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This will be my in depth review of the film Jurassic World, and I will not hold back on the spoilers. If you wish to remain unspoiled before you see the movie I suggest you click out of this page and go to my non spoiler overview if you want to know my overall opinion of the film. Here I will go deep into what I thought about this movie, and there is a lot to talk about. Some good, some bad, some scarily controversial. But my self imposed duty as a bored kid with a blog demands that I bring up these facts to my lovely, lovely audience.
Alright then, let’s get started.
The movie begins with the Indominus Rex hatching from it’s egg; it’s unnatural looking human-like hand claws it’s way through the shell. The ominous music lets us know that the unsettling creature before us is not to be trusted. Suddenly, a dinosaur’s foot stomps into the frame, and we think we’re going to get a good look at the unholy abomination, but unfortunately the dinosaur before us is a bit more mundane. As in, it’a an extant species; merely a crow. I thought the gad was a brilliantly done bait and switch that I think fooled the entire audience, and just goes to show you just how similar modern birds are to their prehistoric relatives.
See guys, I wasn’t crazy.
No you weren’t Dr. Grant, no you weren’t.
Anyway, we see the obligatory Spielberg kid characters of the movie, Zach and Gray, who are heading off to Jurassic World during their Christmas vacation. Unfortunately, during the midst of all this their parents are going through a pretty tough divorce. Like I said in my non spoiler review, I don’t think these kids are annoying and I feel that the role they played in the film was necessary, but I don’t think the who divorce subplot was. Literally everything about the divorce could have been cut from the film and the plot would have remained completely unchanged. Their isn’t really any emotional payoff to it, and it really just comes off as one more thing the movie wants us to care about even though chances are the audience won’t.
Thankfully, the movie knows exactly what we came here for, and the kids get on the island within I think the first five minutes of the film.
I want to take this moment to comment on just how beautifully this park is realized. The film does a fantastic job at convincing you that this is a full on functioning theme park. It also does a great job at making you want to go to this park, despite the less than favorable events that take place later.
Jurassic World has the works: gift shops, restaurants, luxury hotels, and of course, product placements. I know the product placements in this film distracted many movie goers, but only a couple of times did it really bother me. For the most part, it made sense to have so many name brand stuff all over the park because real theme parks have that. Rides and attractions will be sponsored by companies, name brand restaurants will be in the populated areas, it’s a real thing. The only time it got really distracting to me I’ll touch on later.
However, the best part of the park has to be the Innovation Center (presented by Samsung :-D). With the holographic dinosaurs, the interactive activities, even an appearance from Mr. DNA, everything about it screams “I WANT TO GO!!!” On a side note, the holographic Apatosaurus seen in the center makes the same noises as the Brachiosaurus from the first film, and we hear the same ambient cries later on. Apparently the Apatosaurus and the Brachiosaurus sound exactly the same, which is probably unlikely but I’m not going to complain because I absolutely love that sound effect!!
At this point of the movie we are introduced to Claire, perhaps the most divisive and controversial aspect of this film (and to think months ago I thought the Raptor Squad or the I. Rex would hold that title, but no, they’re pretty universally loved). She begins the film as a very professional business woman who is Jurassic World’s operation manager, making sure pretty much everything that needs to get done gets done. We see her talking to some company big shots who are interested in sponsoring a new dinosaur, and Claire points out that the creature they have created is nothing like they have ever seen before. You see, now that Jurassic World has been a successful theme park for several years, dinosaurs have began to loose their wonder. She states that people once likened de-extinction to magic but now a kid looks at Stegosaurus like an elephant at the city zoo. Of course, this idea is a parallel on how modern day audiences need more than CGI dinosaurs on the big screen to fill a movie theater even though Jurassic Park blew away audiences on the effects alone (the good screenplay was a nice touch, though). But this does beg the question, would we get bored of dinosaurs if we brought them back to life?
When you think about it, getting to Jurassic World isn’t exactly easy, nor would everyone be able to do it. You can’t just go there, you need a plane and a boat just to reach it. It’s not like going to the zoo where you only have to drive across town and pay 10 to 20 dollars at most to get in. Seeing dinosaurs would still be an amazing experience for the common person. Than again, in this world dinosaur footage and documentaries from Jurassic World would probably bombard news stations and channels like Discovery, National Geographic, Animal Planet, and History. Seeing them alive constantly on TV may eventually make them just another part of our modern world.
After the pitch meeting, Claire makes her way to the Control Center, where she announces that the pitch was a success. Soon Jurassic World will be graced by ‘Verizon Wireless Presents The Indominus Rex‘. Lowery, the comic relief tech guy, hates this blatant product placement and quips that they might as well let the companies name the dinosaurs after themselves like the sports stadiums, which actually isn’t an invalid or exaggerated point (although I do think Pepsi-saurus does have a nice ring to it). We also see that Lowery is wearing an original Jurassic Park T shirt, which Claire points out is probably in bad taste (and creating a new dinosaur park while the branding team tries to sweep the old one under the rug isn’t). But Lowery is a Jurassic Park hipster, and comments that the original park was legit, as it didn’t need to rely on corporate pandering and genetic hybrids to keep people interested.
