I haven't been out to see a movie in a long time, but I really wanted to get out and see Jurassic World, partly because I didn't want to play the Lego video game through without seeing the movie first. Diana was graciously OK with me going, so I went to the 10:30 matinee this morning. I totally loved it, which surprised me in part because I totally groaned when the movie was announced.
The first two sequels weren't terrible, but they did not live up to the amazing first movie. I never did get around to reading the book, but regardless, I think Spielberg made a completely believable and inspiring movie. I remember seeing it in the theater and getting a little misty at the big reveal shortly after Grant arrives on the island. Dare I say it was a magical point in movie history. The sequels did not repeat that feeling.
Like I said, I groaned and simply thought, "Ugh, cash grab," when they announced World. That they cast the voice of the Lego dude seemed absurd too. But the marketing was clever from the beginning, with "live" webcams of the "real" theme park, and shallow guy that I am, I was intrigued by the redheaded Cleopatra with perfect bangs in the teaser trailer. Hey, don't judge, it's how I ended up getting into the Hunger Games movies.
I'll avoid spoilers, but you probably already know the movie takes place 20 years after the original, in a fully operational dinosaur park. Because theme park fans are fickle (a hilarious truth about the biggest fans), they need to up the ante by genetically engineering a super dinosaur. What could go wrong, right?
There are a bunch of things that I loved about it, but mostly that they found a way to honor the original. It takes place on the same island, there are some subtle (and not subtle) references to the original park, and of course, they immediately plunge into the ethics of resurrecting extinct dinosaurs. This time they really make the animals seem real beyond just being things that eat people (though the petting zoo is a little silly). The movie is surprisingly self-aware, as the blockbuster mentality of Hollywood is the story of a bigger, badder, dinosaur. Everything in the park is for sale to sponsors, and they're all there.
Chris Pratt works as an action star because his comedic timing is superb. He doesn't take himself too seriously at all. Bryce Dallas Howard starts as a total Type-A stereotype but, if somewhat predictably, melts into the capable character you want her to be. I didn't even now that Jake Johnson (New Girl) was in it, but he's hilarious as well. Sure, they're not complex characters, but they tell a great story. One of the kids also, presumably has ASD, even if they don't call it out.
Of course, the dinosaurs are significant characters as well, and they play interesting parts with a lot more personality than in the previous films. You've also seen in the trailers that Pratt's character is essentially the raptor whisperer, so there has to be some character development there. Let's just say there is a dinosaur battle that had people in the theater cheering. It was amazing.
Maybe my biggest surprise is how well fleshed out the theme park is. It's a lot of little details, like the way they queue and dispatch the "hamster ball" rides, or stage the aquatic show. And like I said, everything in the park is sponsored, too.
I just loved it, and had a ton of fun. I can't wait to see it again, and own it on home video.