How good is Jurassic World really?

My first encounter with Steven Spielberg’s digitally reconstructed dinosaurs was back when I was a very small boy. I was at the age where all kinds of animals (dinosaurs especially), cars and keys (yes keys, you read that right) fascinated me. So, obviously this movie – Jurassic Park – was a marvel to me. I watched it again a few days ago online and I realized just how good the movie is – the CGI in this movie is seriously good and all those dinosaurs look so real. Someone who hasn’t watched the film (I don’t know of any person like that, but I’m sure there are a few) might think it’s all serious and action-y and maybe even scary. Well, it is all of the above, but it also has some great humour (ah Jeff Goldblum) and some very light-hearted moments. To put it in colloquial terms, it has heart. Then I watched the sequels. The series got gradually worse and no the sequels aren’t bad movies, generally speaking; they’re just bad compared to the original – that’s what happens when the first movie in a series sets the bar so high. Now, Jurassic World is out and there was only one question in my mind when I walked into the movie theatre – “Is it better than the original?”

Beating this will be hard... really hard.
Beating this will be hard… really hard.

The movie is directed by Colin Trevorrow, someone who I have never heard of, but I always like being surprised. The fact that Steven Spielberg himself was on-board with this project increased my confidence in this film. Plus, it has Chris Pratt! I loved the guy in Parks and Recreation and also in Guardians of the Galaxy. I knew that he has great comedic timing and can play a goofball exceptionally well, but this role was a very serious one and I wanted to see how well he would perform in it, whether he would look kind of out-of-place or awkward. It also has Bryce Dallas Howard who I have seen in some movies playing smaller roles. I really didn’t know much about her to have any expectations. Ah, finally, Vincent D’Onofrio is here! I know the guy has some serious acting chops and was very excited to see him.

To tell the truth, I actually had really high hopes for this movie and to put you people out of the suspense, those hopes were fulfilled. What I’m trying to say is that the movie is great! Jurassic World (the island/theme park not the movie) looks absolutely stunning and when I first got to see a glimpse (more of an aerial shot) of it, the original Jurassic Park theme song started booming and oh, the nostalgia gave me goosebumps and a wide smile appeared on my face. I really don’t want to give the plot away, so I’ll be as vague as I can be. The dinosaurs in this film – oh wow! They look so REAL!  Dinosaurs in this movie are treated like any other animals in the zoo, they’re a tourist attraction – the harmless, small ones are allowed to be touched by humans and the really dangerous ones are kept out of reach behind glass cases. There are quite a few new dinosaurs that you get to see too. Now the Indominus Rex (this new genetically-engineered super dino) is to Jurassic

“Holy crap!” That’s what I said when I first saw this.

World what the T-Rex was to Jurassic Park, albeit with a lot more screen-time and also it’s a lot more scary. I really liked what they did with it, splicing genes from other dinosaurs to make this…monster. I won’t say anymore, but just know that it’s amazing.

Onto the characters, I will say that some of the characters are a little stereotypical – Chris Pratt’s character, “Owen” is like this rugged, no-nonsense badass and this made him look like the ultimate movie hero; Bryce Dallas Howard’s “Claire” is this typical uptight, businesswoman who always wears formal clothes and high heels (she actually wore high heels throughout the movie) but can also be a badass at certain times; then there’s Vincent D’Onofrio’s character who’s this typical military guy that wants to weaponize dinosaurs and what-not and will not stop at anything to get his way. He says the most typical villain-y lines even to the point that I was correctly predicting what he would say next. Yeah, pretty stereotypical, but by no means bad. In fact, I liked, no I loved them. These are likable characters and the contrast between the two lead characters is what made the movie for me, apart from the dinosaurs of course. I like it when there’s a real dynamic between the characters in a movie and it’s portrayed believably on-screen by the actors. There are two kids (well, one’s a kid and the other’s a… young adult?) in the movie and they’re actually pretty central to the plot and it’s through them that we get to see a lot of the world. Since they get a lot of screen-time, their acting had to be good and it was pretty decent. They were functional in their roles and I guess, it made it easier that they basically just played themselves but just in a dinosaur theme-park, you know what I mean?

All the action sequences in the movie are quite exhilarating and managed to keep me on the edge of the seat, and that’s great. The movie also has quite a bit of humour and it never feels forced, and that’s great. There are quite a large number of Jurassic Park easter eggs, and that’s great. The relationship between the dinosaurs and humans has evolved quite a lot since the original movie where both have accepted each other into their lives, neither one is treated like they don’t belong, and that’s great. Chris Pratt has some really great scenes with some velociraptors (ah those menacing buggers from the first movie who are slightly more docile in this movie, but only for a while) where he’s shown somewhat controlling them, but as he says, it’s not about control, it’s a relationship based on mutual respect, and that is great. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that the movie is GREAT. Have I hammered it over your head too much? Maybe, but just remember that it’s great.

Ah, they're back!
Ah, they’re back!

The climax of this movie is really well-constructed and the final fight is just so satisfying to watch, you can’t imagine. I noticed that the movie wasn’t wrapped up in a neat bow and that’s because they’ve already set up for a sequel in this movie itself. What can I say, I’m excited for more. I didn’t really have any gripes with this movie and walked out of the theatre thoroughly satisfied. However, there were quite a few people around the world that didn’t share the same enthusiasm as me. One is my favourite YouTube movie reviewer, Jeremy Jahns. He said that the movie is not really a Jurassic Park movie but more of a typical monster movie. I really beg to differ – this is a Jurassic Park movie in every sense and captures the true essence of the original that the other two sequels couldn’t. He also said that the characters in the movie were, well, cartoons. I agree that they were pretty stereotypical, but they were fun to watch and they really had great chemistry. Well, each to his own, everyone’s entitled to their opinions and this is one of the few times that Jeremy’s and mine are different. The thing about this movie is that you’ll either love it or hate it. Most people however, fall into the former category with the series purists falling into the latter. Just like Jurassic Park enthralled audiences in ’93, this does so just as well in 2015 (there I said it). This is the Jurassic Park of the current generation – that best describes it and to be called so is no mean feat. So in conclusion, do I recommend you go and watch this movie? Oh yes.


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