Oh my God, he’s one of us!
Now, I think I should put my two cents on how I think Lowery even acquired this T Shirt. He says he bought it off of Ebay, but where did the poster get if from. Most people say the original gift shop from the park, but I personally don’t think that it’s outside the realm of possibility that before the park’s opening T shirts for Jurassic Park were manufactured and shipped to retail stores on the mainland, but when it hit the fan this merchandise was quickly recalled, but some sneaky retail worker took a few for himself knowing one day they may be worth some money. IDK, that’s just my personal theory.
At this point, we find out that one of the Pachycephalosaurus’ has escaped, and the creature name is shorthanded as a ‘Pachy’. Unfortunately, in the UK the term ‘paki’ is a derogatory term used towards people from Pakistan, and this hasn’t escaped the all encompassing reach of the Internet. Most are pointing this out in a tongue in cheek sort of way, but I’m sure there are some out there who see this as intentionally offensive. You know, Poe’s law and all.
Anyway, Claire starts to get impatient that the situation isn’t being handled as efficiently as she would hope. In this scene Lowery points out one of Claire’s personality quirks, in the fact that she is so analytical that she only sees the animals like they’re numbers on a spread sheet, and perhaps she sees other human beings in the same light judging by the way she treated her nephews in an earlier scene. What is her response to Lowery’s accusation of her being a cold and unfeeling robot person?
“Clean up your work space, it’s chaotic”.
Now excuse me, I’m off to slap our logo on some cans of Barbasol.
Yeah, the corporate satire doesn’t really work when this film has product placement out the wazoo. I bet Verizon Wireless sponsored this movie too, didn’t it?
It is at this point where we meet Simon Masrani, the owner of Jurassic World and the massive Masrani corporation. Like I said in my initial reaction post, Simon surprised me in how likable he was. I thought he would be at best a boring character and at worst a cringe-worthy stereotype, but he was an incredibly well rounded and charismatic character, to the point that several audience members in my showing were upset when he dies later (yeah, spoilers).
Anyway, Claire shows off the new dinosaur to Simon; the vicious Indominus Rex. Masrani shows quite a range of emotion in this scene, he seems both intrigued, excited, and yet quite fearful of the new creature. He says the beast would give the parents nightmares, and remarks that’s a fantastic thing when Claire asks if that’s good. He knows this will be a great attraction, but when he notices some cracks in the glass and learns about the creature’s aggressive tendencies he orders for some greater measures to be taken. A more one dimensional character would either be completely blind to the problems and only care about the money he would make off the creature or downright disapprove of it and claim it to be too dangerous. But Masrani reacts completely believable in the situation.
Simon wants Claire to contact Owen Grady, one of the dinosaur handlers, to get his opinion on how safe and secure the paddock is for the I Rex. Owen, played by Chris Pratt, has an interesting hobby. He trains raptors.
Wow, raptors can be tamed? Philosoraptor, did you know about this?
Raptors can’t be tamed. Raptors can’t be controlled. They do all those exercises because they find it amusing and they get free food from it.
Whatever you say, Raptor.
Since the Raptors are the first dinosaurs we get a good look at in the film, I think this is a good time to discuss the special effects. I’ve heard so much negativity on how the CGI in the first film was so much better than the one in this movie, and to those people I say you should probably take off our nostalgia glasses. Yes, the dinosaurs in the movie never look convincing, but I want you to really analyze how the raptors looked in the first film.
They’re actually not all that convincing.
Let me clarify this. The practical raptors in the first movie look BEYOND amazing!!
Still terrifying and completely convincing.
But the CGI ones?
As awesome as the kitchen scene from the first movie is, it’s probably the scene where the CGI dinosaurs looked the most fake. Thankfully, most of that scene is done with practical effects, but I’m still taken out of it when the computer raptors show up. The raptors in the new film are so much more detailed and much more fluid, the only problem is that they still look like CG, and that’s the fact people will forever latch onto. That being said, Jurassic World would have benefited if there was much more use of practical effects.
Anyway, Owen and his partner Barry have been studying the raptors intelligence through these exercises, but head of Jurassic World’s security division and overall scumbag Vic Hoskins thinks the animals have potential as military assets. Like I’ve said before, this is my least favorite character in the movie. Nix that, I can’t STAND this character. Everything he says is so over the top and cartoony. He’s such an obvious bad guy and not even in the entertaining way. He doesn’t make good points when he should, he spouts out clunky exposition, and he takes me out of the movie every time he’s on screen. It’s just a chore to watch the parts he’s in.
Thankfully, some exciting stuff happens to wash out the taste of Hoskins’ monologuing. An inexperienced worker accidentally falls into the raptor pit trying to save a pig and gets cornered by the dinosaurs. Owen acts quickly and diverts the raptors attention on himself, leaving for the exit at the very last minute and thus saving the kid. This scene shows that although the raptors don’t pounce on him nearly as quickly as they would anyone else, the creatures are still dangerous and probably would have killed Owen if given the chance. I absolutely love this dynamic.
Meanwhile, we see Zack and Gray messing around in the park, looking at awesome attractions like the Gentle Giants petting zoo, where children are allowed to physically abuse infant dinosaurs.
