Dinosaurs have returned to the silver screen! This weekend, I saw Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World twice: once on opening night, and then again on Sunday.
Having been a huge Jurassic Park fan, I had to see this movie especially in IMAX 3D. Unfortunately, I was not born yet in time to see the first movie in 1993, and was deemed too young to see the subsequent films. That made this viewing that much more special.
The basic plot of Jurassic World is that two kids, Zack and Gray Mitchell, are being shipped off to Isla Nublar, the location of the first film, for some fun at the resort. Once there, they met their aunt Claire, played by Bryce Dallas Howard, who is the park operations manager. While the audience is in awe of the dinosaurs roaming before their wide eyes, there’s a hidden scheme going on.
Since the World has been around for nearly 10 years, attendance has declined. The World has become predictable and visitors to the park have become jaded. Claire and her coworkers have to follow a corporate mandate: bigger, louder, and more teeth. As a result, they create the Indominus Rex, a large theropod that is a hybrid of multiple dinosaur species.
When news gets it that the Indominus is not in its lair (displayed by claw marks on the walls and a disappearance), Masrani calls in raptor whisperer Owen Grady (played by Chris Pratt) to inspect the paddock and make sure everything is okay. Through clever characteristics, the Indominus happens to escape, thus tricking everyone by making them think she left the paddock. This is thanks to Cuttlefish DNA (making the Indominus have camouflage). From there on out, the Indominus wrecks everything in her path, and it’s Owen’s and Claire’s jobs to stop her.
Jurassic World is the sequel that fans have always wanted. In fact, Trevorrow has explained that this is a direct sequel to Jurassic Park (ignoring The Lost World and Jurassic Park III). There are numerous nods to the original, and even set pieces that make it into this movie. This creates a nostalgia factor, and makes adults today feel like a kid again.
The acting is superb, and Chris Pratt steals every scene he’s in. The action is fast, and while the CGI still can’t beat its predecessor, it’s good in its own way. I cannot remember how many times my heart was beating fast. The director and the screenwriters did not shy away from the deaths that make the Jurassic Park franchise memorable. Some deaths were saddening and tear-worthy, while others died in a more evil way than their characters were written. The score is also beautifully composed, and although he’s no John Williams, the composer Michael Giacchino still does a fabulous job mixing the famous theme with newer and more exciting tones.
The last 20 minutes of Jurassic World are cinematic gold, and are worth the price of an admission ticket alone. While Trevorrow had goals of $125 million opening weekend, by Sunday, this film has received about $511.8 million, making box office history.
I can’t imagine where this film will be at by next weekend. This movie’s reception has been compared to the last Harry Potter film, as well as The Avengers: Age of Ultron. I guess it’s safe to see the fans have been waiting for 14 years, and have been fed satisfyingly.