Yeah. “Ooh, ah”, that’s how it always starts. But then later there’s running and screaming.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s the moment that I’ve been waiting for since Comic-Con 2011. Jurassic Park 4… or well cleverly renamed Jurassic World. I was jumping from foot to foot, waiting in line, with my large popcorn and Diet Coke and cookie dough bites. THIS WAS IT!
My brother and his girlfriend thought I was insane, but they waited patiently with me. In the front of the line. And they let me pick the seats (middle of the middle, STANDARD). This was my moment. I was too excited. I had too high hopes. This was going to be a sad failure.
BUT I found myself surprised. I really enjoyed this movie. But was it just nostalgia for my favorite movie of all time? Or was it really for this new movie staring my current celebrity crush, Mr. Chris Pratt? To be sure, I saw it again on Wednesday. And I liked it more. So it’s safe to say I truly did enjoy this new foray in the world of dinosaurs and the dreams of John Hammond.
Life will find a way.
And boy did it ever. We open with the classic zoomed in shot and watching of a dinosaur hatch. And then, we meet our children. Because what’s a dinosaur theme park without a dinosaur loving little boy and his big brother? Who are leaving they’re parents behind this Christmas to visit their aunt and Jurassic World. What a way to spend the holiday!
We follow the boys off to the park, viewing things as they see them. It’s surreal. This is the park that John Hammond dreamed about! It’s phenomenal. I’m in awe, just like Gray (he’s the little brother). And the boys arrive to find their aunt is busy and has sent her British assistant, Zara, to take care of them. What an aunt, right? And then we meet said aunt, Claire. With her perfect red bob and white outfit. Which, let me say, was so ugly. I hated everything about it. Except those shoes. Shoes on point. And she’s selling a pitch for a new dinosaur created from DNA splicing. And guess what? The dinosaur is ready! DA-DUM.
And so the plot of the movie is born. Indominus rex is bigger, better, and scarier. As they continue to tell us, she has more teeth. But just what is she spliced with, you ask? THEY WON’T TELL US. *Red flag, red flag* But boy, she really does seem to impress the owner of the park, Simon Masrani. He’s the quirky owner of the park (who knew John Hammond!) and wants to know how the dinosaurs feel and if they park goers are happy. (Claire doesn’t know because she’s into marketing and assets and live counts).
The key to a happy life is to accept that you’re never in control.
He was actually a great character. This generation’s John Hammond, if you will. And then we meet Owen, the resident movie hunk, aka Chris Pratt. He’s the velociraptor trainer (yeah, that’s a real plot line that wasn’t scraped in the many versions of the script that were created). Think of him like the killer whale trainers. He does point out that velociraptors are still animals and very dangerous. *Spoiler alert* They still get to eat people! But that comes later.
For now, Owen just runs some drills with the raptors and they ALMOST get to eat the new guy. Sadly, they don’t. But that would have been awesome! This is also when Hoskins comes into play in this movie. He’s the head of private security for InGen. Which, seriously, how is InGen even still around? That company should have crashed and burned after all their previous mishaps!
It’s around this time that the movie starts to build towards the inevitable running and screaming. Owen is asked by Claire to evaluate the new Indominus Rex paddock for safety. And that it’s revealed that they once went on a date. Which feels quite secondary to me, but it does add some comedy to the show.
And then the action starts. ASSET OUT OF CONTAINMENT! OH SHIT. But where did she go? NOWHERE. This is the dinosaur that ate her sister dinosaur. She has lived alone in containment ALL HER LIFE, lying in wait. And then she made a trap for the humans. OH MY GOD. And that’s where the edge of your seat jumping begins. Because Indominus Rex is clever and scary and out for blood. And, of course, she has a lot of teeth.
Depends on what they cooked up in that lab.
It takes the length of the film to find out all the different creatures that went into making up this spliced dinosaur. But I think we all knew there would be T-Rex and Velociraptor in there. And apparently tree frogs, iguanas, and cuddlefish. Quite the creature, Dr. Wu has created. Dr. Wu from the original films too! #throwback
Instead of evacuating the island (because these people NEVER learn), they decide to close the rides and send the guests back to the resort while trying to catch Indominus. Who devours the team sent to catch her. Which, DUH. Owen told you so. But nobody ever wants to just shut things down. SIGH.
