Let’s make this clear- I never saw any Jurassic Park film before seeing Jurassic World last night. I had no nostalgia, no longing, and no expectations going into this. While I recognized some nods to the franchise, I know I missed countless homages. And while it made my viewing experience undoubtedly different from nearly any American over six years old, I think my thoughts are valuable since I’m, as Indominus Rex would assume, fresh blood. In short, the film is intended to be a sort of sequel to the original Jurassic Park, and after 22 years a successful park has finally been established. Consumers are easily underwhelmed, though, and creating new species has become the park’s way of keeping park goers happy. For two hours you watch the consequences of having a genetically modified dinosaur on the loose.
World was, without question, gorgeous, and not necessarily in the way it’s filmed but rather in the execution of the look of it all. It’s a fantasy I wanted so badly to fall into. There’s a petting zoo for kids to ride what I can only hope are docile dinos, rides and dinosaur shaped balloons, a sort of Sea World situation with a large sea dinosaur that eats sharks… At one point I turned to Jurassic Park enthusiast and co-viewer Trent to whisper, “I wouldn’t like this park,” as if we had the opportunity to plan a trip there. (Sidenote: The reason I wouldn’t like it is because I’m scared around dogs I don’t know, let alone prehistoric species.) The extreme factor of activities is one of many things in the movie that jerks you from the fantasy– could Owen (Chris Pratt) really stroke those raptors with no consequence? Who would seriously take a safari through a field of animals they have never seen before? But the film starts sans credits and makes this park so familiar in structure that you buy those things. The characters’ actions, on the other hand, not so much.
We’re introduced to several characters, nearly all with a unique (albeit underdeveloped) motive for working at the park, but once Indominus Rex (their latest creation) is running around, the focus is all on the action. You’ve met Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) before– she’s the woman whose only focus is profit, and therefore she’s estranged from anyone who’s tried to care for her. Her nephews (Zach [Nick Robinson] and the too adorable Gray [Ty Simpkins], who happens to carry matches around) are in town to see her and visit the park, but she puts her assistant in charge of them and only looks for the boys once a monster is on the loose. Meanwhile, the park she manages is, sometimes literally, up in flames. Am I supposed to believe Claire would so willingly leave that control room for two kids she hasn’t seen in seven years? Meanwhile, dino whisperer Owen is off to find those kids while probably secretly hoping he can save every dinosaur first. As the two of them run throughout the park, Owen’s vest/shirt combo remains totally fine, while Claire’s bob went from straight and with bangs to perfectly curly and side-swept because of sweat. Of course. There were plenty of articles mentioning Howard wearing heels throughout the film but who cares about that when that slit just happens?
The action sequences, like the park, are stunning. I nervous-ate through 1/3 of World, cheering for the survival of creatures that no longer exist. My dinosaur knowledge, as I’m sure you could’ve guessed by reading this much, goes as deep as the characters’ names in The Land Before Time, but I became so invested when Indominus Rex turned the corner (or, came from nowhere). World is a summer spectacle that won’t challenge or inspire you, but will entertain you for two hours. That’s worth the cost of a ticket.