A couple of days ago I talked about my addictive affair with reading. In addition to being an avid, nay voracious, reader, I am also a great fan of good television, video games, and movies. In TV I am presently trying to catch up on all the fun of Supernatural, just finished season 7. What I have come to talk about today though is Jurassic World, might I just say it was pretty darn amazing.
So I remember seeing Jurassic Park more times than I could count, I had read Michael Crichton’s book and was enthralled with the idea of Dinosaurs come back to life. While the movie was not a perfect adaptation of the book (when is it ever?) I thoroughly enjoyed Jurassic Park in the early ’90s. Then came Jurassic Park 2 and 3 riding on the coat-tails of the success of the pilot and ruined dinosaurs for me forever. I hated JP 2 and I loathe JP 3. However, Jurassic World turned my perceptions on their head. At first when I heard about the movie I regarded it with a resigned ‘meh’ and filed it in the back of my mind. So you can imagine my expectations were quite low when I went to see it, but I was pleasantly surprised.
***Here is where the spoilers start***
The opening scenes of the movie start with the typical boys going on vacation without mom and dad, you immediately notice that mom and dad are not doing so great. At first this seemed pointless, but it plays into the story later so I applaud Colin Trevorrow for his directorial prowess. As we get our first look at the park itself, it is breath-taking. I remember slapping my wife’s knee and grinning like a child. There was a great panoramic view that just pulled me in and said you belong here. I am sure I am not the only one affected so, but it was a unique experience for me – rarely does a movie capture me like that. All of this and I have not even seen a dinosaur yet.
It had the feel of the original Jurassic Park, the beginning scenes setting the stage and making it decidedly character driven. Yes there are themes and there is an overall plot, but it makes it about the characters. Bravo I say, bravo. When we get our first look at Indominus Rex (yes, they address the silly name in the movie as well) you can barely see her, this is great showmanship on part of the director. There is the tease of an eye, and a few growls, but it gives nothing away. This scene sticks out in my mind as the drawing in of the audience. I wanted to know what kind of dinosaur I was looking at. They had already explained it was genetically modified and I was fine with that. I wanted to see the genetic modifications, was it a T-Rex with Stegosaurus spines? Maybe a mixture of Raptor and Allosaurus! They did not give it away though, it was a tease and then we cut to Starlord and his trained Velociraptors.
Now, I know what you are thinking. I was too, at first. Who trains raptors? Seriously and how does that even work!? Well it doesn’t, not entirely. The story here almost felt contrived, until you heard Chris Pratt’s character describe the relationship. Here is where the whole story unveils, at least if you understand plot and plot devices. Enter the military man, the guy who wants to turn these ‘trained’ raptors into military assets, yes Raptor Marines! Starlord explains that he has a bond because of mutual respect and an understanding that these are wild animals, hunters that would like nothing better than to have a snack of any human being.
So now I’ve set it up, Military Guy wants trained Raptors, Scientists go nuts and create genetically modified dino, Dino gets out, Starlord leads raptors to kill dino, lots of people get eaten, t-rex gets out and battle of the dinos ensues, all the while military guy is trying to steal embryo’s and field test trained raptors. The story seems a bit convoluted at first, but it plays out beautifully.
I was on the edge of my seat through the entirety of the movie. Well worth the watch and the $20 or so I spent on tickets for the wife and I. So in the end, I recommend seeing Jurassic World, it is a fun ride from start to finish and seriously it is DAF (Dinosaur as F). Until next time.
Your friendly neighborhood author,