Saturday, June 13, 2015

MOVIE REVIEW: JURASSIC WORLD (2015)

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MOVIE INFO

Steven Spielberg returns to executive produce the long-awaited next installment of his groundbreaking Jurassic Park series, Jurassic World. Colin Trevorrow directs the epic action-adventure based on characters created by Michael Crichton. The screenplay is by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Derek Connolly & Trevorrow, and the story is by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver. Frank Marshall and Patrick Crowley join the team as producers. (C) Universal

Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of science-fiction violence and peril)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense,Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By: Colin Trevorrow
Written By: Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Derek Connolly,Colin Trevorrow
Runtime: 2 hr. 3 min.



So it's hard to tell what's happening and where everyone's running to or away from. Being chased by dinosaurs will do that. ©Universal

So it's been 22 years since the first one, 18 years since the second one and 14 years since the third but doesn't tie-in with the second and third. Been a dinosaurs age in coming...

So this movie has apparently been a long time coming. According to the Wikipedia page for it which I recommend a quick read, plans for this movie has been around since the third one wrapped with the script for it going to a whole bunch of changes and rewrites and actors from previous installments being rumored to be part of it and then no longer part of it and directors changing so many times that you wouldn't be blamed for thinking it'll never see the light of day. But see the light of day it has and boy did it ever impress. As you can see from the ratings given on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes up there in just only a couple of days of being released it's got a pretty damn impressive ratings.

Well, what's the story about? I'm going to be brief this time. You can probably read up about what happens in the movie on some other sites, heck it's on the Wikipedia page for it which I've linked to up there. (BUT STILL THERE MIGHT BE SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE YET. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED)

You watch the trailer and think that dinosaur is pretty awesome. Then you watch the movie and he only shows up only a couple of times but man do they count. ©Universal

So basically, a couple of brothers head to the newest incarnation of Jurassic Park called Jurassic World. Their parents have sent them there in order for them to sort out some relationship issues between themselves with the help of some lawyers. The boys are supposed to hook up with their aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) who is the administrator or manager of the park but when they get there instead of getting a tour from their aunt they get her assistant instead. She promises to take them around the next day.

Meanwhile she's busy with getting sponsorship for the park. Since the parks reopening they've had to introduce new species of dinosaurs every couple of years to keep interest in the park up and with each introduction comes the possibility of sponsoring the new dinosaurs by corporations who can use it to promote their brand. This time round they've got a hybrid. A new dinosaur designed to please the crowd according to a focus group and of course the new owner Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan) who's asking for a bigger, scarier dinosaur. And while on a tour of the new dinosaurs paddock he is quite impressed.

So Mr Pratt has played a superhero who is immune to one of the most powerful things in the Marvel Universe and now he trains Velociraptors. What next? ©Universal

On the other side of the facility another project seems to be taking place under a different InGen department. Here we meet Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) an ex-marine soldier who now apparently trains velociraptors. He's managed to imprint himself onto a pack of them and convinced them that he's the alpha of the pack. The department that's interested in him and his raptor pack want to turn what he's done into something the military might be interested in.

Not much later while Claire is showing Owen the new animals paddock they discover that dinosaur seems to be missing, that none of their sensors are detecting it's presence in the paddock. Owen spots some scratch marks on a wall and suspects that it's escaped. Claire rushes back to central command to alert the team and start a search for it while Owen and a couple of guards check out the paddock. But to their surprise the animal is still in the paddock. Chaos ensues as the animal eats one of the guards and escapes the paddock when the doors don't close in time. Hearing this Claire issues an evacuation of the island.

I know it doesn't make sense that a human could outrun a 50 foot tall dinosaur but who cares! ©Universal

Meanwhile his nephews are wandering around the parks open enclosure in one of the parks Gyrospheres and ignoring the onboard computer's message to return. Also they're conveniently out of range of cellular coverage so when their aunt calls they can't hear her. Finding out that her nephews are in the open enclosure she and Owen head that way and on arrival find a trail of dead dinosaurs in the open field. The hybrid, Indominus Rex is killing for sport. Following the trail they get to the wreckage of the Gyrosphere and discover that the boys managed to escape an attack from Indominus. They track them down to the original Jurassic Park facility now abandoned and reclaimed by the forest only to just miss them by minutes but unfortunately for them before they can continue tracking the boys the Indominus finds them and decides to try to have them for lunch.

A little later Masrani decides to play soldier by offering to take a couple of the security personnel up in his helicopter to track and kill Indominus but they fail spectacularly and in the attempt also crash into the aviary releasing a whole bunch of flying dinosaurs that head over to where the people are and start terrorizing them. With not much option left seeing as how the InGen security team keep dying whenever they meet Indominus, Owen agrees to the Head of Security Operations for InGen Vic Hoskin's (Vincent D'Onofrio) suggestion of using the raptors to track down Indominus. Well, he actually said the raptors will be used with or without Owen's help. So the raptors are set-up with head-mounted cameras and Owen follows them on a motorcycle with the InGen security team following them from behind.


