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6.15.2015

Let's Go To The Movies - Jurassic World

I really, really wanted to see Jurassic World. I don't know if it was the nostalgia factor (22 years since the original) or maybe I was just in the mood for a big budget summer blockbuster (or maybe I was just in the mood for Chris Pratt). Who knows? Anyway, I decided I just couldn't wait any longer. I texted the babysitter, who was actually available, and Bill bought the tickets for the IMAX 3D evening show. We went from no plans to a planned date night in about 10 minutes. How's that for spontaneity?

The long ago dream of an amusement park with real live dinosaurs as the attractions has been up and running for years now. "Jurassic World" is still a pretty hot tourist destination, but apparently even dinosaurs can get old. Instructed to create a bigger, scarier dinosaur to rejuvenate sales, the park has manufactured its first genetically engineered attraction - the Indominus Rex. With DNA spliced and diced from a number of different dinosaurs (and other animals), the Indominus Rex proves more than the park can handle when it escapes its enclosure. It's up to the uptight park executive (Bryce Dallas Howard) and rugged dinosaur trainer (Chris Pratt) to stop it before it reaches the main park and its 20,000 guests!

I loved, loved Jurassic World! It was everything I hoped it would be, which was fun. Chris Pratt is a bonafide movie star now (which he totally deserves). He's handsome, funny, believable, and has a great every man quality that Hollywood sorely needs. He, and his Velociraptor "pets" made this film for me.

I also really appreciated all the little nods to the original Jurassic Park film, which I cannot believe was 22 years ago. I still remember sitting in that movie theater and how I screamed when that Velociraptor broke through the wall after Laura Dern got the power back on...(said in my best Chris Farley impression) "Ummm, remember that?"
Which leads me to my first criticism of the film. It wasn't really scary. Just like the complaint of Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) in the film, dinosaurs are nothing special anymore. I saw this film, and saw it done well 22 years ago. There was no sense of amazement, fear, or anticipation this time around. It continually lacked that fun, eerie feeling of suspense where you know something is going to pop out and scare you, but you just don't know when.

My other complaint was that there was no real character development in the film. Other than Chris Pratt, I was not emotionally invested in any of the characters. In fact, I was extremely surprised how early in the film the Indominus Rex escapes, as once that happens there's not a whole lot get to know you time for the characters anymore, you know? As a result, there were a lot of missed opportunities. For example, you have a genetically engineered dinosaur that is a hybrid of a bunch of other dinosaurs and an autistic-type, genius kid who knows everything about dinosaurs. Why not have the kid help figure out what the "dinosaur" is and help save the day a bit. Literally, all the kids did was run and hide from the dinosaur the entire film. They were actually pretty pointless characters. I felt the same about the funny and nerdy control room operators - missed opportunity.

Despite its flaws though, I still had a fun movie-going experience. This one is all about the dinosaurs, which was fine with me. I don't want to give anything away, but I liked the whole fighting fire with fire concept eventually used to get the job done. Don't expect much in the way of characters or story line and just enjoy it for what it is. Lots of teeth!

Did you see Jurassic World this weekend? What did you think? Did you also wonder how Claire could outrun a dinosaur wearing high heels in the muddy jungle, or was that just me? How did she make it the whole movie in those heels. A movie about genetically engineered dinosaurs, and that was seriously the most unbelievable part for me. Hah!

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