“Bigger Teeth?” (Jurassic World)

Keep in mind, they have THIS to live up to...
Keep in mind, they have THIS to live up to…

I’m a pretty big fan of Jurassic Park. I haven’t really had the chance to talk about it on the Fortress, but I thought it would be a good time to start with the next installment in the franchise, Jurassic World, coming out. Which is better? Is Jurassic World even any good? Well, I’m glad you asked.

Decades after the original Jurassic Park, Jurassic World is built on the same island, basically over the ruins of John Hammond’s first park.Now, it attracts countless people every year. Whenever a new attraction is revealed, money comes knocking. But they quickly realize their mistake after breeding a genetically modified dinosaur that was built to be an unstoppable killing machine. They thought they had it under control. They were wrong. Now, it looks like history is about to repeat itself… with disastrous consequences.

I was pretty excited to see this movie, and I certainly wasn’t dissapointed. In the beginning, I was a bit worried, but I was sure it would turn itself around. At first, the characters seemed to be a little flawed, and unlikable, and I certainly had a few problems with Claire. But then I started to like the kids, as they had a little bonding trip even before the Indominus escaped. Owen (Chris Pratt) was fantastic from the start, and I started to form attachments to some of the secondary charters, like Simon Masrani (the park owner) or Lowery (the control room guy in the Jurassic Park shirt). These characters made me feel much more attached to movie, as I was genuinely worried for their safety, as opposed to just worrying about Chris Pratt.

Birdcage Crash (Jurassic World)
Yeah… That one.

One of my favorite shots in the trailer was the one in the birdcage, where the Indominus roared while turning and running towards the camera from an explosion, as the pterodactyls flew out of the dome. But when I saw it, I was so overcome with emotion that I couldn’t thoroughly enjoy it. I came in expecting a monster movie with a few cool shots, and left after seeing a Jurassic Park movie, and one that I had serious emotional investment in (like the first one). However, I remember having a few problems. I’ll just throw those into a little list form for you.

  • The Indominus’s appearance. This is where the Indominus Rex slipped a bit, and mind you, just a bit. I had hoped that Jurassic World would preserve suspense, and keep the Indominus partially concealed for some of the movie, like the Xenomorph in Alien. Alas, it didn’t work that way, but I was fine with that. It turns out that the movie wouldn’t have been able to pull off some of the crazy things they did with the Indominus if it was in the shadows.
  • Claire’s shoes. By the end of the movie, I liked Claire as a character, but she really needed a change of shoes. Seriously, no one, and I mean no one, can run from massive, genetically spliced killing machines in high heels. No one.
  • Odd transitions. No, I’m not talking about those things you’ll see in a PowerPoint, or Star Wars, or Hulk, I’m talking about how the end of one scene feels in relation to the other. There were one or two times where they didn’t linger on an emotional scene long enough, or sometimes it was kind of jarring. This only happened once or twice, but it was noticeable.
Jurassic World (Poster)
A very minimalist poster, but it gets the job done.

As a whole, it didn’t take itself too seriously, either. One of the subplots was actually how a military officer was hanging around, and was looking to use Dinsoaurs. On the front lines. Yeah, you read that right. That actually progressed quite a bit, but even when it was pushed to the forefront, it still didn’t punch you in the face. It was meant to be there, but not here. This was a really great theme that kept coming through the movie. The whole thing wasn’t serious. It did have some heart-pounding moments, but they were always followed up by jokes. Jurassic World was surprisingly light for a movie about dinosaurs eating people, and it certainly benefited from it’s tone.

The end of Jurassic World is insane. I was certainly not expecting it, but the finale of this movie will blow your eyes off. (In a good way.) This theme also happens to have been followed since the beginning of the movie. There was not a single action scene that felt bland, or uninspired, and it gave Jurassic World a really nice spark that kept going throughout the running time. In addition, it knew it’s source material as well, which is something that I love to see in a sequel. I don’t want to spoil anything, (because it was a really cool thing to figure out on my own in the theater, and I want you to have that experience for yourself) but there’s a very good scene around halfway through, and it was at that point that I knew this was not just a good movie, but a good Jurassic Park movie. 9 out of 10.

Light, yet action packed, Jurassic World succeeds on almost every level. It works well as a thriller, offering up genuine adrenaline, yet also compliments itself as a funny comedy, and is filled to the brim with good characters and ultimately fun times. There is no one or thing who was underutilized, and with some good nostalgia trips, Jurassic World is a much better movie for being so thoughtful.

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