WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS (You have now been warned. You can also jump to the end to see my pros and cons list)
I went to see Jurassic World in IMAX on Saturday and was–as expected–amazed by the movie. Being a long time Jurassic Park fan, that wasn’t surprising. The story opened as it usually did, introducing a family as they make plans to visit the dinosaur theme park, unsuspecting the calamity about to unfold. Poor saps. Then we swing by the park to see all the new, glamourous improvements over the old location, “Jurassic Park”. Tip: Don’t mention Jurassic Park to anyone. It’s unsavoury. Lots of people died in that old park. We don’t want to be associated with that! (lolz)
Bryce Dallas Howard plays Claire, the female lead of the movie. At first her heart and soul are encased by layers of ice and steel, but she thaws out halfway through the movie when she realizes her nephews–the kids her sister entrusted her with–are missing. Le gasp! At first you want to see her get eaten by a dinosaur. That will soon change.
We see Claire talk about marketing plans while her boss scolds her on how to see the dinosaurs as animals, not numbers, and then she’s forced into visiting a guy she doesn’t like so he can take a look at the cage of their newest hybrid dinosaur.
You see, the dino lab scientists cooked up the “Indominus Rex” to boost park popularity. People are apparently bored of seeing regular, run of the mill dinosaurs. Tough crowd.
Chris Pratt plays Owen, the Velociraptor Whisperer. He and his friend, Barry, spend their time training raptors into obedient pets. If that isn’t cool, I don’t know what is. Yet all isn’t so well when a military man shows up wanting to turn the raptors into weapons for winning wars. Not cool. Owen basically tells him to get lost, and then saves a worker’s life when he (stupidly) falls into the raptor cage. Did I mention the raptors have names? Blue, Charlie, Delta, and Echo.
So Claire swings by Owen’s little camper home in the middle of nowhere and we learn they went on a date once. Claire seems a little too controlling and Owen sounded like every organized person’s worst nightmare. They banter a bit before skipping off to the Indominus Rex cage, where things get a little out of hand. Owen spots some claw markings on the cage wall and the thermal monitor says no living creature is inside the cage.
Their next brilliant move is to go inside. Well done, people, well done. Let’s not check the dino-tracker before you go into the dangerous cage or anything. Amateur hour.
So Owen and some red coats–I mean, workers–go inside and look around. Then Claire phones back to alert them that the dinosaur is still in the cage. What a shocker! The Indominus Rex can apparently lower its body heat like a tree frog, so it tricked the people into thinking it had fled. Owen manages to escape its jaws, though others weren’t so lucky and the iRex burst free from its cage. Good job, everyone.
With the new hybrid loose on the park outskirts, the people in charge scurry to take control of the situation before things get too far out of hand (and more innocents die). Claire and her boss agree to send men with non-lethal weapons after it at the perimeter, though Owen discourages such antics. I have to agree with Owen at this point. It’s either kill the dinosaur or watch it eat the entire park.
So the soldiers move out with their stun guns and nets and we all laugh at them for being so naive. The Indominus Rex shows off another skill–camouflage this time–with the help of cuttlefish DNA. So far we have T-Rex, tree frog, and cuttlefish. I wonder what the last piece of DNA is? 😉
After realizing her nephews are missing, Claire runs after Owen to ask him to help her track them down. A+ for only now remembering your family, Claire.
They ride out to a pretty grassy section of Jurassic World, where the friendly, grass-eating dinosaurs are lying dead everywhere. Here we see the first spark of humanity within Claire’s steely heart–and learn the Indominus Rex is just killing for sport. This comment oddly doesn’t come up again and doesn’t affect the rest of the movie.
Claire and Owen find the ride the boys were in: a gyro sphere. The Indominus Rex caught up to the kids but they escaped via jumping over a waterfall into a river. (It’s a well known fact that big dinosaurs hate rivers.)
Can I also point out that Claire is wearing heels while racing through plains, forests, and mushy ground? Can we not get this girl some sneakers?
So then begins the mad chase after the kids, where we see some nods towards the old Jurassic Park when the kids explore the original building and fix an old jeep. We visit the awesome aviary where all the flying dinosaurs live (which the Indominus Rex trashed while bringing down the helicopter flown by Claire’s boss) and then our unlikely heroes return to the park’s main area when they learn from Claire’s assistant that the kids are back.
The bird-dinos complicate things when they escape and begin wreaking havoc on the park. And here we bring the most classic rule into play.
Lots of running from here on out, and we even see Claire save Owen’s life by shooting the bird about to eat his face off. My favourite line thus far: “Is that Aunt Claire!?” Yes, that is your aunt. She has become a bad-ass.
I’m not entirely certain where everyone ran off to after this scene. They said boats come at dawn to ferry them away, though I lost track of which direction that was in. Claire and the kids stick with Owen and they return to the raptor cage, where the military guy is trying to put his “raptors for war” plan into action. Owen caves and decides it could work.
Which brings us to this scene:
I have this strange love for these raptors. In other movies, I wanted them all to die, yet in this movie if one of them is hurt I almost cry. Funny how that works.
Owen and his raptor pals head out to track down the Indominus Rex to kill it. Yet when they find the creature, Owen senses something is up when his scaly friends begin communicating with it. The last ingredient to make this new hybrid? Raptor DNA. Sigh.
So the raptors turn on the people as the Indominus Rex escapes, but when one of them finds Owen, it doesn’t attack (but is still blown up in an explosion). Poor raptor.
They retreat back to the main area of the park once more, where the Indominus Rex chases them. The military guy is eaten for being a jerk and Owen has a moment with Blue, his favourite dino-child. He pulls the tracker off his neck and frees him, which causes the raptors to once again align themselves with a human. Sorry, iRex.
Yet the raptors aren’t enough to take down a creature made from T-Rex DNA (duh) and Claire comes up with a crazy plan. She releases the real T-Rex into the world and suddenly a dino-brawl is going down.
Blue shows up again to save the day just before the T-Rex is about to bite the dust, and the Indominus Rex is pushed into the cage of water owned by Mosasaurus. Chomp chomp. Goodbye, hybrid.
So at the end all the major characters lived to see another day, the park was ruined, and the T-Rex once again ruled the island.
Here’s my list of pros and cons:
- Great characters with funny lines
- Cool scenes, like raptors hunting an Indominus Rex
- Nods to previous films
- Lots of dinosaurs abound
- The music is stellar
- A bit of mystery surrounds the Indominus Rex
- Raptors are cool
- One scene potentially sets up for a sequel
- More action than horror, unlike previous films
- More dinosaur vs. dinosaur conflict, rather than human vs. dinosaur (though that’s not entirely a bad thing)
- Some points, like Indominus Rex hunting for sport, never comes up again
- A little too predictable at times
If you haven’t seen Jurassic World yet, I recommend it! Despite what some critics are saying, it’s actually a good film, and non-fans of the original series will enjoy it, too!