly so amongst most species of reptiles or birds, but actually ate it. Upon breaking loose of its containment area by way of a plan that would make any Velociraptor bow its head in shame, the Indominus then proceeded to hunt and kill everything in its path not for food but for the pleasure it took in killing for sport.
That’s… that’s just frightening on so many levels I don’t even know where to begin…
Ultimately, the Indominus Rex meets her end… Y’know what? No, I shan’t spoil this scene because this scene was the movie. This scene stole the show and made it go from amazingly excellent to utterly fantastic in my mind! Seriously, I am replacing Pacific Rim on my top ten favorite films list with this movie, that’s how freaking amazing that scene was for me as to make the film one of my personal favorites of all time!
Really, the only reason that this film is down by half a star is because I just couldn’t connect with either of the two kids in the film. They’re no Alex or Timmy to me and though they do their best with what’s happening around them, and they have plenty of hilariously good lines, I just… I couldn’t understand their mood/attitude for most of the time they were on screen. Aside from that, this is an excellent movie and I can only hope that certain theme parks will be receiving a few upgrades in conjunction with this movie.