When I was about to enter Grade 4, my mother bought me a Grolier encyclopedia set. I devoured those books while vehemently refusing the neighborhood kids’ invitation to come out and play. Don’t misunderstand, I did spend a fair amount of time outdoors. But my genetically inferior lungs prevented me from keeping up with the other children. I liked playing with them. However, I didn’t want to be ‘it’ 90% of the time. That’s why I’ve always preferred video games. Anyway, one of the books in the set is a scientific collective that featured dinosaurs in its first few pages. I can still remember being amazed at the thought of humans walking on earth with these ‘terrible lizards’. Ever since then, I’ve been fascinated with them. How I wish we had them in our time.
I guess that’s why films with dinosaurs are still huge nowadays as proven by this month’s blockbuster, Jurassic World. The Jurassic Park franchise comes back with its fourth installment. Starring Guardians of the Galaxy main man Chris Pratt and the lovely Bryce Dallas-Howard, the movie is a huge improvement from the previous sequels. The story revolves around a new theme park in Isla Nublar which has been operating for the last 10 years. Dallas-Howard’s character, Claire, currently manages Jurassic World and she is under pressure from the top brass to create a new attraction since public interest has been on the decline. According to her, dinosaurs no longer spark the world’s curiosity and that lead them to experiments that created a new species, the Indominus Rex. At first, we are in the dark as to what is the genetic make-up of this creature aside from the fact that the base form is that of the popular Tyrannosaurus Rex. Later on, we find out that it was enhanced through gene splicing which enabled it to avoid detection by thermal sensors and even communicate with the Velociraptors.
Owen, Pratt’s character, is tapped to assess the structure which holds the Indominus. However, because of its ability to camouflage, it is able to escape its prison since birth and goes on killing everything it sees moving. What makes the stakes higher for Claire is that her two nephews, Zach and Gray, are currently guests at the theme park and them being in danger further stresses their relationship (She rarely sees them because of her job and she passed them on to her assistant due to the project at hand). The movie goes on the tradition of Jurassic Park movies with scary chase scenes. I really love the idea of the T-Rex being their savior although it required a bit of assistance from other dinosaurs to defeat the Indominus Rex. The corporation was able to salvage some of their genetic experiments so there’s a huge possibility that this is not the last movie in the franchise. Now, that we’ve got the plot out of the way, it’s time to share some of my thoughts on the film.
1. Formulaic but fun
While the story leaves much to be desired, I don’t see why you won’t enjoy this movie. I don’t watch horror films because I scare easily but this one just has the right amount of fear to make your heart pound without subjecting you to nightmares. Initially, I scoffed at the idea of raptors being tamed and trained. However, after much deliberation, I figured that having a T-Rex fight alongside you is definitely not a bad idea. If you’re a critic, though, I think you’ll bash this story saying you’ve seen it all before which is probably correct. But casual moviegoers will be entertained regardless of the lazy writing.
2. New characters
I love Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas-Howard and the roles they played. Claire’s character definitely had more on her plate and that’s why Owen had to rescue her from everything. The kids did okay but their only dramatic scene was laughable. Irrfan Khan as Simon Masrani was my favorite performance, though. His death in the aviary was a sad one but he delivered some of the best lines in the film. One such line I posted on Facebook is ‘Jurassic World exists to remind us how very small we are.’ Now, I’m not really into the books so I don’t know how much of the movie is canon but the studio did a great job with the characters in this one.
3. Bigger and better theme park
I love Jurassic World, the theme park that is. If it exists in real life, I would definitely be one of its first visitors. That’s assuming I can afford it, of course. Nevertheless, a trip to a dinosaur-themed park is certainly worth its cost. The scene with the mosasaur devouring the shark is awesome! They already revealed that in the trailer but I was still excited when it was shown on the big screen. The gyrosphere is a cool idea, too. I won’t be surprised if we have them in the future. I wish there was more of the aviary, though.
4. Dinosaurs, duh
It is obvious what the number one reason is why we watch these kinds of movies. Several thousands of years have passed but we’re only ever going curiouser about these giants that roamed the earth. This might have been the fourth movie of the series but my eyes still opened wide when the Ankylosaurus showed up and tried to fend off the Indominus. I also found the baby Triceratops cute. There could’ve been more but it’s hard to include others when you’ve already got a flimsy story. There’s no rush, though, as the studio is inclined to make more of these in the future.
5. The issue of control
A major theme of monster movies is control. This movie tried to up it by giving a bit of background to Owen and Claire’s dating history and how they never got to a second date because she’s a control freak. But we know that there are a lot of things that we can’t control and the sooner we accept that, the better we would sleep at night. Masrani said it best, ‘The key to a happy life is to accept that you are never actually in control.’ We just have to do our best with the cards we’ve been dealt with and leave everything else to God.
Of course, these are just my humble opinions and they’re not the standard by which this movie is assessed. If you haven’t seen the movie, I suggest that you watch it. Afterwards, come back here and tell me what you agree and disagree with. If you have already seen it, what do you think? Don’t be afraid to offend because you probably won’t. Thank you for taking the time to read this. See you until the next review!