I went to see Jurassic World today. Like almost anyone else my age (29), I was a huge fan of the original movie, Jurassic Park. The sequels didn’t do that much for me, but that first one will always have a special place in my heart. I vividly remember the lead-up to it being released, seeing it in theaters, and watching it about two-hundred times at home. So, needless to say, when I heard they were rebooting the franchise with World, I was very interested. I’m happy to say that for the most part, I was greatly pleased. There was also some controversy about this film, drummed up by the feminist mafia. Where have we heard that story before? Let’s talk about the actual movie first, though.
I saw it in 3D, although it was nothing special. This could have been due to the small screen I was seeing it on, but I wasn’t impressed. I think you could save a few bucks, see it on a regular screen, and you wouldn’t be missing anything. That’s just me. The movie also starts slowly, with star Chis Pratt not showing up until 15-20 minutes in. That’s to be expected, though. You can’t just have a dino rampage right from the start. In this way, it reminds me of last year’s Godzilla (which I loved).
The dialogue is kind of hokey early on, but this is a big-budget action flick. I didn’t expect them to be reinventing the wheel here. I will say that I think the supporting cast performances, with a couple exceptions, were better in San Andreas. Jurassic World is doing better among the critics, but I think these two movies are about on par with one another. World is slightly ahead for me, though, due to the finish of the film being stronger, as well as lingering nostalgia for the franchise (and that John Williams score).
One thing the film did help me realize, was how smoking hot Bryce Dallas Howard is. As the movie progresses, this becomes more and more obvious. I guess it’s kind of a metaphor for her stuck-up character, who, over the course of the film, learns to open herself up and appreciate what is really important in life. Some professional feminists are outraged because this portrayal supposedly slanders career-oriented women. As usual, they are way off base with this analysis. Major spoilers ahead:
Claire and Owen set off to find the boys. Perhaps had Claire ventured off on her own without the accompaniment of a male dinosaur behavioral expert, that would be feminist approved? There is an incident during Claire and Owen’s adventure-filled nephew-finding-quest where Claire grabs a gun and angrily shoots a beast that’s relentlessly attacking Owen. But she used a gun and not a hashtag, so that’s probably a point for right-wingers.
In the end, Claire and Owen ultimately save the boys and the lives of park goers. But since a man and a woman worked together as a team, that’s probably at least 15 points for traditionalists.
Here’s a rad fem rant from Vulture. The author says she enjoyed the film, but you could be forgiven for thinking the opposite given this spiel:
As the movie’s setup continues we learn that Claire’s frigidity also extends to the dinos, which she refers to as “assets” and “attractions.” These are lab-grown money-makers to her, not sentient beings with uncontrollable killer instincts. Oh, and she likely hasn’t been fucked properly in a long time…
Jurassic World doesn’t just reverse the original’s feminism by 22 years; this is some Tarzan-and-Jane-level bullshit. Claire does eventually get dirty, find inner strength, and become quite the fighter. We know she’s loosening up because she takes off that white silk shirt and ties it around her waist, and her hair goes from blown-out straight to impeccably wavy. Also, she pets a dying brontosaurus and sheds a tear. But all of this comes under swarthy Owen’s manfluence, and while it’s happening, she’s constantly being undermined. Claire saves the lives of both Owen and her nephews, only to have the boys tell her that they feel safest with her “boyfriend.”
Joss Whedon started all this weeks before the movie even came out. He learned the hard way shortly after the release of his own blockbuster that there’s no way to please these radicals. We all know people like Howard’s Claire character exist in real life. Were there some exaggerations, like her wearing heels throughout the movie? Yes. There’s also giant test-tube grown dinosaurs running around, which also seems like a slight exaggeration. The point is, this is not real. It’s fictional. Most things are going to be over-the-top in a production like this.
As for the rest of the show, I didn’t like Pratt’s Owen very much at the beginning (again, having to do with the dialogue and slow burn), but he settled in by the second half. Vincent D’Onofrio is hilarious as the bad-guy security chief Hoskins. I didn’t even realize that was him until I just looked it up. In fact, he’s one of the highlights of the film. I also enjoyed seeing Archer’s Judy Greer get a pretty nice role as the mother of the boys who go off to the island to visit their Aunt Claire. The boys themselves do OK, although I much preferred the younger portion of the San Andreas cast.
There are numerous callbacks to Jurassic Park, some of them blatant. Characters discuss the “first park,” and one of the workers even talks about having bought an original shirt from there off eBay. Later on in the film, the original comes into play in a bigger way. I would be lying if I said this nostalgia didn’t please me greatly. I thought it was all handled in a nice way, without getting too caught up in it. Also, the wide-shots of the park are pretty amazing, and it does give you that “another world” sense.
All-in-all, this was a great spiritual sequel to the original Jurassic Park. The ending is exciting, and the film picks up a lot from the slow beginnings. The rad fems hate it, but then again, they hate anything that isn’t propaganda for their illogical cause. By the way, I went to see this World at 10:40am here in Richmond, VA. The theater was packed even then. I knew the movie was going to do amazing business when I saw that, and I was proven correct. According to reports out of Hollywood, it had a bigger Friday opening than Furious 7, and is on track to take home $160 million or so for the weekend (domestic). I would encourage anyone who wants to see a fun summer blockbuster, or who like me, is hungry to re-live the 90’s in some way, to check out Jurassic World. I doubt you will be disappointed.
Star Rating (out of 4): * * * & 1/4