Thoughts on Jurassic World

WARNING: ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO YEARN TO BE SPOILER FREE

What else would I possibly be writing about this week?  I have been hyped for Jurassic World since the first trailer was released back in November.  I preordered my tickets weeks in advance.  I called off work the day of the midnight release so I wouldn’t have to rush from work right to the movies.  I’ve been waiting for a sequel since the goddamn Spinosaurus massacred the T-Rex back in 2001.  However, in recent months, I became worried.  The trailers were showing too much and the dialogue seemed too campy.  So, in preparation for the movie, I casted my nostalgia aside to see how I really felt about the new installment of the JP franchise.

The Cool

Jurassic World takes place years after the events of the first film.  John Hammond has died and a billionaire named Masrani has assumed control over the island and the dinosaurs that inhabit it.  In classic Jurassic Park fashion, Masrani Corp. comes up with the ingenious and not dangerous idea of building a new theme park, but this time decide to make everything a shiny chrome color, because it’s the future.  In recent years, the park attendance has been dwindling, forcing them to create bigger and scarier dinosaurs.  Their newest and scariest attraction, Indominus Rex, heeds Ian Malcolm’s advice and uh, uh finds a way. The rest of the movie is chaotic and classic Jurassic Park.

I remember back when the trailer was released, there were numerous complaints about the plot.  People were saddened that their beloved franchise was turning into a straight up monster movie.  These people also forget that there were talks of a Jurassic Park sequel that involved militarized human-dino hybrids.  The plot of Jurassic World is easily the most logical route they could have went with the movie.  An eccentric billionaire would attempt to open up the park, regardless of the (now publicized) tragedy that happened years before.  People would get bored of watching a T-Rex devour a goat.  It’s human nature to be bored.  It’s also human nature to take things to the next level.

There were numerous call backs to the original film including the hologram Dilophosaurus, Winston’s, and the background advertisements for Jurassic Tennis.  For a fan of the films, they’re fun to look out for. My favorite, that wasn’t explicitly said, relates back to the first film.  John Hammond ‘Spared no expense’ in keeping his park running.  One of the main complaints nitpickers have with Jurassic Park is: why such a minimal staff?  Why is Newman from Seinfeld the only person who knows the system (besides a 12 year old girl)?  Skip to Jurassic World, and we see a massive room of operations, fully staffed.  When Indominus Rex escapes, we see a task force specifically designed to wrangle rogue dinosaurs.  Spared no expense.

The Not So Cool

Character development was hastily written in.  There were a couple scenes in the movie dedicated to letting the audience know that the children’s (of course they were annoying, it’s Jurassic Park) parents are getting a divorce.  The older brother was completely insufferable.  Then again, so are most teenagers.  Someone should give that kid an Oscar.

Although there were complaints of the dinosaur effects, the final product delivered good CGI dinos.  CGI has come a long way, but it hasn’t come far enough to convince me that Jurassic World was a real place.  The futuristic chrome look is exactly that; futuristic.  Something about the brightness of the park didn’t immerse me.

If you are a fan of pacing, this movie will annoy you.  The original Jurassic Park built up the escape for about thirty-five/forty minutes (estimating) before the reveal of the T-Rex and the chaos that followed.  The buildup to the I-Rex escape is maybe twenty minutes maximum.  .  The escape was the main plot that tied in the kids of the story as well as InGen’s devious plan to overtake control of the dinosaurs.  It felt rushed, as if they tried to cram too much in to setup a sequel.

Why My Opinion Doesn’t Matter

I was at work the other day and there are these cardboard displays that fit around the security scanners.  Right now the displays are for Jurassic World, promoting the film with an image of a roaring Tyrannosaurus Rex.  I see numerous children stop in awe to admire the cardboard dinosaur until their parents pull them away.  It reminded me of myself as a kid.  A kid who watched the first Jurassic Park every day until he was seven.  A kid who forced his parents to take him to Walking With Dinosaurs when it finally came to a mall near him.  If this new film can spark the imagination of children like the first one did to me, then my opinion is irrelevant.

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