And then we have the boys, who decide to disobey the park shutdown order and continue their adventure in the dinosaur park. First, why does this ride not have override controls so they can’t do that? Second, what is the range on this ride? Because they leave the ride enclosure and just go wherever. And third, who the fuck just gallivants in a DINOSAUR PARK when there’s an IMMEDIATE SHUTDOWN?! People who want to get eaten, that’s who.
LUCKILY, the boys are able to live with a little quick wit, a huge jump off a waterfall, and whole lot of luck. And thank goodness because Aunt Claire has just realized that they’re missing. And she and Owen head out into the park to get them.
Which brings me to one of my favorite scenes in the movie, the old vistor’s center. The boys go inside to hide from the dinosaur and find a way back to the park in one of the old park Jeeps, thanks to a battery from a car outside who’s owner got eaten. BUT, the point is, the music, the atmosphere, the scenery. It’s nostalgic. It’s not scary or funny or action packed. But it’s my favorite.
Just a few minutes after the boys leave, Owen and Claire arrive at the old vistor’s center just to be attacked by Indominus AND watch the new park owner crash and burn (literally), releasing the pterodactyls. Who are apparently VERY hungry for people. This leads to the scene showed over and over in the trailer of the guests being attacked.
Zara. Here we’re going to pause to discuss the woman that was supposed to watching Zach and Gray all day. Which, okay, she lost them for a little bit. When they went off and explictly disobeyed park rules. But they’re boys who actively wanted to get away, and she was on the phone about wedding plans. That’s right. My second viewing resulted in knowing that SOMEONE WAS GOING TO MARRY HER. Which brings me to the why. Why did Zara deserve the most horrific death scene in this movie? Not the tragiclly flawed owner of the park or an actual bad guy, but the assistant. Why did it have to be her who was snatched by flying dinosaurs, chomped on, dropped from above into water, picked up and dunked multiple times by the pterodactyls, just to be eaten by the Mosasaurus (that’s the big sea dinosaur). UNCALLED FOR.
It’s really brutal guys. But right afterwards, Claire and Owen are united with the boys. So a little happiness after that? That’s good right? And Claire saves Owen from getting eaten. Because she can still be a badass in heels. #appreciate
Following this madness is the raptors running next to Owen on a motorcycle. No seriously. It does make sense (well, kinda, I still wasn’t a huge fan of that story line) in context with the movie. And it leads to the big reveal that Indominus is indeed part raptor and able to get them on her side. And the raptors attack! Which, it’s raptors, I was gripping the edge of my plush movie theater seat.
And it’s nearly the closing of the film. Our main four are back to the front of the resort (queue giant shot of Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville), where they discover that InGen is making off with all of Dr. Wu’s research and embryos (SEQUEL SET UP GUYS). And where Hoskins gets eaten by a velociraptor. #finally
And then the final battle scene between the dinosaurs. I can’t even really describe it. The raptors turn on Indominus. Owen and boys try to hide out to avoid being eaten. Neither of these things work. But Claire has an idea.
Open Paddock Nine.
She tells this to Lowery (Jake Johnson). Do you remember the beginning? Do you know what’s in Paddock Nine? She lights her fare. And then we know. The Tyrannosaurus Rex. The scene is the best part of the finale of the movie. Claire running in her heels, flare in hand, T-Rex behind. The T-Rex takes on Indominus and, with a little help from the sole surviving raptor, he defeats Indominus. Or at least throws him down close enough to the water that the *spoiler* Mosasaurus eats him. Which was shocking to say the least.
And then they’re the closure scene where the boys are reunited with their parents. Claire and Owen decide to stick together and a sequel is efficiently set-up. I’ve just got my fingers crossed that background character and T-Rex paddock opener, Lowery, makes the sequel! Because Jake Johnson was an excellent addition to this cast and this movie!
But let’s talk about the final moment. The scene where the T-Rex does his roar on the helicopter pad. And we see those old scars, from so long ago. And we know, this is the T-Rex from Jurassic Park. He’s still the ruler of this island. Dr. Wu isn’t the only returning character. The king is still the king.
Life will find a way.