Jurassic World Review: Dinosaurs are still cool

 

As an avid dinosaur lover, it is suffice to say that Jurassic World was one of my most anticipated movies of the year.  I love the Jurassic Park series and I’ve even caught Jurassic Park in 3D.  Till this day, the Velociraptor scene in the kitchen still has me freaked out of my mind.

Set 22 years after the first Jurassic Park in the same Isla Nublar, Jurassic World is a fully-functioning Dinosaur theme park that is home to genetically cloned dinosaurs.  Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) is the park operations manager who oversees the park’s day-to-day functions as well as accounts and sponsorship. As part of a way to get to know her nephews better, she invites them to Jurassic World to spend time with them.  But as she gets swamped with work, she gets her assistant, Zara Young (Katie McGrath) to look after them.  As the park faces a drop in number of visitors, the board and the owner of Jurassic World, Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan), green-lighted Dr Henry Wu (B.D. Wong) to create a genetically modified dinosaur that was bigger, better and scarier.  Along with Simon, Claire introduces Simon to the new dinosaur that they’ve created – the Indominus Rex. Loving the new attraction, Simon asks Claire to consult an expert, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), and get him to evaluate the enclosure before it opens to the public.

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“Great. Now I’m going to have to clear up the mess you created.” Universal Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, Legendary Entertainment

Owen is a Velociraptor trainer who effectively trained four velociraptors – Blue, Charlie, Delta and Echo; to accept him as Alpha.  Vic Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio), is head of security with InGen.  He believes that the Velociraptors were the key to becoming great military weapons but Owen disagrees.  Even after getting turned down by Owen once, Vic remained undeterred.

After her meeting with Simon, Claire goes to visit Owen to ask him to evaluate the Indominus Rex’s enclosure.  They go to the enclosure and after surveying it for a bit with the information he needed, Owen concludes that the Indominus Rex was dangerous because she was raised in complete isolation.  Claire disregards his comments and Owen discovers scratch marks on the walls.  Worried, Claire asks the enclosure personnel to pull up the thermal imaging.  But to her surprise, there was no thermal hit at all. As Claire rushes to the control centre to contain the situation, Owen and two other personnel decide to check the enclosure out.  As she didn’t have visual, Claire relied on the help of two tech park operators, Lowery Cruthers (Jake Johnson) and Vivian Krill (Lauren Lapkus), to describe the situation to her.

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“It’s a dino tooth and they might just have been a snack.” Universal Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, Legendary Entertainment

Lowery tells Claire that the Indominus Rex hadn’t escaped and that she was still inside her enclosure.  It turns out that the Indominus Rex had masked her heat signature which resulted in no thermal recognition.  Realizing that they had been tricked, Owen tells the others to leave the enclosure.  As the door closes, Owen and another personnel escapes, only to find out that the Indominus Rex had managed to get out as well.  Hiding underneath a truck, Owen tries to think of a way out.  He sees the Indominus Rex head over to a truck that the other personnel was at and unfortunately for him, the Indominus Rex picks up his scent and eats him.  Owen hurries to douse his body in gasoline so as to mask his scent.  The Indominus Rex comes over to his truck and sniffs the area Owen was at.  Owen held his breath and the Indominus Rex walks away, heading into the park’s interior.

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“Um. That’s a dinosaur behind us, right?” Source: Universal Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, Legendary Entertainment

Over at the Control Centre, Masrani calls for the Asset Containment Unit to head out and capture the dinosaur alive.  But after the entire unit gets killed, Claire orders for the crowd to be cordoned off within the park center. Unbeknownst to her, her nephews, Zach Mitchell (Nick Robinson) and Gray Mitchell (Ty Simpkins), had just gone off in the Gyrosphere that explores the herbivores in the valley.  Despite being told to head back, the brothers decide to go off track where they eventually come face to face with a herd of Stegosaurus and the Indominus Rex.  Claire finds out that her nephews were missing for a period of time after a phone call with her assistant.  Wanting to find her nephews, she enlists Owen’s help and the two head off to find them.  As they begin their journey to track the boys, they discover a severely injured Apatosaurus.  Owen holds the dinosaur as he gently coaxes it.  Claire moves to touch it and together, they sat with the Apatosaurus as it took its last breath.

Standing where they were, they see the rest of the herd lying dead on the ground from the Indominus Rex’s attack.  Even more determined to find the boys before it was too late, Owen and Claire hurries to track them.  They eventually follow the boys’ track to where the original Jurassic Park building was.  Realizing that there was a jeep missing, Owen and Claire get to work on jump starting the other jeep when the Indominus Rex arrives.  They barely escape the dinosaur’s rampage and return to the main park where they got word that Simon had taken two security personnel with him to hunt down the Indominus Rex.  But their brave attempt was foiled when the Indominus Rex crashes into an aviary which housed the flying dinosaurs.  As each winged dinosaur leaves the aviary, they viciously collide with the helicopter with an intent to kill the passengers inside; bringing the helicopter down into a fiery end.

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“You just had to think you’re better than dinosaurs, didn’t you?” Source: Universal Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, Legendary Entertainment

Gray and Zach reach the main park just as the flying dinosaurs start attacking the park visitors.  They had a short-lived reunion with Zara who gets picked up by a Pterosaur and toyed with until her and the Pterosaur gets eaten by the Mosasaurus.  They are finally reunited with Owen and Claire, who together with the armed troops subdued the flying dinosaurs.

