First off, this does not count as me buying a movie as I pre-ordered this months ago, way before I went on a movie buying hiatus. Second, I think it is a rather bizarre coincidence that I am watching this movie exactly one month after I watched the last movie. Ok, enough dawdling. Time to get back on subject. So when I first heard that a new Jurassic Park movie was being made, I was very excited but also a bit concerned since the last movie was not exactly earth shattering in my opinion. Luckily, the people behind this movie learned their lessons because I was blown away by this movie and it is the first movie in a while to take my money multiple times during it’s theatrical run. Here is today’s movie, the latest installment in the Jurassic Park franchise, Jurassic World.
The plot: It’s been 22 years since John Hammond tried to create a park filled with live dinosaurs and now Simon Masrani, the new head of InGen, has managed to create a new park on Isla Nublar and kept it running for 10 years now. Zach and Gray Mitchell are being sent to visit their aunt Claire, who is the park operation’s manager, while their parents work out their divorce. Arriving on the island, Zach and Gray meet Zara, Claire’s assistant, who gets them settled into their hotel room and gives them their VIP passes to the island. Meanwhile, Claire is busy giving a tour to some corporate sponsers where, along with chief geneticist Henry Wu, she tells them of Indominus rex, the first dinosaur to be genetically created. Claire briefly sees her nephews before she checks in with the control room, then goes to the roof and goes with Mr. Masrani to show him the Indominus. Arriving at the animal’s paddock, Mr. Masrani listens to Claire’s report about the Indominus, including it’s displays of intelligence and that it killed it’s sibling, and decides to bring in Owen Grady, a Navy man working with the Velociraptors, to inspect the paddock for safety concerns. At the Velociraptor habitat, Owen is doing a training exercise with the park’s raptors, who consider him the pack’s alpha, when the park’s head of security, Hoskins, tries to convince Owen to use the raptors in the field. When a worker accidentally falls into the habitat, Owen is forced to go in and manages to stop the raptors, Blue, Charlie, Delta, and Echo, from attacking the worker. Back at the park, Zach and Gray manage to ditch Zara and explore the various attractions in the park, including the Tyrannosaurus and Mosasaurus feedings. Meanwhile, Claire goes to Owen’s bungalow and manages to convince him to accompany her to the Indominus paddock. When they get there, the Indominus is nowhere to be seen, nor is there a thermal reading from it in the paddock. When Owen points out claw marks on the wall, Claire believes the Indominus might have escaped and heads to the control room to try and track it. Owen, along with two other workers, enter the paddock and examine the claw marks when they are informed that the Indominus is still in the paddock. As they try to run, the Indominus appears and eats one of the workers while Owen and the other worker make it out of the paddock, but before the doors can seal, the Indominus manages to break the door and escape, killing the other worker but Owen manages to avoid being eaten by covering himself in gasoline, A containment team is sent out to retrieve the Indominus, but when they follow the tracking implant, they discover that the Indominus had torn the beacon out of it’s body. When the Indominus reveals that it has the ability to camouflage and takes out the containment team, Owen tells Claire and Mr. Masrani to evacuate the island but they initially refuse, but Claire rethinks it and decides to evacuate all of the rides outside of the main resort, but Zach and Gray already got in one of the gyrospheres before the order was carried out. When Claire realizes that her nephews are still out in the park, she gets Owen to help her find them. Meanwhile, Zach and Gray take the gyrosphere out of the valley, where they find a small herd of Ankylosaurs, but the Indominus appears, killing one of the dinosaurs before trying to attack them but the boys manage to escape. Owen and Claire attempt to locate the boys but the stop when they bodies of several dinosaurs that the Indominus killed, but did not eat. They find the wreckage of the gyrosphere and Claire fears the worst but Owen sees their footprints and begins to track them. Zach and Gray come across the original park’s visitor center and manage to get one of the old jeeps working, allowing them to drive back to the resort. In the control room, Hoskins tries to convince Mr. Masrani to let him use the raptors to hunt down the Indominus, but Masrani refuses, opting instead to use the helicopter to hunt down the rogue dinosaur. Meanwhile, Owen and Claire arrive at the building just after the boys leave, but they are forced to run when the Indominus shows up after them. Mr. Masrani flies the helicopter after the Indominus, which smashes into the aviary and releases all of the Pteranodons and Dimorphodons into the sky. The flying dinosaurs damage the helicopter, causing it to crash into the aviary, before heading out towards the resort. At the resort, the dinosaurs begin attacking the guest that have been trapped there, injuring and killing several people. Zara manages to get to the