As Is Often the Case, Dinosaurs Run Amok

Jurassic World is about being bigger and better. The new park has bigger attractions, bigger dinosaurs, bigger scares. But, as in the spirit of the first film, we learn that bigger doesn’t necessary mean better especially where nature is concerned. Ironically, the script doesn’t understand that lesson. The film tries to out do the original but fails in an entertaining manner.

Over twenty years later, Jurassic World has learned from previous mistakes, designing a new park sparing no expense for awed crows. Claire (played but a surprisingly one dimension Bryce Dallas Howard) helps run the park but has no time for her own family. When her nephews come for vacation, she quickly passes them off to her assistant. She is more concerned with their new dinosaur Indominuscb26e9d8-8468-430b-9503-86ed2d62d9d4

rex who was created from a variety of dinosaur and animal DNA.. The park owner wants hot shot trainer Owen to approve the pen she is kept in. But he arrives too late as Indominus rex terrorizes the park, and Claire’s nephews are lost in the struggle.

If this plot sound familiar you are right. The movie mimics (I hate to say steals) scenes from the original film trying to out do them. From trying to eat children through vehicles to having a greedy scientist try to make off with DNA, the movie fails to exude the terror for the original. Ironically, the film is at its best when it waxes nostalgia. Those first moments you hear the theme song your heart swells. When the boys find the old visitors center an steal a jeep. These feel like the homage the movie should be making.

As a movie on its own, it’s easier to enjoy. There are a few moments of pure terror. As before, it’s hightened when the raptors are let loose. Their ability to think makes them terribly scary and the movie does well using this terror. But director Colin Trevorrow really falls flat when working with the cast. He must have asked Chris Pratt to not be Starlord because Pratt’s performance is stilted which is odd because Owen is the same kind of character as Starlord. Pratt needed a longer leash to truly become the character. This could have helped Howard as the two didn’t play off each other well and chemistry was being forced on them (and the audience.)

Over all the movie is entertaining, but it makes a mistakes in trying to surpass its predecessor. It should have happy just surpassing The Lost World (which proves that even if Michael Crichton was still alive, the plot would not have been much better). Funny at times, frightening at times, Jurassic World leaves you with a “what if…” taste in your mouth.

The Day the Goat Died

I remember that day clearly. I was ten years old and knew all kinds of things about dinosaurs because my seven-year-old brother loved them. We shared dino facts in the movie theater while waiting for the movie that would change our lives; the Stars Wars for my generation. The two of us were positive that the T-rex would be the scariest dino of all. It’s huge and eats meat! But will there be a triceratops or a stegosaurs? I would love to go to a dinosaur island! How cool! Cue the dark theater. The low, somber music. The Velociraptor that can open doors. The T-rex that eats cars. Cue mayhem and madness.

But those 10 and 7 year olds didn’t run. They loved the movie and how scary it was. They laughed at their mom, a thirty year, who old had dinosaurs nightmare. Jurassic Park became THE movie, and we could not be swayed.  Fast forward twenty years. My brother and I are fully grown and headed to the theater to see the famed movie in 3D for his birthday.
In case you’ve been encased in amber all these years, I’ll spell the plot for you. Man clones dinosaurs. Man invites grandkids and scientists to his park. Fat guy gets greedy and shuts down all the systems in the park. Dinosaurs run loose. Spitter kills Fat Guy. Children are terrorized by

T-Rex. It just gets worse from there.
This twentieth anniversary 3-D version is worth the price of new admission. Steven Spielberg was ahead of the time with the graphics in the early ’90 and that pays off now. Spielberg had almost documentary feel to the film, shooting in and from the action. This allowed the 3D artists to take apart your surrounding and layer them for depth taking the viewers into the park. Two movements come to mind. When the car is stuck in the tree, the limbs are layered in a way that you feel you are in the tree. The second moments are in the Visitor’s Center with Hammond and Sattler. The camera starts on Hammond and pans to show Settler standing where you previously couldn’t see her. The motion of the camera combined with the great depth perception spooked me as I realized that, suddenly, someone was there.lex-jurassic-park

The 3D easily adds to the scare. The immortal sequence of the water shaking as the T-rex stomps through is more vibrant and the theatrer sound literally shakes you. The raptor’s eyes, claws, and tails move so quickly that you physically shy away from them. Looking directly on their creepy eyes sends chills. It’s even scarier than that first time.
So many movies slap on 3D to either beef up crappy films or use the veil to get you to re-see a classic movie. This is the best revamp yet, taking you in the dino carnage and really scaring the pants of you.
The only negative thing is that Michael Chriton didn’t live to see this. He would have loved it. He would have loved it and then written a screenplay about what could go wrong with realistic entertainment. Oh wait, he did—West World.