So, it would appear that Dinosaurs > The Avengers. Let's talk about that. (As always: Be warned, here there be spoilers!)
Cue the John Williams music.
When I was a kid I loved, loved, loved, dinosaurs! Heck, I still love dinosaurs, though I'm really just an overgrown kid, so no surprises there. The very first Jurassic Park movie came out when this love that I harbored was in full bloom, and it instantly became one of my favorite films of all time! It was a movie about a fricking theme park filled with actual, real, live dinosaurs that escape and wreak havoc. Who wouldn't love that!? Plus, it introduced visual effects that blew the audience away at the time. When I watched Jurassic Park for the first time in theaters (I kind of snuck in with my older cousin, sorry, Mom) my kid mind exploded, because I was instantly transported to Isla Nublar where ancient reptilian creatures roam.
Thanks, George Lucas.
The movie was a huge hit, and became the highest-grossing film worldwide until Titanic was released four years later. Evidently, I wasn't the only kid to be engrossed, and the kid in every adult simply couldn't resist. Nothing seems to have changed as once again, the infamous park has taken the number one spot in box office records beating BOTH Avengers films.
The world is just a bunch of excitable kids, isn't it? That would explain a lot, actually...
As is the case whenever anything is popular in Hollywood, a sequel has to be made. And the Jurassic Park franchise got to have two before 'Jurassic World', The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park 3. Both films (IMO) were terrible. The second one became too stupid and preachy while the third was filled with the most incredibly moronic characters I'd ever seen. So when I heard about the newest addition to the franchise I was initially skeptical. My thoughts were that if the sequels failed to bring anything new or interesting to the table than why would Jurassic World be any different? Then I saw the trailer...
And this guy...
Right away I had a good feeling. I was already seeing things I'd never seen before and never realized I'd wanted to see. My mind was made up right there that I'd see the new film and give it a chance. This was what I thought of it.
Earlier, I mentioned that the first Jurassic Park movie managed to actually transport me to the theme park and that I was completely engrossed. Jurassic World did the same. The park they show you is so similar to real theme parks (Think Disneyland or Sea World) but with the awesome inclusion of Dinosaurs. There is a petting zoo filled with baby dinosaurs (some of which kids can ride), a sea life show where the audience gets splashed, an attraction where you can go canoeing with dinosaurs bathing next to you, etc. You even see characters pass a Starbucks and Pandora shop! If a park like this actually existed, the movie shows you exactly what it would be like. And that adds to the 'realism'.
Oh, why can't this be a real thing!!??
We're also introduced to some new concepts about dinosaur behavior when we meet Chris Pratts' character who is the resident Velociraptor Trainer. Yes, you heard me right. His character trains the deadly killing machines from the first movies by using dead rats and a 'clicker' that's normally used on dogs. This idea, while borderline ludicrous and dangerous, is still incredibly fascinating and watching his character with them in any scene is absolutely captivating. That's the films major strength. It has amazing and unique ideas and knows exactly how to make them entertaining for the audience. It's visually breathtaking and will leave you entranced until the credits roll! All of this being said, it has some problems. For instance, this guy never takes his shirt off. :-(
If you're looking for the layered and multi-faceted characters from the first Jurassic Park, stop right now. You're not going to find them. Every single main character is a 'broad stroke' character, meaning that they have one trait they're known for and nothing else. Yes, we see some development with the director of operations (Bryce Dallas Howard) going from cold, business driven aunt to kickass "I'm-gonna-sick-a-T-Rex-on-you-to-save-my-nephews" aunt, but not much else can be said. The nephews may as well be called 'wide-eyed, younger genius brother' and 'teenaged angsty older brother'. At one point the movie gives us a scene where the younger one reveals that their parents are getting a divorce, visually upsetting both kids, and then we never hear about it again. In fact the boys go right back to going on rides and smiling and laughing like nothing is wrong.
The villains are of course interested in making dinosaurs into weapons now that they see you can train them, which is a nice change from 'let's steal them for our own park', but when your villain is a clear cut douche bag from the beginning and tries to reason with a velociraptor by talking to it, there's no way I'll be taking them seriously. And I would bet all of my life's savings that Chris Pratt took his role because his character speaks in nothing but trailer speak and one-liners. That and his character has a scene where he rides a motorcycle next to velociraptors.
I'm not going to be too harsh on the plot of the movie being about the incredibly poor decision to make a dinosaur hybrid that will scare their patrons more, because the entire idea of cloning any dinosaur is a pretty poor idea. But still, using cuttlefish DNA? A fish I know about ONLY because of its' ability to blend into surroundings? Really?
While you might think that this would take you out of the movie and ruin the entire film, it strangely doesn't. There's a tongue in cheek tone throughout the film and I couldn't help but wonder if the cliches were intentional. Plus the film never takes itself too seriously, there's no underlying message about animal cruelty or man vs. nature, it's a fun and exciting romp in a dinosaur park and nothing more!
Personally, I think nothing else is really needed.
If there's going to be another installment, I'd like to see the same director and writer(s) work on it. Just think of what else they could cook up and imagine for us! I only ask that they try to make their characters more complicated and less cliched. Then you'd have a classic to last throughout the years, much like the one that started it all.
What did you think of the movie? Comment below to let me know!