Of course, Zack thinks thinks the petting zoo is for babies (how dare you say such a thing?!). Even the T. rex feeding show doesn’t get his full attention, despite the fact that any sane person would have their eyes glued to the gory freak show.
Now, you’re going to have to forgive me because I’m trying to remember which plot points happened where from memory at at this point it’s been a bit since I’ve seen the movie, and I don’t completely remember when each little thing happens in the movie, so the placement of scenes in my review may be a little bit off. I believe at this point of the movie Claire gets a call from her sister asking her how her nephews are doing. Claire admits to not being with them personally, which makes her sister begin to break down over the phone. Now, I’ve said before that I don’t think that Claire’s character is nearly as sexist as some make her out to be, but this is the only moment where I begin to raise an eyebrow. After Claire makes fun of her sister for using ‘mom slangs’ (which was an admittedly funny moment), her sister says that they do work and Claire will find out when she has kids. Claire corrects her by saying ‘if’, only for her sister to reinforce ‘when’. Yeah, I can see why some people make the argument that this film seems oddly obsessed with forcing this idea that Claire needed to be fixed from her stuffy worker-ness by embracing her nurturing side. If looked at simply it would seem that the film is trying to send a message that working women can’t be likable until they embrace a traditional motherly role, a moral that many a feminist would savagely tear apart. And yes, even to me this whole exchange made me think twice, but on the flip side those arguments do insinuate that having children is somehow sexist, which it certainly is not. I tend to see a different story arch for Claire, and I’ll touch on that more later.
Anyway, we then go on to that infamous ‘sexist’ scene where Claire asks Owen to check on the Indominus’ paddock. And yes, I do understand why this scene irked some people the way it did, but for me personally, I think it works well in the context of the film. This is where we find out Claire and Owen once dated, which is of course going to lead to awkward conversation. And the scene does give us some moments that I do find genuinely funny, in a snarky sort of way. My only real problem with the scene is that it does kind of stop the action, but thankfully from this point on we get a lot of cool scenes.
We then get to see the boys at the mosasaur attraction, which is actually so cool that Zach manages to look up from his phone for a second! After seeing the monster from the surface, the seats actually go down to a lower level so you can see the mosasaur from underwater. This whole performance garners cheers from the audience, both in the movie and in the movie theater. Zach, still genuinely enjoying the show, then turns to his brother and asks ‘you want to see something else cool’. Then the movie jumps to this.
We never find out what that cool thing Zach was talking about, so I have to assume the movie was referring to obvious product placement. Nice.
Anyway, Claire and Owen make their way to the Indominus paddock, only to find that the creature doesn’t appear to be in the enclosure. She doesn’t come when food is offered, no heat signatures are being picked up on the computers, and there seem to be claw marks that lead all the way up the walls. Claire, realizing what this all entails, makes her way to the control room where she says a tracking device implanted in the I. Rex’s skin can be, well, tracked (why they didn’t make it so you can access the tracking device’s signal from the computers in the paddock I can’t tell). Meanwhile, Owen and a few other workers enter the habitat to investigate, which I think is beyond stupid but that’s just me. Yeah, there are a lot of plot contrivances and idiotic decisions made in this scene in order to have the Indominus escape, but hey, I honestly don’t care. Let’s see some dino carnage.
Yes, it would seem that the dinosaur didn’t escape from her cage, but instead concocted a brilliant plan to fool the puny humans into thinking that she escaped (which she probably thought up of while twirling her feathery handlebar mustache while maniacally crying out ‘MWAHAHAHA!!!). Yep, we’ve got an evil genius dinosaur on our hands.
The I. rex chases Owen and the other workers, grabbing on of them with her oddly dexterous hand before tearing him into two pieces (poor poor man, he should have known better than be a minority character running away from a monster with an A-list white actor). Owen escapes from the paddock while the gate doors close, but the dinosaur is able to bust through them.
Now, let me go onto record and say that this scene is absolutely terrifying. It’s tense, suspenseful, and really brings back the horror vibe that the other sequels sorely lacked. Owen hides from the creature under a truck, while Indy’s attention is turned to the big fat worker Owen was with a few moments ago. The film set this guy up as kind of a joke character, but I have to hand it to the movie, the scene where he’s about to be eaten is extremely disturbing. He even starts to cry before it happens, which really humanizes him and makes you feel sorry for the guy. That also makes the scene just that much more terrifying. Indy swallows the guy in a single bite, and then turns his attention to Owen, still hiding under the truck. Owen, using his quick wits, decides to mask his scent from the dinosaur by dousing himself in gasoline. It works, and the I. rex leaves him unharmed. (Wait a minute, didn’t they say earlier that the I. rex can see body heat like snakes? Wouldn’t that mean she could sense Owen even if he disguised his scent? Or is the smell of gasoline really that repulsive. Personally I think it’s kind of nice. Woah, my room’s turning into tie dye….)
Jesus, the Indominus is a bad@$$.
