In the summer of 1993 a little movie was about to come out. It promised of very realistic looking dinosaurs attacking humans in a modern setting. I was fascinated with the idea of Jurassic Park. I couldn't wait to see it, but then I discovered that it was a book before they made the movie. As fast as I could I did as many chores as possible to scrounge up the ten bucks it cost to buy this book in paperback form. I was enamored with this book. First the cover was beautifully simple. It was a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton logo that was raised a bit off the paper so it was a bit bumpy and 3-D. I read the book in two days, using the 90 minute drive down to Six Flags Great America to read as much as I could (motion sickness be damned!) I fell in love immediately with the author and the story. For my birthday, which was only a week before the release date, my Uncle took me to the movie. From the music, to the story, to the stunning visual effects, this movie had moved me and made me a fan of cinematic story-telling forever. Fast forward to 2015 and I had that same tingly feeling going into the anticipation of Jurassic World.
Starting with the story. The beginning of the film introduces us to the brand new dinosaur to the park hatching from an egg. We get to see his eye and then we are introduced to some of the best young actors around. The story itself was well told, the pacing was done to perfection. I felt very much like I did with the first film. The biggest difference was a lack of that dread built up from being isolated on the island in the first film. You had the comfort of thousands of people also trapped on the island but it didn't make it feel as confined to the terror as you did with Jurassic Park. The terror in this film is all wrapped up into the chaos created by the Indominus Rex, the hybrid dinosaur created by B.D. Wong's character, Dr. Henry Wu (the only returning character from the first film). The action was intense and non-stop just as it was in Jurassic Park. There's a strong feeling of family in the film as well, with the kids and their aunt, as well as with the raptors and Pratt's character Owen Grady. Speaking of Grady and his relationship with the raptors, it was quite interesting to see him sort of be this dinosaur whisperer. He had "imprinted" on them at birth and he had taken on the role of the alpha of that pack. While seemingly a crazy idea, I felt myself totally buying into it. The ending also left me feeling the same way I did as the helicopter escaped the island from the first film. I felt relieved for the characters but I was also sad that the film was over and we were saying goodbye to these great characters.
Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson do an exceptional job portraying Gray and Zach Mitchell, nephews of Bryce Dallas Howard's Claire Dearing, the park manager. They're headed to the island while the parents stay home to finalize the process of divorce. You really feel for Simpkins' character, being the younger brother who's clearly shaken and afraid about the future of his family, with his older brother so close and very eager to leave the house...and being a teenager, he's always anxious to distance himself from his little brother. The rest of the cast are incredible as well. Chris Pratt, once again, pulls off the witty and sarcastic hero role with no problem whatsoever. He's very much Indiana Jones on an island of dinosaurs. Howard plays a character you're not supposed to really like at the beginning of the film, but she really develops into a strong and lovable leading woman. The comedy brought by both Pratt and Jake Johnson was brilliant. Johnson once again made the laughs come almost effortlessly.
The music was extremely important to me because the original theme was present as well as a lot of the action sequence themes that were also in the film. The slow piano, playing the theme was both nostalgic and dramatic. The sets, the effects, the stunt work, all played well with director Colin Trevorrow's vision of the film. The CGI was great, where the initial trailer left a lot of people upset, they had cleaned up the effects and it was believable that Pratt was standing surrounded by four raptors. The practical effects that we loved about the first film were back as well and everyone loves good practical effects.
I found myself geeking out with all of the great easter eggs and nods to the original film. There was the Ian Malcolm book sitting on Johnson's desk. There was the banner that the kids find in the old park building, along with the cool night (heavy=expensive) vision goggles, and jeep, as well as Johnson's "vintage" Jurassic Park tee-shirt. Those were the ones that stood out to me the most. I also really liked what seemed very much like an homage to Sigourney Weaver in Alien, with Howard's character holding the flare while the T-Rex gate slowly opened. If that was done by accident...kudos to them because it looked fantastic.
My favorite scenes involved our friend Courtney James Clark (you can check out our interview with her here). She was fantastic in the role of Mosasaur trainer, and the Mosasaur was my favorite dinosaur. So cool to see a giant (seriously GIANT) sea creature in the film. Not sure why, but I'm fascinated with monsters from the deep ocean, I've always been a big shark geek. Obviously you can tell I loved this film. I can't wait to see it again and again and again. Its a great cinematic experience and I highly advise you guys checking it out. But enough of my ramblings and opinions, what did you guys think? Leave your thoughts below!