Movie Review – Jurassic World

By: Sara Cleveland

I’m going to try something new this evening and share some of my thoughts on the latest installment in the Jurassic Park franchise.

Let me start by saying that I love Jurassic Park. The original movie scared the crap out of me as a kid. As I got older and learned the limitations in current technologies wouldn’t allow for the creation of cloned Velociraptor (which weren’t really as big as in the movie anyways) to run amok the movie still held a lot of fascination for me. Why? Because its message is enduring. When man plays God the consequences are dire. Remember Ian Malcom’s statement (paraphrased because I don’t have the original handy) “your scientists were so busy with whether they could they never stopped to think if they should”?

I went into Jurassic World with low expectations. I wasn’t overly enthused with Hollywood’s adaptation of Lost World (wasn’t even as crazy about the book as I was Crichton’s first Jurassic Park novel). Jurassic Park III while not bad seemed to center more on Dr. Grant’s phobia than Crichton’s original message. Jurassic Park III was made without any input from Crichton; so was Jurassic World, and that’s what had my hopes so low.

So it is with great pleasure that I say I was pleasantly surprised. It was good. More than that, it was very much a tribute to the original movie that many of us loved so very much. Crichton’s original message was back, and the true villain of the Jurassic Park struck again.

* Warning, everything after this point contains spoilers *

Here’s the rest of my thoughts on Jurassic World:

  1. Finally Henry Wu gets the spot light as the true (if accidental) villain that he is. He creates a monster with camouflage, the ability to mask its body temperature, the size of a T-Rex, oh, yeah, and the intelligence of a damn Velociraptor. How could he not see how terribly, terribly bad that was going to go? I mean, after all, he was privy to what happened in the original park, am I right? And yet his says with a straight face that “monster” is a relative term. “To a mouse a cat is a monster. We’re just used to being the cat.” Ethical relativism aside, Wu knew what he was doing and did it anyway. Villain much? And does he stay to go down with the metaphorical ship? Nope. Wu splits with the embryos to help InGen create more monsters in the future. Fantastic.
  2. Hammond’s legacy lived on in the man he entrusted with Jurassic World. Masrani wanted to create a place of wonder. Unfortunately, he was in some ways as blind as Hammond. He trusted Henry Wu and ultimately that trust got him killed. But unlike Wu who cut and run, Masrani went out to face the beast himself and wound up dead. At least somebody in this franchise tried to make up for his mistakes.
  3. I loved that in the end the raptors that Owen trained defended him from the Indomitable Rex. Poor Blue (at least, I think it was Blue, they never said it outright) left all on her own after her sisters are blown up and eaten by the Indomitable. Jurassic World made me empathize with a raptor. Didn’t see that one coming.
  4. Oh, and speaking of Owen, Jurassic World also has the distinction of being the first Jurassic Park movie with eye-candy in it. Finally, Jurassic Park gets an attractive lead. Sorry, Dr. Grant.
  5. The 3D wasn’t all that. The movie didn’t have very many “whoa” moments. It did, however, add a nice depth to the screen. You seemed to be looking deeper in rather than lots of things popping out at you. There were a couple of scenes that made me flinch back though, which is exactly what you want in a dino-monster movie.
  6. My favorite part of the whole thing, however, was the fact that it was in some ways an obvious loving tribute to the original move. The guy in the control with the Jurassic Park shirt. The original visitor’s center being all grown over in the jungle. The kids roaring up to the fence in a Jurassic Park jeep they got running again. All fantastic touches. The score was also perfectly reminiscent of the original, although of course not as good as John Williams’ original.

All in all I give Jurassic World 5 claw marks and hope and pray that this is the last Jurassic Park movie because I really, really don’t want them to screw it up.