Claire returns to the control room, with everyone visually horrified. She attempts to declare a state of emergency, but Masrani suggests instead to have their own teams quietly take down the dinosaur without alerting the guests. Even though any genre savvy movie goer knows this is a bad idea, I do see where Simon is coming from. If the public finds out a dangerous attraction escaped, Jurassic World’s reputation would be damaged beyond repair. That’s billions of dollars down the drain. In the moment, it does make sense to have their team of trained professionals who are there specifically if this sort of thing were to happen to try and take it down before its too late. Unfortunately, we soon see why this is a bad idea.
After a scene with Zach and Gray discussing their divorced parents (like I said, a subplot I feel doesn’t really belong), Owen enters the control room ready to give Claire a piece of his mind (and rightly so). He sees that the team is being sent with non lethal weapons, in order to protect their million dollar investment, and firmly states these men are going to die.
The team approaches wear the tracking device says the creature is located, only to find a chunk of skin lying on the forest floor. It turns out to be the tracking device, and apparently Indy clawed it out herself. Owen states that she must have remembered where they put it in, but I also remember Claire saying the device emits an electric shock if it gets to close to certain points. I’m sure the electric pulses probably clued her in to where the device was at, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that she still set a trap. Unbeknownst to the soldiers, Indy is hiding in plain sight, as she apparently has a camouflage ability. Sadly, she only uses it once in the film, but when she does it’s incredibly chilling. The soldiers do their best to capture the beast, but one by one they get trampled, crushed, torn apart, and swallowed whole. Owen was right in assuming the whole endeavor was a suicide mission.
Owen urges that they evacuate the island, with Claire responding that they would never reopen. Of course, Owen isn’t having any of that, and demands that they use lethal weapons to destroy the creature. He then goes up to Masrani, and tells him to go talk to the guys who made this thing.
We then cut to the kids entering the Gyrosphere attraction, being the last ones to enter the ride before everything get’s closed because of the escaped dinosaur predicament. Just as Zach and Gray leave, the teenage ride operator gets a call that probably went along the lines of ‘A KILLER MUTANT DINOSAUR ESCAPED SHUT DOWN THIS RIDE NOW!!!!”. The kid reaches for his manual trying to find the protocol for this situation, and tells the people in the gigantic line that the ride is closed. They are all visually upset and begin to yell at him, many of them in different languages, prompting the teen to simply say ‘I just work here’.
Watching this scene got me thinking. Yeah it’s funny the teenage ride operator has to placate hundreds of angry tourists in an actual situation, but why is a teenager operating this ride alone anyway? Heck, how did this kid get this job anyway. It’s not like you can walk or drive to Jurassic World. It’s an island in the middle of the ocean! How did he even get here? How did he even get hired? This kid doesn’t look like he can hold a job at McDonalds. Is he like the son of some big shot working at Masrani or something?
“Son, you know that dinosaur theme park my company has been working on? How would you like a job there?”
“Oh boy, I love dinosaurs! Thanks dad! What do you need me to do?”
” You can be a ride operator who works far away from any dinosaur that has to stand in the searing Central American heat and deal with rowdy tourists from all over the world.’
Anyway, we now get to a scene where once again Masrani shows that he is actually a reasonable man. He confronts Dr Henry Wu, played by BD Wong returning from the original Jurassic Park. Thankfully, Wu gets much more to work with in this movie than the first, and actually displays his kind of mad scientist persona he had in the book while in the first movie he kind of comes off as just some nice guy. He explains that the reason the I. rex can change color and change it’s body temperature because of cuttlefish and tree frog DNA added for…ahem…adaptational purposes.
Oh, I’m sorry. I’m allergic to bull…
Yeah, those are some pretty specific choices to deal with some fairly minor problems. Really, you needed cuttlefish DNA just so it can survive an accelerated aging process? You needed tree frog DNA so it can adapt to a tropical environment? Did you not need this for the other dinosaurs? (Don’t worry, all will make sense at the end).
Still, Wu does make some good points. When Masrani asks for what purpose would they need a dinosaur that could do all these things, Henry states it’s because the higher ups wanted something cool and scary, and you can’t create a creature with exaggerated predator features without the corresponding behavioral traits. He also mentions that all the dinosaurs in the park are mutants like the I. rex and they’ve been doing this from the beginning because if they didn’t the dinosaurs would look very different.
So, this all but conforms the theory that the dinosaurs in the park look like old school reconstructions because they were made to look like what the public expected, not what they actually were.
Still, Masrani shuts down all of Wu’s work like a sensible man would, claiming that he never asked for a monster. Wu then states that what a monster is is relative, for a cat to a canary is a monster, and we’re just used to being the cat.
You know, that line looked a lot better on paper than it did out loud.
We return to the kids, who are in the Gyrosphere watching a helpful little instruction video hosted by Jimmy Fallon.
The voice you are hearing is Jimmy Fallon. We spared no expense.
It’s funny, seeing this in the theater, it was great to see the reactions of people who did not see this coming at all.
As for me, too bad this was leaked like a year ago.
Anyway, the kids finally get to see what they came for : Dinosaurs! They find themselves in happy herbivore valley surrounded by Apatosaurus, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, and Parasaurolophus. In reality, these dinosaurs were probably too aggressive to be viewed in this way, but you know movies : if it eats plants, then it’s nice!