boys but when a Pteranodon grabs her, it flies her out towards the Mosasaurus tank, where both she and the Pteranodon are eaten by the Mosasaurus. Hoskins is preparing to let the raptors hunt down the Indominus, but Owen arrives and says that he will lead the raptors in the field. Using the piece of flesh surrounding the tracking implant, Owen lets the raptors get the scent, the releases them, riding alongside them on a motorcycle. When the raptors reach where the Indominus is, Owen and the security detail get ready to shoot it, but when the raptors begin communicating with the Indominus, Owen realizes that the Indominus is part raptor, and the raptors have accepted it as the new pack alpha. As the soldiers attempt to kill the Indominus, the raptors begin attacking them, as they make their way back to the base camp, though one of them is killed in the process. Claire, Zach, and Gray drive away from the camp, fending off a pair of raptors in the process, before Owen meets up with them and leads them back to the control room. Hoskins, who was secretly working with Henry, has all of the research and embryos taken off the island when Owen and Claire find him in the lab. Hoskins informs them that he plans on making more genetically engineered dinosaurs to be used as weapons when Blue breaks into the lab and kills Hoskins. As Owen, Claire and the kids run from Blue, they make their way outside, where they wind up cornered by the three raptors. Owen manages to reestablish himself as the alpha before the Indominus appears and, when the raptors don’t listen to him, it knocks Blue into a building. At Owen’s signal, the other two raptors begin attacking the Indominus, with Owen shooting it whenever he can, while Claire and the boys hide. When Gray says they need more teeth to attack the Indominus, Claire heads to the Tyranosaurus paddock and lets the T-rex out and uses a flare to lure it towards the Indominus. The two carnivores begin fighting and the Indominus begins to overpower the T-rex until Blue joins the fray and together, the two dinosaurs force the Indominus towards the lagoon, where the Mosasaurus leaps up, grabs the Indominus in it’s jaws, and drags it back into the water with it. The T-rex heads out into the park and, after staring at Owen for a bit, Blue leaves as well. On the mainland the next day, Zach and Gray are reunited with their parents while Owen and Claire decide to stick together “for survival”. Back on the island, the T-rex makes it’s way to the roof of the control room and roars out, signaling that the island has been abandoned to the dinosaurs.
Jurassic World was met with mostly positive reviews from the critics, holding a 71% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While many praised the visual effects and director Trevorrow’s direction, some criticized the writing and tone of the movie. The 4th movie in the series was originally supposed to be released in 2005, following a trend of releasing a new movie every four years. However, problems in development as well as numerous rewrites caused the movie to be released ten years later, but the ten year difference was written into the movie to indicate how long the park had been open. Audiences were definitely ready to see a new movie in the series as it would set all sorts of box office records. It not only holds the largest opening weekend box office in the US at $208.8 million, but it also has the largest opening weekend box office worldwide at over $524 million (the first movie to reach over $500 million worldwide in its opening weekend), as well as the fastest movie to reach a box office of $1 billion (which it did in 13 days), all on it’s way towards a total box office of over $1.6 billion worldwide. And since it is still in some theaters, this number can still increase.
The original Jurassic Park was an absolutely fantastic movie and while I enjoyed both of the previous sequels, this movie is the closest to matching the original in a lot of ways. Chris Pratt did a great job in this movie and while I did think she was annoying at times, Bryce Dallas Howard was also good. I also liked the dynamic between Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins), showing a pretty normal “love/annoyed” relationship that exist between most brothers (and with my having 3 younger brothers, I am somewhat of an expert on that front). The story and writing were both really good, coming the closest to matching the impact and wonder I felt when I watched the first movie out of any of the sequels. Knowing that a 4th movie was originally supposed to be released in 2005, and having them loosely acknowledge that by saying the park had been open for 10 years was a very funny inside joke. I also liked the nod to Spielberg’s legacy by having the Mosasaurus eat a great white shark. Not only was this a reference to Jaws, but in a way, it could be seen as showing how the summer blockbusters have become even bigger since Jaws first started the trend. The visual effects were absolutely incredible, probably coming the closest to having dinosaurs on screen that look like actual living animals out of any movie I have seen, particularly the raptors. I don’t often say a movie is a must see, but everyone really must watch this movie at least once, or twice….actually, I think I am going to watch it again.
Rating: 5 out of 5