I can’t remember the exact age I was when I first saw Jurassic Park, but I reckon I must’ve been 8ish. My Dad had no qualms about me seeing films that were intended for an older audience, and to be fair, I ended up being more scarred by ET (and the pink slime from Ghostbusters II) than by a T-Rex.
From the moment the water moved in the glass in THAT scene, I was hooked. I already liked Dinosaurs thanks to children’s classic The Land Before Time, but this pushed all the buttons. Yes, the second and third instalment weren’t as good, but hey, they’re still about dinosaurs killing people who created them. IRONY.
I’ve been super excited about Jurassic World for months because a) more dinosaurs, b) Chris Pratt and c) it’s advertised everywhere, so you’re reminded of it every day. They even turned Waterloo station into an attraction, putting up posters and dino bios everywhere, releasing 4 raptors from their cage, and adding sound effects in the Tube.
However since it came out, people kept telling me how rubbish it actually was. That it was just a lame reboot. That there was nothing new. That it was little more than an allegory of Hollywood and the ever growing need to be bigger and better (which it is, but that’s kinda cool). So I lowered my expectations and went with “this is probably gonna be ok”.
I rewatched the first movie the night before, and spent the day wearing a Jurassic Park T-shirt (which, funnily enough, you can see in the new movie, as worn by Jake Johnson). We went for a Chinese Buffet beforehand, and I collapsed into my seat with a full stomach, ready to see Chris Pratt be awesome.
As it turns out, I spent the entire movie sliding in and out of my seat, grabbing my flatmate’s hands at intervals and wondering why on Earth people hadn’t liked this. Because I was LOVING it. For those who have no idea what it’s about, quick low-down.
InGen has decided to go back to Isla Nublar and Jurassic World has been open for a few years. They built what essentially looks like SeaWorld crossed with a Kenyan animal reserve: you can visit “enclosed” attractions (like the T-Rex or a Mosasaurus), but you can also take awesome trains around the island, and roam amongst the dinosaurs in Jeeps or spheres that let you get real close.
Claire’s nephews have come to visit, yet she has no time to take care of them and leaves them in the hands of her assistant Zara (Katie McGrath, Morgana from BBC’s Merlin). However over-excited Gray (Ty Simkins) and gloomy Zach (Nick Robinson) manage to escape their babysitter and start roam the park by themselves.
InGen’s new frontier is hybrid dinosaurs engineered by Dr. Henry Woo (BD Wong, the voice from Mulan‘s Captain Shang and the original geneticist from Jurassic Park). The Indominus-Rex is park owner Simon Masrani’s (Irrfan Khan) “baby”, but it as it develops, it turns out to be more vicious than expected. To assess the safety of its enclosure, Masrani asks park’s operations manager Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) to get Dino-whisperer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to come and check it out.
Owen, former military, has been working with the park’s four velociraptors and is, essentially, their alpha. While he and his colleague Barry (Omar Sy, French import, star of Intouchables) believe in the bond between man and animal, InGen only sees the opportunity to use the raptors as weapons in the war.
As Owen goes to inspect the Indominus-Rex, the dinosaur manages to escape…
Jurassic World beat The Avengers and had the biggest opening weekend ever with a $524M debut. As Arthur (Eli Wallach) said in The Holiday, unless a movie does a killing on opening weekend, it’s not worth watching. I heartedly disagree, but in this case, I’m happy to see that one of my favourite franchises has managed its reboot so beautifully.
Go see it, especially if you liked the original. Because while Jurassic World has plenty of new aspects, it goes out of its way to honour its ancestor with plenty of moments that’ll make you grin and go “oooh yeaaah”. Plus, you know, Owen Grady is way hotter than Dr. Alan Grant. And more bad-ass too.
Pictures from: author’s own, kinja-img.com, jurassicworld.org, comicvine.com, screenrant.com, bbci.co.uk, reelnewsdaily.com, facebook.com, searchengineland.com, imdb.com