Um, excuse me, Universal Studios. Yes, I would like to boycott this movie for depicting a stegosaurus holding it’s tail in a downward position, which would have been physically impossible for the animal. What are you trying to do, lie to us?!
Anyway, Zach, who has kind of been jaded throughout this entire movie, even begins to recognize the majestic beauty of these creatures. But nooooooooo, this isn’t good enough for him. After seeing a hole within the fence (I’m not sure how the whole was made, why it hasn’t been fixed yet, or why no one is keeping an eye on it), Zach gets the bright idea to go exploring outside the enclosed area. Gray protests this, saying that if they get caught they’ll be sent to jail and will end up making root beer in the toilet wait what?!
I think this is actually a good time to point out that in the original script, Gray was supposed to be autistic. Although they decided not to go that route in the film or make that fact explicit, a lot of that idea still comes through in the performance. It would explain the character’s obsession with numbers and stats, his overall intelligence when it comes to the dinosaurs, as well as some of his mannerisms and sayings that may have came off as strange to some movie goers. Even though they scrapped the idea, I still like to think the character has at least a minor form of autism or at least Asperger’s, and I think it’s a pretty sympathetic and positive depiction too. And anyone who knows someone with autism probably picked up the signs and quirks just like I did.
Anyway, while roaming through the forest the kids come across a group of Ankylosaurs, but are soon greeted by another, unexpected guest.
You know, even though a lot of these scenes were in the original trailers, they still got gasp out of the audience when the I. rex showed up, probably because they now gully realize just how dangerous this thing is. In other words, those kids are screwed.
The I. rex tries to attack the Gyrosphere, but is distracted by the Ankylosaurs. While Indy fights the other dinosaurs, Zach and Gray are being thrown around like a beach ball. A lone Ankylosaurus puts up a valiant fight, but even it’s armored exterior is no match for Indy’s strength. With the Ankylosaur out of the way, she once again turns her attention to the kids. She slowly turns the face of sphere towards here, and effortlessly breaks into it with her claw.
This was another scene showed in many of the trailers, but even it still managed to get a terrified reaction from the audience. That’s how awesome they made this thing! The Indominus then opens it’s mouth and tries to wrap it’s jaws around the sphere, with the kids looking up only to see her open throat. She unhinges her mouth like a python, and at first I thought she was attempting to swallow the thing whole like an egg eating snake!
You know, like this!
Thankfully, that doesn’t happen. Instead she begins bashing the sphere on the ground, trying to open up the ball to get to the tasty treats inside.
Just like a Wonder Ball!
However, this process allows for the broken glass to create an opening, in which the kids escape from. With the creature still preoccupied by the Gyrosphere, they make a run for it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for Indy to catch up.
Jesus, that’s terrifying!
The kids find themselves at the base of a cliff, with body of water beneath. After some hesitation from Gray, which some found unrealistic given the current situation but I thought was fine under the lenses that Gray is slightly autistic (I hope I’m not offending anyone when I say that, the term is used on the internet so much as an insult that it’s almost impossible now to use it in the medical sense), the two jump into the water right before the I. rex can grab them with her jaws. Defeated, she goes off to find different prey, and the two brother bond after surviving the live or death situation they just experienced. You know, some people think that they handle the brothers growing closer together unrealistically quickly, but personally, if I went through THAT with my sibling I think we would have a new found appreciation for each other, not to mention the stuff they go through later.
Meanwhile, Claire finds out that Zach and Gray have gone off the trail and ask Owen if he can help her find the boys. When they reach the herbivore valley, they find the Indominus has already torn through the area and took a few casualties.
This scene with the apatosaurus is really the only time where practical effects are used and put front and center, and boy am I glad they did so. Sure, the skin texture is inaccurate, as sauropods had pebbly skin and this dinosaur is depicted like a traditional wrinkly pachyderm, but honestly I don’t care. I heard Chris Pratt was stunned when he saw how lifelike the creature was, and this was also Bryce Dallas Howard’s favorite scene to film because she was able to make an emotional connection with the thing. We see the apatosaur slowly dying, and it is absolutely painful to watch. It’s like seeing a big dog or horse slowly die, you don’t want to see such a large animal in pain. After a few moments, the animal finally falls asleep in death. Claire sheds a quiet tear, and so does most of the audience. No kidding, my eyes were watering during this scene, and many of my friends were holding back tears as well. Some of the audience was visually crying! It’s that effective. God, I wish they used more animatronics in this movie.
As our two leads look over the horizon, they see that the apatosaurus was just one of many that got killed. Still, none of them had any signs of being eaten. Owen states that she must be killing for sport, or just for the heck of it I guess. Why she would want to do this I don’t know. Maybe she’s still testing out how strong she is? Maybe she truly is evil and just kills things for the lulz. Like 4Chan.
Meanwhile, Zach and Gray continue to wander through the jungle, and eventually find the old visitor center from the first movie. It’s old and completely overtaken by nature, but still completely recognizable. And yes, the whole time they’re are there audience is bombarded with Easter eggs.
