Jurassic World

In honor of Jurassic World, I too am going to open my own theme park. I won’t fill it with dinosaurs though, I will fill it with greek legendary monsters. It makes sense, if you remember you are reading this review on Gorgon Reviews.

I don’t have the funds yet for it. I don’t have the feasibility either. I thought about CGI, but that doesn’t make sense in real life. Although if the entire park was an entire green screen overlaying the sidewalks and buildings and grass, I could buy the material in bulk.

After all, if they can successfully make a park with monsters despite a whole bunch of deaths right off the back twenty years ago, more power to them (and me). Afterall, Jurassic World is going to be a strict economic drama about the costs that go into large island parks, right? And about how everything is awesome?

About how everything is cool, when you’re part of a team?

Set 22 years after the first Jurassic Park or so, this movie takes place on the exact same island. Now the island is a bustling theme park! The idea was a success! Everyone gets dinosaurs and no one dies!

This version of the park still took some time to happen and it has only existed for 10 years or so. They occasionally release a new exhibit, which spikes up business and gets everyone about dinosaurs again. But kids today, with their Pac-man video games and MTV and hula hoops have attention spans that can be measured only in nanoseconds. And they aren’t afraid of dinosaurs anymore. They are basically like slightly more exotic elephants at this point.

So they went bigger. Better. They made up a dinosaur. Taking DNA from several big dinosaurs and filling in the gaps with some crazy shit, they made a big, intelligent dinosaur that is going to make everyone shit their pants and the investors dive in piles of gold coins. They just have to pass a few safety tests before the big day in a few weeks. And sure, wouldn’t you know it? We got ourselves a highly intelligent killing machine that is not just a mere animal, but almost a dino-god. And he is now loose on a regular park day with 20,000 guests.

Guests like, Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson), who are there for the weekend with their Aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), a big wig who helps run the park. We have Henry Wu (BD Wong) as our head scientist who made the creature, the only returning member from the first film. Our rich park owner who doesn’t care about profits (Irrfan Khan), some people who work in the control room (Jake Johnson, Lauren Lapkus), a bad baby sitter (Katie McGrath), the emotional mom of the kids (Judy Greer), a guy with nefarious intentions (Vincent D’Onofrio), and a raptor handler (Omar Sy), are also involved in some way or another!

Hmm. Am I missing anyone? Oh, I guess there is Owen (Chris Pratt), an ex military man who thinks dinosaurs are thinking, intelligent creatures who just want the respect they deserve.

Yum Yum
The orca’s at Sea World, however, don’t deserve respect and don’t deserve great white shark food like this big guy.

Welcome to 2015, where everything is CGI and the point doesn’t matter. I am one who would say that Jurassic Park still holds up to this day, animatronics and all. CGI has the ability to get dated pretty quickly because it is constantly evolving and getting better, while animatronics have staying power. From a basic movie watching point of view, I think every single dinosaur was done with CGI. And it shows! The Pterodactyls were horrible. They were at least diverse looking, but every time they flew onto the screen, I cringed a bit. Sure the raptors and the T-Rexes and the bigger guy are much better CGI, I feel like something amazing was lost in the process.

Jurassic World is definitely scarier than the first film, as the threats are bigger and badder with a potential much higher body count. Given that Spielberg is directing it, somehow the kids are able to run through everything with more or less invisible shields protecting them, which is kind of annoying, because any tension in their scenes is a bit diluted. Speaking of tension, despite it being a rich and well funded island park, cell service goes out quite frequently, enough to make it quite annoying at times at how frequently they use it as a crutch. Cell service AND walkie talkies, for double trouble.

One annoying aspect to make it scarier is at one point, it was a bright and sunny early afternoon setting, but the very next scene suddenly made it middle of night. It didn’t need to skip ahead several hours, and made very little sense because most of that time must have been them waiting for it to get dark. But being dark served no purpose outside of making it scarier for the viewer, despite risking time continuity to do so.

I am a bit surprised, however, at some of the characters who did die. One character I noted from above actually died after several bites, flying through the air, drowning, in such a grotesque fashion, you would have thought they were the most evil character ever. But of course, nothing was inherently bad with them.

Despite all of this, there were still quite a few entertaining scenes. I was delighted that Pratt’s character didn’t just feel like Star Lord or Indiana Jones, but a new and unique entity. There were also good moments for our people in the control panel.

Overall, this is probably the best movie in this franchise not called Jurassic Park, but given the quality of the other two films, it doesn’t actually say much.

2 out of 4.

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