Review: Jurassic World

Here’s the thing.  You need to see this movie.  No, you don’t get to ask questions.  You are going to get in your car, on your bike or get those Chuck Taylors out of the closet and you are going to run – not walk – to the nearest movie theatre.  You are going to pay for a movie ticket.  You are going to sit down.  And you are going to love this movie.  If you don’t – you need to have a childhood.  And fast.  Because Holy Patron Saint of the Cretaceous Period – this movie does all it promises in the trailers and so much more.  It is everything (and so much more) that little eleven year old me in a seat in 1993 would have wanted in a sequel.  It is everything my fifteen year old self desperately wanted in The Lost World in 1997.  And it’s exactly the next chapter my 19 year old self would have written after seeing Jurassic Park III in 2001.

I cannot extol the greatness of this movie.  It’s one of the very few (Lord of the Rings, JAWS, Pirates of the Caribbean) that I would absolutely see in theatres again and again.  And I will buy this beautiful piece of motion picture excellence upon it’s release to DVD.  Seriously.  See.  This.  Movie.

Fair warning.  There are spoilers ahead.  I will do my best to avoid directly mentioning them but there’s a chance eleven year old Aaron will take over and start hammering away at this very keyboard.  So buckle up, buttercups.

LAST SPOILER WARNING.

You know I love Jurassic Park.  11 year old me has never let go of that first viewing.  I watched it at a friends house a few months ago and could not take my eyes of the screen.  It’s been 22 years (!) and that movie still has the power to capture my attention, imagination and keep me on the edge of my seat.  It’s that good.  JAWS good, even.  So when the Jurassic World trailers hit, I jumped up and down, lost my mind and 11 year old Aaron was sold. I’m also a part time adult so I after I calmed down (so many blog posts with exclamation points had to be deleted) I took stock.  I poured ample amounts of pessimism and guarded feelings about sequels into my soul.  I shook it up a little.  And I still couldn’t quite get that goofy look off my face.  So I waited.  I watched.  The next trailer came out.  You can imagine what happened as I will not bore you with the kid level details, but I was even further sold.  Then a few weeks back the last trailer hit and it was scary.  It was ominous.  And I was as giddy as they come.

So I saw it today.  There are several key moments in this movie where I just about teared up a little at the references to the original Jurassic Park.  And they are numerous and long.  They’re not fan service.  They paint a picture of how Jurassic World got to where they are – and it’s not all fun and games.  It also serves a purpose with our characters.  Oh and we see a few jeeps.  And one of them drives.  Through an old fence from the original park.  I’ve said too much.  What are you waiting for?  Go see this movie!

There is a moment where the triceratops scene from the first film is echoed and it is impressively and carefully held in the hands of the Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard.  It’s a touching call back in the midst of the madness.  We see the echoes of John Hammond all over place since Richard Attenborough left us far too soon but it’s endearing how they handled it.  Chris Pratt is perfect – but you knew that already.  Howard is excellent and I’m going to take a stand here – and a point that’s probably already been made.  There’s a line where she pushes Pratt’s character so she can go along and if you wait and watch until the end you realize this woman is tough, intense and when pushed to the limit will do the things that need doing – and through that learn what family means and beyond – which is how her character was written.  For crying out loud she wears heels through it all!  She is not weak, she is not shrill and she is not a sexist character.  She’s a imperfect human being who makes mistakes, has to learn from them and experiences a solid character arc.

Why are you still sitting here?  See this movie.

And yes, there’s raptors.  And yes, it is flippin’ sweet.  Yes, 11, 15 and 19 year old Aaron the T-Rex returns.  And it is absolutely perfect.  Interesting fact?  It’s the same guy we saw in the original.  THE KING LIVES!  Go see this movie.

There’s plenty of humor to be had.  Lots of action.  And moments where they go for your heart.  There’s a guy who plays the Anti-Nedry and he’s pretty much the audience’s surrogate- along with Pratt.  His final scene at the end was unusually touching for me – and I don’t know why.  It was a moment of quiet in the audience as well but I loved it.  It conveyed something big and small – a genuine moment for the background character that elevated him above everyone else.  It made me like him even more and I wanted to see more of that guy on screen.

The dinosaurs are awesome.  It’s a lot of CGI but I’ve given up hoping they’ll do what they did in Jurassic Park with the animatronics and other stuff.  It’s not offensive and you don’t notice it too much.  Things go boom.  Dinosaurs go ROWR.  Some bad people die.  Good guys fight to save the day.  And T-REX IS BACK!  See this movie.

So do what 11 year old Aaron has been waiting 22 years to do – and go see this movie.  The Park is Open.  Read that sentence again and let it roll around in your mouth.  Jurassic Park is Open.  And it’s one helluva ride.

Go see this movie.

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