We see the banner ‘When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth’ sitting on the ground, as well as the dilapidated dinosaur skeleton. Zach uses a bone from the skeleton and the banner to create an improvised torch, thus illuminating more Easter eggs like the Velociraptor and Parasaurolophus mural. Even the night vision goggles make and appearance. This all culminates to the kids finding the original Jeep vehicles from the first movie (which was a lot more subtle product placement than the Mercedes Benz because a Jeep seems like the kind of vehicle you would have in a safari park anyway!). We then have Zach turn to Gray and ask if he remembers the time they fixed up their uncle’s car and you know where this is going.
Yeah, the kids fix up the Jeeps and ride them off into freedom. I’m sorry but I just don’t buy it. Even though they do explain where they got fresh gas (a maintenance vehicle was attacked by the I. Rex near the visitor center that had fresh gas) I think 20 years standing around in the jungle would make these vehicles beyond repair. But of course Zach just happens to know how to work on cars, and of course they fix it and head off on their way. Owen and Claire also make it to the visitor center, and Owen echos the audience’s questions of how the heck these kids got one of those things to run. But before he can think too hard about the blatant plot convenience, the Indominus returns once more, and once again it’s chilling. Man, I’m so glad Jurassic Park is scary again!
Thankfully, the two are able to escape the monster when she is distracted by a helicopter in the sky. Said helicopter is being piloted by Masrani himself, as he is the only one left on the island with flying experience as everyone else has been evacuated. Why they decided to evacuate people who can fly a helicopter during a time where that skill would be needed I’m not sure, but I digress. We all know Masrani just wants to play hero here.
I am brave! I am a brave president!
In all honesty though, Masrani’s heroism is actually kind of noble.
The helicopters try to take down the beast with lethal gun fire this time, but to no avail. The I. rex then bursts her way through the Aviary that houses all the pterosaurs, and they all begin to fly out of the enclosure.
Thankfully she’s not talking to them like we all feared.
The pterosaurs, in their escape, begin to attack the helicopter. They eventually bring it down, and Masrani goes out with a bang.
Sorry, too soon?
Yeah, in a movie so full of unhealthy Hollywood spectacle, this is probably the most overt trailer shot in the entire film. And it is AWESOME for it!
Oh yeah, Masrani died. It’s supposed to be sad. My bad.
In all actuality, it kind of is. I remember people in the audience were actually visually upset when he died, which means the character actually connected with audiences. That’s a pretty impressive feat considering I thought he would be either a selfish business man at best or a racial stereotype at worst.
All right, next get on to our next trailer shots.
With the pterodactyl’s free, all hell is about to break loose. And no, these aren’t giant pelican Pteranodon’s or bug eating Dimorphodon’s like they probably were in real life. This is Jurassic Park god dang it! We have dragons and flying piranhas. Do you think they know subtlety?
Now, one of the biggest missed opportunities of the film is that there isn’t all that much dinosaur chaos interaction with the tourists. When I first heard the premise of this movie and found out the park would be open, I expected stuff like T. rex gobbling up crowds of people by the mouthful on Main Street, or raptors hunting down people hiding in restaurants. Heck, even the Indominus doesn’t interact with any park guests. Despite that, the movie does give us this scene. Flocks of Pteranodon and Dimorphodon descend onto the unsuspecting public, and begin biting and picking them up and stabbing them with their killer beaks and all that cliche and unscientific stuff you expect pterosaurs depicted in Hollywood would do. And it is GLORIOUS!! It’s like The Birds on steroids! It’s silly yet completely terrifying!
At this point Zach and Gray have made it back to the main park, just in time to see the carnage. They reunite with their care taker Zara, only for the most painfully glorious thing to happen.
Come to Jurassic World they said. It’ll be fun they said.
Zara then goes through the most over the top and needlessly cruel death scene of any character in the franchise (as well as being the first female death of the series). She is picked up by the pterosaur, dropped only to be picked up by another one, fought over in the air, and then dropped into the lagoon. Then the pterosaurs continue to fight over her in the water, only for a different creature to do her in.
And there’s our second trailer shot.
Yep, she and the pteranodon get eaten at the same time by the Mosasaurus. And the worst part about it is that she was still very much alive when it happened. She was probably still alive when it closed it’s mouth. She may have been swallowed whole and conscious, completely aware of what is going on and contemplating her fate. That is terrifying!
Owen and Claire finally find themselves in the mayhem as he and a group of other guys try to shoot down the pterodactyls. However, a Dimorphodon then attacks him from behind. Thankfully, Claire shoots the creature off his back, now looking less like Rule 64 John Hammond and more like Ellen Ripley. It is at this moment that Owen realizes ‘wait a minute, she’s awesome!’ and they share a climactic Hollywood style kiss!
I think this is a good time for me to talk about what I think of Claire’s story arch in the movie. Lots of people think that the movie is trying to tell us that Claire was broken because she was a business minded individual, and that she needed to be fixed by having a man in her life and embracing her nurturing side with her nephews. I think this is a very blunt and pessimistic viewpoint of the movie. What do I think her story was? She just became less of a stick in the mud, that’s all. Earlier in the film when people started berating her for looking at the dinosaurs like numbers on a piece of paper, I think she may have developed a similar attitude towards people in general. She closed herself off to any potential friendships, relationships, and even to her family. I don’t think that the message of the film was that she needed to embrace her femininity, I think she needed to embrace her humanity. She needed to learn to care again. And you can still be a successful person with that attitude, it’s not like if you care about people your the kind of woman that stays in kitchen. Some people said that she forfeited the park to embrace her female side, but really, she didn’t forfeit the park. It’s not like she walked away from a secure position because she wanted to live a home life. No, the park fell from under her. She lost the park because of the disaster. On top of all this, does everyone forget just how much of an active role she plays in the latter part of the film? She’s awesome!
