365 Movies By Day Reviews of Movies I Watch that I Feel Like Writing About


Jurassic World (2015)

It's been 12 years since see was last saw the Tyrannosaurus Rex tearing up the supposedly revamped dinosaur park in Jurassic Park III. The movie, while much better than the 50% rating it earned on Rotten Tomatoes, pretty much signaled the end of the franchise. Gone were Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum. There was talk over the last decade to reinvigorate the series, but nothing ever materialized. The move to call this Jurassic World rather than Jurassic Park IV and add all new players to the game. Had this movie been released in 2005 (to continue the pattern of every three years), I think this movie would have stunk. Even with its 2015 release date of 2015, it still could have stunk. But it didn't stink. It wasn't the original (93% on Rotten Tomatoes and $350 million domestically + another $50 million on re-release in 2013, not to mention the millions it earned overseas and through rentals), but it was still very, very good. In fact, I'll go as far to say that if this was the first movie with Jurassic in the name that it would have earned higher than its respectable 71% on Rotten Tomatoes. With over $200 million earned on opening weekend it's likely to smash any of its predecessors at the box office (by contrast, Jurassic Park earned just $50 million in its first weekend). Regardless, I felt that if the movie earned a rating of over 65% fresh, it would probably do very well at the ticket office. I just didn't think it would do this good. But I feel like it deserves its positive reviews and its revenue. It was a very entertaining movie and one that I recommend seeing on the big screen.

There was a good portion of this movie where I felt like I was watching Godzilla rather than Jurassic World. Keep in mind that Godzilla was easily my most anticipated movie of 2014 and the movie that disappointed me the most. It was dark, long, and boring. Jurassic World was none of those things. I had no intention of comparing these two movies prior to seeing it, but the story of Jurassic World basically focuses on just one dinosaur, a genetically altered hybrid dinosaur they called an Indominus Rex. It is actually kind of cool because this dinosaur seems virtually indestructible (much like Godzilla). When we are first introduced to this dinosaur, we see that it has severely cracked an unbreakable piece of glass. Likewise there are long claw prints going to the top of his concrete walls and he is nowhere to be found in his massive inhabitant. We realize then that this new creation of dinosaur is as smart as he is strong.

The two protagonists are brothers Gray (a 5th or 6th grader probably) and his older brother Zach (a rising high school senior). Gray is a enthusiastic dinosaur fan and his a little too cool brother is as well (even if it's not hip to show it). They get to travel to Jurassic World without their parents. Why? Because their Aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard - The Help, 50/50) is the operations manager at the park. It is obvious very early on that Claire has no skills or experience when it comes to children. Her day to day duties at the park prohibit her from having time to spend with the boys so she has her assistant Zara play tour guide and escort them around the park. It doesn't take much time for the brothers to ditch Zara and do what they want to do when they want to do it.

Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Lego Movie) plays Owen, trainer of the Velociraptors and go-to fixer. We first meet him when he is teaching his four Velociraptors like one of us would a young dog. He has a relationship with each dinosaur and it's a marvel for visitors to see how an unpredictable beast like a dinosaur can attempt to be trained. Vic (Vincent D'Onofrio - Full Metal Jacket, The Judge), head of a company called InGen Security is very intrigued. He sees the ability to train these dinosaurs as a new way to protect our country. He believes the Velociraptors not as an attraction to the park, but rather as park property that can one day be used as military weapons. Simon (Irrfan Khan - The Lunchbox, Life of Pi). Vic is a manipulator and the obvious bad guy in this movie (outside of Indominus Rex itself).

When Indominus Rex gets out of his caged area, it becomes all hands on deck. All thousands of guests are required to come back to the resort, but of course Gray and Zach do not. So it becomes a search for Claire and Owen to go through the dangerous terrain. As various dinosaurs escape their cages (including a couple of great scenes with the Pterosaurses), the park soon becomes completely chaotic. Vic sees this as an opportunity to take charge and see what the Velociraptors can do. The fight scenes are exciting (just as you imagine they would) as the various dinosaurs fight other dinosaurs while also fighting people. It takes awhile for this to all build, but it's worth it. The backstory is entertaining enough.

If you were a fan of the first one, see this movie on the big screen. I think you'll enjoy it. The novelty has obviously worn off, but you could do far worse at the movies this summer. It doesn't have the scare factor that the first movie had nor does it have its novelty, but the story is entertaining it is the type of escape that you often search for when attending the movies.

Plot 8/10
Character Development 7/10 (the characters weren't the strong suit of the movie)
Character Chemistry 8/10 (enough to not get in the way of each other...good combination of characters...was glad the originals were all gone)
Acting 7/10 (eh)
Screenplay 8/10 (kind of would have liked to have seen more of the dinosaurs, but this screenplay was really what helped make this movie different)
Directing  9/10 (in the wrong hands, this could have been a disaster...fortunately it was not in the wrong hands)
Cinematography 10/10 (beautiful)
Sound 10/10 (The Jurassic Park score is one of the top scores of all-time...and it's a consistent of Jurassic World too)
Hook and Reel 10/10 (the two hours flew by)
Universal Relevance 7/10 (7 is a stretch, but this was a great escape...save the regeneration of the dinosaurs, I could see an island like this with animals gone awry, though maybe not to this extent)

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