A few months before the release of Jurassic World, I wrote about my fond memories and impact that Jurassic Park had on my childhood and inspirations as a filmmaker. In Jurassic Park, when Dr. Alan Grant saw the brachiosaurus for the first time, every person in the theater experienced it in a very special way. We were witnessing cinematic history and we immediately knew it as we marveled at the technological advances in visual effects. They were something that we had never seen before. I was also 11.
Anyway, regarding Jurassic World: I stayed away from all these new clips, commercials, and even new trailers because I didn’t want to risk seeing any spoilers. I waited a long time to see this movie and went in with very high expectations.
Jurassic World is a sequel over two decades in the making; what I now consider the true sequel to the 1993 masterpiece. The island has been refurbished, rebuilt, and turned into a corporate conglomerate amusement park complete with shareholders that are expecting bigger and bigger yields on their investments.
One of my best friends is such an amusement park nerd and he’s always telling me about new rides and attractions coming to the Disney and Universal Studios parks. The first twenty minutes of this movie was like watching a re-enactment of him telling me news like this. Just replace new Harry Potter worlds for genetically-modified dinosaurs and replace him with Bryce Dallas Howard. In the movie, the 31 year-old me understands it and even relates to it. The 11 year-old me would’ve had all that go over my head but would still appreciate that the gentle giants petting zoo it showed as part of the montage while all this was being explained.
In order to keep revenue up, the park owners conclude that they have to create a genetically-modified dinosaur that is bigger, stronger, faster, and smarter. It’s like making them the pro baseball players in the 90’s (minus the “smarter”). The genetically-modified dinosaur (Indominus Rex) outsmarts the staff, escapes captivity, and threatens the lives of everyone in the park. The dinosaur in question was created by Dr. Henry Wu (B.D. Wong) who is the only actor from the original film to reprise his role. Now the park creator and the head of a private security firm on the island (Vincent D’Onofrio) argue over the best course of action to contain the dinosaur.
Enter Owen (Chris Pratt) who is an ex military raptor whisperer who works for the park. He is tasked in leading every effort to contain Indominus Rex before he makes his way to the main part of the park.
The story is solid. The acting is superb all the way around. The visual effects… do I even have to tell you? There’s even a tremendous nod to the original film/park that is fully intertwined with the story. But what impacted me the most wasn’t the visuals, but the music. Hearing the original John Williams composition again in a movie theater nearly brought a tear to my eye. Actually, a soundcloud file was just posted about the original composition played at .0001% speed and it’s just as eerily beautiful. Have a listen. Just in case you never heard the original composition in it’s insurmountable glory, just hit play below.
Two more sequels have already been announced and I have a pretty good idea what the next one will be about. Jurassic World is a must-see and fun movie. It’s nowhere near what Spielberg made twenty-two years ago, but certainly one worth your time. See it in IMAX 3D if you can for the full experience.