Anyway, it is at this point that Owen finds out that Hoskins took over after Masrani’s death and is planning to use the raptors to take down the Indominus. Owen makes his way to the raptor enclosure and sees a bunch of guys prepping them for war. Vic goes up to Owen, and he gives Vic a well deserved and audience pleasing punch! Owen tries to talk Vic out of doing it, but Vic then asks him how it will feel tomorrow when the headlines read that these animals helped save lives. That is a nice sentiment, but even if the raptors are successful I’m sure the headlines tomorrow will still be “Hundreds Dead, Injured and Missing in Horrific Theme Park Incident’.
Owen realizes that the mission is going to go forward with or without him, so he decides that if they’re going to do it they’ll have to do it his way. So the team equips the raptors and they are set loose to find the Indominus Rex. And this is where we get that now infamous motorcycle sequence.
Yeah! Raptor Squad!
Eventually, the raptors are able to track down the Indominus, but instead of attacking, the animals begin communicating. This is when Owen realizes that the I. rex is actually part raptor, and has just recruited the raptors on her side.
What a…nah, too easy.
Now, the Nostalgia Critic ripped this scene apart pretty hard, and even threw a pretty dramatic tantrum over it’s perceived stupidity. And it’s not for the reason you may think. Some people thought this plot point came out of nowhere and was kind of a stupid twist for the sake of being a twist. But the Nostalgia Critic hated it not because of that, but because he thought it was way too obvious. To him the Indominus just looked like a big raptor, and even criticized the design for being incredibly lazy, like they just put a raptor picture in PhotoShop, enlarged it, and colored it white.
That being said, he was the kind of guy who was expecting something like this when he found out about the ‘genetic hybrid’ stuff.
He even criticized the characters for not being able to figure it out, and claimed it as one of the most obvious plot twists ever.
And all I have to say to that is…really?
I mean, I really like you Doug, but really?
Are they really that similar?
I mean, sure, I can see why you would think it’s a lazy design if you were expecting a real mutated freak, and yes the long arms were one of the things that clued him in, but do you really think this is one of the most obvious twists in history? I don’t think anyone in my theater saw it coming (the only reason I did was because I follow leaks) and I certainly don’t think the characters were dumb for not figuring it out. They only look superficially similar, in the fact that they’re both theropods. Nothing else, really.
Now, what do I think of the twist?
It’s OK. I think it comes kind of out of nowhere and then kind of rushed, but it does give way to an awesome scene.
With the raptors now out of Owen’s control, we finally get to see them the way we wanted them to be. As bloodthirsty killing machines!!!
The raptors have gone rogue, and start killing the army guys one by one. It’s absolutely glorious. Even Barry gets attacked by Blue, but thankfully this movie doesn’t pull the ‘black guy always dies’ trope. Heck, now that I think of it, this movie has some pretty equal opportunity death in it. First a Hispanic, than a fat white guy, an Asian, a bunch of other white guys, a hot British woman, this is a movie where everyone can die together! That’s progress :-D!!!
Unfortunately, during this whole fiasco, one of the raptors does die. And when I say ‘die’ I mean blown to smithereens by a rocket cannon. It’s kinda funny in how sudden it is, but also really sad since it happens right in front of Owen, and right when it looks like she’s about to comply!
The raptors eventually make their way to Claire and the kids, who have locked themselves in a utility vehicle. She has to drive off the escape the raptors, who all seem a bit too obsessed in trying to kill them.
Bashing through the window of a speeding vehicle? That can’t be healthy.
Some raptors even try to come in through the back, but the kids are able to keep them at bay with a cattle prod. Zip zap. They eventually escape the raptors, and she and the kids reunite with Owen at the Innovation Center. They see that the entire lab has been evacuated, and then walk into a room that they probably weren’t supposed to see. In it they see a bunch of genetically modified creatures in terrariums, like a feathery lizard, a fin backed salamander, and a strangely intelligent chameleon. Then on a computer screen, we see this.
Is that the….Stegoceratops from the toyline?
Oh My God it is!!!
So apparently, director Colin Trevorrow wanted this guy to be in the film, and he was going to be encountered in the jungle while the kids were lost in the restricted zone, but apparently Colin’s son talked him out of it. I wonder how that conversation went?
Colin: “Son, look at this new dinosaur we made for the movie. It’s part T. rex, part raptor! Isn’t it awesome?
Son: “Wow, that is cool! And since it still looks like a dinosaur people won’t think it’s dumb.
Colin: “So, what about this? A Stegosaurus with the head of a Triceratops!
Son: “OK Dad, the first one was cool, but now it’s kind of lame. Do you really think people want to see that in a Jurassic Park movie? Don’t you think you’re pushing it too far? How will people react if that thing pops out of nowhere? Have you no sense of limitation?