After Simon’s death, Hoskins assumes control of the park and decides to use the Velociraptors as weapons to kill the Indominus Rex.  Owen reluctantly agrees, only if they did it his way.  So, together with the raptors, Owen heads out to locate the Indominus Rex.  The raptors successfully leads them to the Indominus Rex where Owen realizes what the defining DNA was in the Indominus Rex.  Realizing that the Indominus Rex had now assumed the Alpha role as it had Velociraptor DNA, Owen tries to get everybody back to their vehicles.  Some got away while others were hunted down and killed by the raptors.  Owen manages to save his colleague, Barry (played by Omar Sy), before going after Claire and the boys.  While this was happening, Vic had sent Dr Fong away with the other dinosaur embryos; helping him to save his research.  Owen, Claire and the boys make it back to the Centre just in time to see Vic packing up the rest of the dinosaur embryos.

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“Check it out! We can go faster than this sucker.” Source: Universal Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, Legendary Entertainment

Vic tells them his involvement with the genetics project but was cut off when Delta, one of Owen’s Velociraptors, corners him.  He tries to mimic Owen’s gestures only to have his arm bitten by Delta who then proceeded to finish him off.  The four escape and gets cornered by Blue, Delta and Echo. Realizing there was really no other way out of this, Owen tries to re-establish his bond with Blue, just as the Indominus Rex arrives.  Thinking that they were done for, Owen was surprised to see Blue and the others protecting them against the Indominus Rex.  The 3 raptors then attacks the Indominus Rex only to be overpowered by the latter. Delta and Echo gets killed while Blue gets flung against the wall.  Seeing that they needed more help, Claire goes off to lure the park’s veteran, the Tyrannosaurus Rex.  Together with Blue, the two dinosaurs work together to push the Indominus Rex towards the lagoon where the Mosasaurus came up to pull the Indominus Rex in with it.

The next day, the park visitors are brought back to the mainland and the boys are reunited with their parents while Owen and Claire decide to stay together.  As the movie ends, the Tyrannosaurus Rex is seen climbing to the helipad where he surveys the park before doing a final roar as the movie closes.

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“Everyone, stand back. I’ve got this.” Source: Universal Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, Legendary Entertainment

Despite the story flaws in this movie, I really, really, really loved it.  The dinosaur action was just super impressive and I am so glad they’ve shown a nicer side of the Velociraptors.  I really liked that they fashioned Jurassic World after Disney World, making it seem like a real theme park we can visit.  I do admit that there were some parts that seemed a little strange and abrupt like Delta visiting Vic Hoskins and the others in the lab.  Vic’s death was kinda sudden and it just seemed like they needed him to just die in a justified way.

Unlike other cinema goers, I wept like a baby when Owen and Claire were with the injured Apatosaurus.  Even as I do this review now, I still have tears in my eyes remembering the scene.  My favorite dinosaurs are the Brontosaurus, Apatosaurus, Brachiosaurus and the Velociraptors.  So seeing the Apatosaurus like this made me weep uncontrollably.  Even with my IMAX glasses on, I could see my mom actually looking at me sympathetically.  Needless to say, the beginning scenes with the Gentle Giants Petting Zoo were one of my favorites because I am not ashamed to admit that I am very much like the little boy who hugged the baby Apatosaurus.  Don’t get me started on the Velociraptors training scenes man.  They were like a dream job if this dino world ever existed.  I’ll admit that I’ll probably be terrified but who wouldn’t want to be a raptor trainer!?

Watching Jurassic World in IMAX was truly the best experience ever.  It really felt like I was there in the park and each time a dinosaur roared, I was literally plastered to the back of my seat – a similar scenario if I had been sitting in a chair in front of a real roaring dinosaur.  The visuals were much more enjoyable and it was just a different feeling you get than watching it normally.

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Can someone make this theme park real? Source: Universal Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, Legendary Entertainment

Aside from the awesome computer graphics and dinosaurs, I felt that there were things from the film that got me thinking.

1. Dinosaurs as assets
Claire saw the dinosaurs as assets as opposed to lives.  How do we see animals in our real world?  Take the animals in the zoo or even the pets we have at home for example.  There are some of us who love them like they are a part of our family, a life that we care about.  But there are others who think of them as properties, food and even a tradition (here’s looking at you, Yulin).  They are a part of our world too and even though they can’t speak our language, they feel what we feel.  Just because we bought them or own them doesn’t mean we get to treat them as unfairly as we want.

2. The Moral Compass
We are all capable of betraying our humanity when it comes to deciding what’s good and what’s bad.  How many of us can honestly say we put others before ourselves? When the Indominus Rex got loose, the main thing in Simon’s head was the safety of his asset.  Where was the worry for the safety of the park’s visitors?  I understand that they had to ensure they didn’t have chaos on their hands but wouldn’t it have worked better if they came up with a proper excuse to keep the visitors in their hotel rooms or within buildings?  When faced with the decision to lose a gain over doing the right thing, how many of us can say we’d gladly choose the latter?

All in all, Jurassic World is a truly enjoyable movie and is without a doubt up there on my favorite movies list.  I’m looking forward to the Jurassic World sequel and I hope that it would carry more story, if possible – even though I won’t complain should there be more dinosaurs to see over the humans! But most importantly, Blue has to return!

Rating:

starstarstarstarhalfstar

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