Saturday, June 13, 2015

Theatrical Review: Jurassic World

Date: Saturday, June 13 2015

Time: 12:30   12:15  12:00pm
Location: Pocono Movieplex
Party: 4 (my dad, mom, sister and myself)

Director: Colin Trevorrow
Type: Sci-fi action/adventure

"Velociraptor Whisperer" Owen- Chris Pratt
Claire (Zach & Gray's aunt)- Bryce Dallas Howard
Gray- Ty Simpkins (of "Iron-Man 3" fame)
Zach- Nick Robinson ("Melissa & Joey")
Hoskins -Vincent D'Nofrio
Lowery- Jake Johnson
Masrani (owner of Jurassic World)- Irrfan Khan
Dr. Wu- B.D. Wong

Helen (Zach & Gray's mom)- Judy Greer


It's a good thing I double-checked the movie listings. Originally, I saw the listing as 12:30. I looked at it today and it really said 12:15.
...we got to the theater and the movie started at 12 SHARP.

The first could be blamed on human error... but I seriously wanted to kill the person in charge of our weekend guide because it clearly said 12:15.
On the plus side, we found a row of four seats together and we'd only missed a couple minutes... probably nothing super important. It's not like we were going to see someone getting eaten while they were transporting the raptors. That was SO 12 years ago...

The last time all of us went to a movie together was "Avatar" and that was December 2009. My dad usually sees movies in-flight and reports back about the good ones and not-so good ones. But he and my mom had been on two theatrical ventures since: "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" (which they said was really good, but VERY R-rated) and "Godzilla" (which we'd since seen and are all in agreement that it's REALLY good).

I may have mentioned this in my own "Jurassic Park" review
but it's kinda tradition that my dad and I see every movie in this franchise in theaters. This time, we got everyone to come along. Occasionally, things got really intense and there were a few emotional points, but the entire theater had a good time.

Does anyone really care about the plot?
I really don't, but for those we do, I'll throw one together.

20 years after the original movie/park, Jurassic Park World is in full operation. But supposedly they have to keep introducing new "attractions" every year to keep public interest and to keep the shareholders and investors happy.
Yeah, ask the last couple "Jurassic Park" movies about what became of what the shareholders wanted.

So the genetics lab (led by Dr. Wu, a familiar face from the original "Jurassic Park") developed a hybrid dinosaur: Indominus Rex.
Which is part T-rex, velociraptor and a bunch of other animals- who not only served to fill the gaps in the genetic code, but inadvertently gave it some of its other attributes.

And when it breaks loose from its paddock... so does all hell... which take on a multitude of forms.

On the human side of the coin, we have our two young characters who are visiting their aunt who works in the park... who is apparently too much of a workaholic to spend any time with them. We have our bad-ass protagonist who works closely with the raptors who happens to be the smartest person who works on this island. (Not in the IQ department so much as the department of COMMON SENSE). And a bunch of random characters in other aspects of the park.


Jake Johnson is one of the people in the control room who monitors park security. I assume it's the role Dennis Nedry had in the original "Jurassic Park" movie, except he actually cares about the dinosaurs (his desk is loaded with figurines) and he doesn't have any sort of agenda. In fact, he does something towards in the end of the movie that would mark him somewhat of a hero.
As a fan of "New Girl" and after he got me through "let's be cops" (seriously, if it was anyone else in that movie, I probably wouldn't have seen it or stuck with it- still a guilty pleasure of mine ;) ), it was just nice seeing him in this movie.

Ty Simpkins was a scene-stealer in "Iron-Man 3" and he did well in this movie as well, although maybe not nearly the bad-ass as he was in the former case. The younger audience could probably relate to him and see the park as he sees it. Amazing until everything on sight has the potential to kill you.
His older brother spends the first several scenes looking at girls or texting his girlfriend. But when things get real, he does look out for his little brother as he should.

Bryce Dallas Howard has done so many unlikeable roles. Between "Eclipse" (but to be fair, it was hard to invest in her character, Victoria, because she was played by a different actress in the previous "Twilight" films), "The Help" and "50-50" (both exemplified different levels of bitchiness). Before hell breaks loose, it appears to be more of the same, but she does grow a backbone and occasionally gets to kick some ass.

I didn't know who Chris Pratt was until a year ago... he's been known for a lot of comedic roles, between "The Lego Movie," Parks & Rec, and "Guardian of the Galaxy." He gets some laughs, but in different ways than he had previously. Like I said, he's the smartest character working at this park, he's incredibly likeable (unlike Muldoon in "Jurassic Park" who was kind of a hard-ass about park safety but didn't have a lot of things for the audience to respond to positively), and he can back up his words with action.
I tell ya, give this guy the right scripts and lots to do, and he could become the next great action star-- if this movie didn't already put him there to begin with.


Except for the carnivores (although it was nice to see the raptors have moments where they weren't just deadly hunters), you'd almost wish this place was real. They had numerous attractions, including a petting zoo with baby dinosaurs, kayaking in the swamp with stegosaurus and Apatosaurus, and gyrospheres where you can "roll" among the dinosaurs in the valley (with a funny cameo from Jimmy Fallon as the safety instructor in the video feed).

After the first movie, it was nice to see some triceratops that were thriving. And I liked seeing Apatosaurus (my personal favorite) and Ankylosaurus.

But the raptors are pretty awesome, especially the way Chris Pratt works with them.

The hybrid, Indominus Rex, makes a pretty amazing villain. Very intelligent, very deadly, and definitely keeps you on your toes. [Seriously, do not use raptor DNA in hybrid dinosaurs... their intelligence is not to be taken lightly]

As for the other species, I'll just leave you to experience them for yourselves.

Additional Comments:

Cutting to the chase, this movie is AWESOME and is something that needs to be viewed on a BIG SCREEN. It's the kind of movie that theaters were created for. The surround sound was used extremely well. You can hear rustling and breathing off-screen. That, combined with the CGI renderings of these dinosaurs, makes you feel like you're really there. (And that's an experience you can appreciate in 2D).

The action sequences range from heart-stopping to pulse-racing. The audience was captivated throughout. I believe I heard screaming when the Indominus Rex wrecked some havoc in one scene. And every now and then, there was room for comic relief.

And there is a little bit of nostalgia for the original movie. Whether it's in scenes that give you a sense of deja vu or in minute details. [In one scene, Jake Johnson was wearing a JP T-shirt he bought on eBay and Bryce Dallas Howard thought it was in poor taste]

The only spoilers I can really give away... our core protagonists live and most of the casualties are people that deserved to die or were nameless.
There was one casualty in particular that I predicted and cheered for. The character thought he meant well with his particular prerogative, but let's face it- after some stuff he pulled, he deserved it.
At the end of the movie, one of the ushers came in and told us there were no scenes after the credits :P Wish they did that during the last "Avengers" movie.

...I believe this is the first time I'm giving away an

...on this blog
One could argue that there are still clichés and things that are too predictable, but I honestly don't care. This movie held my attention the whole time. The CGI and surround sound (plus Michael Giacchino paying homage to John Williams' iconic score
) are very realistic. Afterwards, I was half expecting to see dinosaurs walking around. That's how impressive it all was. The script had a great balance of suspense, action and humor. Great casting and acting.

Yeah, I really can't find fault with it. "Jurassic World" was AWESOME.
I was so impressed [thanks in part to the melee in the final 10 minutes] that by the end, I was almost crying and screaming from the adrenaline of it.

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