Colin: “…..aren’t you nine?”
Anyway, we then see a bunch of army guys come in and take all the stuff away. Then Hoskins walks in all smug like the scumbag he is. We then found out that he and Dr. Wu had an agreement to make dinosaurs that can be used for military purposes. That’s why the Indominus can camouflage and hide from thermal scanning, it was created not to be an attraction but to be used as a weapon. But before Hoskins can go off on his villainous spiel, a raptor comes in. Vic tries to placate it, hoping that it’s at least somewhat tame. He reaches out his hand, and the raptor does the most sensible thing anyone has done in this entire movie.
She bites it off.
Hoskins screams in agony as the raptor lunges to take out the rest of him. Blood splatters on the wall, and the whole audience yells out a collective “YES! THANK GOD!!!”
However, the raptors are now after our heroes. Thankfully, Gray uses some quick wit to distract the raptors. In the Innovation Center, there is a device that can conjure up full sized holographic images of dinosaurs. He uses it to bring up a Jurassic Park style Dilophosaurus, head frill and all.
Dilophosaurus, you have been missed.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t last for long, and our heroes are once again cornered by our three remaining raptors. Thankfully, in the true contrived Hollywood fashion, Owen is able to bring the raptors back on his side. And right on time too, because Indy has made her final climatic appearance. But this time, the raptors are no longer under her control, and they begin to attack!
The raptors all jump on top of the Indominus, and it’s a battle to the death!! Sadly, the I. Rex makes pretty short work out of them. Blue is knocked away almost immediately, and the other two raptors are then crushed and one is thrown into a fire and burned alive!!! With all their options exhausted, Claire knows there is only one thing left they can do: The Godzilla Threshold.
So, what’s the Godzilla Threshold you may ask? Simple.
How do you defeat something big, scary, and destructive?
With something else big, scary, and destructive of course!
Claire calls Lowery, who is still in the control room, and orders him to open up Paddock 9. He reluctantly does so, calling her crazy (and for good reason in my opinion). The paddock door slowly opens, as Claire ignites a single flare. Two beady yellow eyes emerge from the darkness, and a familiar face is finally shown.
The Queen has returned.
Claire runs back towards Main Street (still in heels, mind you), and throws the flare straight towards the Indominus Rex. And then, in the greatest moment of ‘TAKE THAT’ in movie history, she busts through the skeleton of the Spinosaurus! She has returned. It’s the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
And thus the battle of the ages begins. The T. rex and the I. rex immediately embrace in battle, biting and clawing at each other. It’s absolutely glorious. But then, the I. rex gets the upper hand. She knocks poor Rexy onto the ground, and just when it looks like she’s about to rip into the neck, we hear that familiar bark.
Blue comes out of nowhere, with the triumphant Lost World soundtrack blaring (Thank you Michael Giacchino!). She jumps onto the I. rex’s back, distracting her long enough for the T. rex to come back up and ram her against the building and OMG THEY’RE WORKING TOGETHER IT’S A RAPTOR T.REX TAG TEAM!!!!
AHH! It’s so awesome and adorable all at the same time!!!
The dinosaurs put up a valiant fight, while our heroes do their best not to get caught in the crossfire. Eventually, they knock Indy to the edge of the lagoon. She’s injured from the battle but still standing her ground. But before she can continue, someone else decides to make a triumphant return.
Yeah, you didn’t think you saw the last of me, did yah?
The Mosasaurus comes out of the water and drags Indy to the bottom of the sea. The T. rex and Blue look at each other for a moment, with Blue visually scared of Rexy. But instead of attacking, they both go on their separate ways.
The next day. we see all the survivors of the incident, with Claire and Owen next to the kids. Zach and Gray’s parents return, happy to see them alive and that divorce subplot never fully paying off. But who cares, I just saw a sea lizard take down a mutant dinosaur, my life is complete! Owen and Claire decide to stay together, and we return to Isla Nublar for one final shot. We see the T. rex standing over an observation building. with Michael Giacchino’s amazing score blaring over it. She looks ahead of her, Jurassic World now in ruins. She has reclaimed her kingdom, and lets out that classic triumphant roar.
Cut to black.
Yeah, take that!!!
This movie KILLED!!!!!
It made over 500 million dollars in it’s opening week, that’s the biggest opening weekend of all time!!!! And week after week it remained on top, beating out other movies like Inside Out and Ted 2.
Sorry Pixar. Good effort though.
Ted, you got what you deserved.
Needless to say I had an excellent time watching this movie, and although it did have quite a few problems, the awesome moments more than made up for it. On a story level I would probably give this movie a C, but on a pure unadulterated awesomeness level his movie is a perfect 10 out of 10!! On a dinosaur accuracy level….
Let’s not even get started on that.
Well, now that this movie is out of the way I can get back to my regularly scheduled program. We’re Back A Dinosaur Story mini review will be directly after this, and after that my review of the Jurassic Park 3 and Jurassic World toys. I’ll also be updating my Ink and Paint Zoology blog again, just in case you thought that was dead. Hope to see you guys soon.