Friends make everything better! Today my sister, my best friend, and I all met for a showing of Jurassic World, one of the long-awaited movies of the year for me. Roughly a year ago, my bff showed me Jurassic Park for the first time. Unlike many millennials, I wasn't actually raised on the franchise. However, that totally didn't matter because these are some of the coolest movies I've ever seen, partially because of the theme and partially because of Jeff Goldblum in black.
But before I say anything else, for the record, no, Jeff Goldblum is NOT in Jurassic World, not even a cameo appearance, unless you count the back of a book cover twice. So, now that Goldlbum is out of the way, moving on to the actual story.
Did anyone else have their doubts about Chris Pratt successfully integrating into the franchise? I admit that I did. It's not that I don't like the man, but my only other Pratt experience is Guardians of the Galaxy which I'm still not entirely sure I like or not. And he's major comedy dude in that movie, so I just didn't know what to think of him joining Jurassic World. Well, any doubts you might have had about him should definitely be laid to rest, just like mine were. Chris Pratt is AMAZING as Owen Grady! It never occurred to me that he could play a serious role. As my sister put it, he is now filling a void for the masculine adventurer left by Harrison Ford when he started aging. And in my mind, that is quite a compliment.
When my sister got out of the car at the theater, she looked at me and said matter-of-factly, "I'm rooting for the velociraptors."
I get where she's coming from. The velociraptors are cool because they're smart, definitely the sharpest tack in the dinosaur kingdom. What I didn't expect was the unique approach Jurassic World used for them. Instead of them being the hunters like in Jurassic Park 2, now they're being trained to work together as a cohesive unit with a very surprising alpha at the head . . . Owen Grady. He's an ex-Navy man and he worked tirelessly for 2 years to build a bond with a set of 4 velociraptors, training them, and in the process, fighting for dominance over them.
When the big baddie of Jurassic World rampages (duh, of course that's going to happen), one of the solutions to the problem is to use the velociraptor pack to their advantage. This is the first time, ever in the franchise, that man and velociraptor have worked together. Such an incredible scene, having Owen on his motorcycle riding with the velociraptors, hot on the scent of the dinosaur they absolutely must take down.
Of course, things go awry, mayhem and chaos ensues just as Ian Malcolm would predict, but even with a change in loyalties for a time, by the end of the film, Owen maintains his dominance as alpha over the velociraptors. You've never seen anything like it, trust me. It was an exciting twist on an established scary villain of the franchise because honestly, the velociraptors are scarier than the Tyrannosaurus.
Special Effects Heaven
One of my biggest peeves with film-making nowadays is when the entire film is a blatantly fake CGI extravaganza. That is NOT the case with Jurassic World.
Okay, so I love how the original films were made. The men in velociraptor suits and all of the animatronic dinosaurs were really ingenious and pretty darn scary. So I was not sure what to expect with Jurassic World. Most action films now are so chock-full of CGI that they actually bore me because I know it's not real because it doesn't look real.
These dinosaurs look FREAKIN' real!
Whatever method they used still maintained some of the organic feel I love so much with the previous 3 films. The velociraptors convinced me that they were real, as did the Indominus Rex, and man, those pterodactyls were cool. Jurassic World has literally proven to me that you can take a movie, throw quite a bit of CGI into it, and still have it look real. Great job on the special effects, guys!
I gotta say, it's exciting to see this franchise make a comeback. Sometimes it's a good idea to let franchises die. Let's be honest, that last Indiana Jones movie was not their best effort plot-wise. But for Jurassic Park, they can continue on and make as many movies as they want and I will go see them. As I told Caitlin and Charity, life can be so boring sometimes, so it's exciting and entertaining to see a world where nothing boring ever happens.
Come on, Ian Malcolm's chaos theory predicted that Jurassic World would go just as wrong as Jurassic Park and he would be just as right now as he was back then. You know, the moment you sit your behind in those theater seats with sticky soft-drink residue under your shoes, that dinosaurs are going to get lose, run rampant, and chomp into quite a few people before the closing credits. That's what you expect, it's what the movie delivers, and it's an adrenaline rush of awesomeness.
What I didn't expect was to feel genuinely sorry for some of those dinosaurs, but I should have because I felt some of the same remorse in the 2nd film when InGen is rounding up dinosaurs for their park in San Diego.
Do animals that were extinct and are now genetically created have any rights? Should they have any rights? Well . . . do we?