So the people that inhabit this world where Jurassic Park exist still think that normal guns are enough to take down once extinct animals that are well over 30 feet tall. ©Universal

When the raptors find Indominus instead of attacking it they get to talking and Indominus convinces them to change sides. All hell breaks loose in the forest when they start shooting at Indominus but it still manages to escape. As the team begins to track it down they get taken out one by one by the raptors. With the team running for the hills. Owen manages to get their attention and lead them away. Meanwhile Claire is making her own escape with the boys but barely manages it when the raptors catch up to her and begin attacking the vehicle she's in and attacking the boys who are in the back. But they do escape and they and Owen head back to the main park area.

There they discover in the labs that Dr Henry Wu (B. D. Wong) has been doing things outside of his job scope for the park, that he's also been doing research for Vic. When Vic shows up and she demands an explanation one of the raptors bursts in and kills Vic. Owen, Claire and the boys make a run for it outside but come face to face with the raptors but instead of attacking something happens between Owen and the raptors. The raptors change their mind and accept Owen as their pack leader again. When the Indominus shows up they attack it instead. Which doesn't go well. While trapped in a souvenir kiosk Gray (Ty Simpkinsthe younger brother suggests that they need something with more teeth. Claire heads off to enlist the help of Tyrannosaurus Rex.

When the T.Rex shows up he joins the fight against Indominus but it isn't T.Rex that kills Indominus but instead it's the Mosasaur, the big one that lives in the water enclosure that kills him. With Indominus gone and the island and park again off limits T.Rex is now the boss of the island and we see him standing on top of the parks headquarters roaring his dominance of it.

The end.

The Gyrosphere is an awesome way to get around. I wish I had one. ©Universal

So is Jurassic World as good as the ratings that it's gotten?

Yes. Yes it is. Sure there are holes in the story and somethings don't make sense when you really think about it. Yes the science bits are a bit suspect and ridiculous but you could say that about the first one. And actually, I think the same things were said about the first one and Michael Crichton himself openly admits he took a lot of liberties with his novel but here's the thing, it's a work of science fiction. It's meant to entertain and also in a way make us think and imagine that fantastic things can happen. It's supposed to inspire people not inform. It's meant to get people interested enough to want to know more. If you want to be anal about the story and the science and want it to make sense then go watch a documentary. This movie, much like the first one, is about getting you to go, "Wow! Awesome! Cool! Did you see that?!" This movie is about seeing something cool on that big screen and just having fun. And in that I think it's succeeded.

Like I said the story does have it's holes but all in all it's enjoyable. I love how they've linked it back to the original especially when the boys discover the abandoned main hall from the first movie and as they explore it we see bits and pieces from the first movie like the banner that hung over the bones of the T.Rex or the night vision googles that was used by the younger brother in the first movie. Even the cartoon DNA that was used to explain how dinosaurs in the park were made in the first movie shows up.

Before it got thrashed it became a toy for the dinosaurs and the two kids were like hamsters in a hamster ball. It was pretty cool. ©Universal

Then there's Chris Pratt. The man is good. It's his second major title and he does as good a job as he did in Guardians. I had expected him to be sort of the same character from Guardians, a little silly and goofy at times but man was I wrong. He took on the role of the ex-marine turned raptor trainer brilliantly. It's familiar but different. He definitely has range this man. And seeing as how his movies are the hits they are and how he's a hit with the fans I think we'll be seeing him in a lot of major titles.

The rest of the main cast did a pretty good job too but seriously this movie is about the action. And there's quite a bit of it. Nothing you'll read online or anywhere else will prepare you for it. If your friends rave about it it'll still not quite match up to what you see on screen.

The effects too are amazing. The dinosaurs look awesome and I watched it in IMAX so I should know. This movie should only be seen in IMAX I think. I don't think you'd get the full effect if you watch it in any other format.

Chris Pratt on a bike riding through a jungle with a pack of velociraptors. What else does a summer blockbuster need? ©Universal

There is one thing vastly different from this one and the rest and that's the violence. Jurassic World has upped the violence factor by a whole lot. There's more than a couple of scenes of people being bitten or eaten whole by dinosaurs. There's scenes where people get picked up by the flying ones and dropped. In fact every time a dinosaur that doesn't act like a farm animal shows up someone is sure to die a violent and gory death. I don't remember there being as many in any of the first three movies but maybe that's my memory messing with me.

To sum it up, I like this movie. It reminds me of action movies and summer blockbusters of the past where you sit down and get taken for an enjoyable ride. Where you sit there and time just passes by as your eyes are glued to the screen. In the past couple of years there hasn't been much like it. Guardians of the Galaxy was one of them. It's a movie where your thinking brain can have a siesta while the kid brain takes the couch with a bunch of his friends and gorges on a huge bowl of popcorn.

I give this movie, like much of the people that's seen it a solid 4 out of 5. Go watch it if you haven't. And go watch it in IMAX!



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