Ryan: This has been a movie I have been looking forward to seeing since I heard that they were making it. The original was one of the first movies I remember seeing in theaters and has been a part of many of our childhoods. Now say what you want about the other two sequels, this one holds up! They pull you in from the opening scene with the familiar ‘Park’ score. This movie from the start knows exactly what it is and what it needs to be for this franchise to be given new life.
Marisa: Going into Jurassic World, I knew I was going to be seeing dinosaurs eating people and causing massive amounts of mayhem. With that I was expecting less of a decent story line. You know, more action less story, which seems to be the theme nowadays. But as the movie really got going, you could really start seeing the story unfold.
Dr. Hammond (the one from the first movie) has passed away and entrusted his dream of a well-functioning, highly-fun dino-land to a new tycoon who wants to fulfill Hammond’s dreams. In order to maintain that dream, the park has to bring in bigger and better attractions to bring in more paying customers, this leads to genetically modified “Designer Dinos.” Of course humans are bored with the T-rex now…it’s been done! So a team of scientists create the Indominus Rex- a hybrid of multiple “classified” species. Big surprise, they mix up a volatile concoction that makes the creature impossible to handle. BRING ON THE MAYHEM!
Bryce Dallas Howard plays Claire, the park manager who oversees everything. She lives for her work and so rarely has time to see her nephews, Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson), who have come to stay at the park for a vacation. If you ask me the kids weren’t really needed and just added a rather lame element to the story, but I guess leads need to grow in some way! Bryce plays her role well and is able to add some depth to an otherwise boring character. She goes from uptight-workaholic to badass aunt hell-bent on keeping her nephews alive (see, character growth).
Helping her with this is Owen (Chris Pratt), an expert on animal behaviors and is a raptor whisperer. Just kidding…but he trained some like dogs! Vicious, large, scaly dogs. He’s quick thinking and witty. Parks and Rec fans, just imagine him saying “Burt Macklin, Raptor Whisperer.” (By the way P&R fans, do you remember what Burt Macklin’s middle name is? That’s right, it’s Tyrannosaurus!)
After coming off of a stellar performance in Guardians of the Galaxy it was exciting to be able to see what else Pratt had. They took him out of the funny guy role and made him a more serious type of character in this and he showed some great range. He once again showed that he is one of Hollywood’s elite, and is able to take a film on his back and deliver something that audiences of all ages will love.
The story is wonderful and is nicely paced. Never once will you be out of the moment happening on screen. The dinosaurs look amazing and they bring back some of the effects that were used in 1993. They are still catching our imagination today. It also seems to show that the blend of CGI and practical effects is part of the equation. The film is overpowered by positives it was hard for me to find anything to bring up negatively about the film besides small plot points that did nothing for the overall story (the divorce), and stock characters (the nephews). Overall Jurassic World is visually stunning, and ensnares you from the moment it starts. It also has just enough call backs to the original to bring back that nostalgia, but does not take away from the movie or overall story. Jurassic World is a 4.25 out of 5 and a must see on the big screen.
This review brought to you by Ryan and Marisa.