Jurassic Park was one of the first films I ever saw, I was tiny when it came out but I loved it from the moment my mum put it on. I’ve been obsessed with dinosaurs since before I could walk or talk and that ain’t going to change any time soon. One of my first crushes was on Ian Malcolm, I had a full set of the toys with dinosaurs that made stamping sounds when you hit their feet and growled to the actual Jurassic Park cars and the dude who died on the toilet.
Easy to say that the original movie was the movie of my childhood and it went on to spawn two sequels (Lost World and Jurassic Park 3) that would define the rest of my childhood and teenage years.
Yes I thought I’d tell you this because Jurassic World could be the movie that defines my adult life.
Let me first say how dare they not give me at least twenty minutes notice that the classic Jurassic Park theme was going to be used, it nearly made me cry hearing it, just hearing little bits of it hidden in the trailers made me want to cry hearing it in the movie really did make me snuffle back tears.
And that really summed up the film for me. There was nostalgic moments that made me want to cry and got me pumped up but then failed to deliver anything more.
I want to make it clear that I enjoyed the movie well enough but I have to say I left the cinema after watching it feeling blessed that Jurassic PARK was my childhood. The story of the first movie was just so much better, I didn’t like the over the top park that they created or the very “zoo” like feel. I always felt the dream of Jurassic Park was to make much more of a safari feel to it, seeing animals in their natural habitats (kind of) in vast fields and being able to enjoy them being them. Jurassic World features petting areas where you can ride baby triceratops and a pool with a Mosasaurus doing tricks to a applauding audience. Whereas the first movie felt like a bunch of humans made Dinosaurs real again and the Dinosaurs then went on to BE Dinosaurs that wanted to live the way they are programmed to Jurassic World made them into circus animals.
That wasn’t really what made me slightly disappointed with the film. The small scale feel of it was what disappointed me. Yes I just said Jurassic World felt small scale.
All three of its predecessors felt like you were travelling islands full of all these different kinds of creatures, all intelligent in their own way, all deadly but beautiful. It brought to life creatures humans never thought they’d see alive but you could believe that someone had sold their soul to bring a cast of Dinosaurs to life for the film. Seeing the amount of Dinosaurs on vast fields grouping together or running from packs of Raptors or the giant T-Rex… It all felt real and it felt like they had Dinosaurs of whatever kind running around.
Jurassic World hardly cares about the Dinosaurs themselves. I think that was the point of the whole film though, as humans apparently we want bigger, badder and more teeth so instead of giving us herds of Brachiosauruses or Dilophosauruses running around we got to see not much else. Because what the customer wants is a big BIG bad to watch just kill a load of animals for fun. Unfortunately with all the modern technology in the world the Indominus Rex just was boring. None of the Dinosaurs looked as good as the Dino’s in the original three movies and there was no moment that made my heart race.
We have Raptors turned into nothing more then a pack of dogs following Chris Pratt’s character Owen’s every command, the genetically put together Indominus Rex, we have a half hearted attempt at a T-Rex to do battle with the Indominus at the end, we’ve got puny little Triceratops being ridden on by kids a hologram of a Dilophosaurus and a bunch of dead Apatosaurus’s. People have praised the work on the Dinosaurs but I never felt they were real. And you can say that its because I’m older and know more about how movies are made but it isn’t. I can still sit down and watch the original three movies and feel that the Dinosaurs are real, the better CGI gets the more, even with added animatronics, the heart of the things they create are lost.
With all that said it was just a typical blockbuster movie. The cast were good if not great, Chris Pratt stole the show but it also felt like he was in a different movie from everyone else. Bryce Dallas Howard was great as Claire and her character was wonderful but seemed to fade from being the main character to nothing much back to being a main character way too often. The kids Zach and Gray (played by Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins) had no real characters and failed to live up to all the child actors in the previous movies (especially the original pairing of Tim and Lex) and I think it’ll lose that kind of innocence that the other child actors/characters brought to their movies. Again it seemed to be a theme of the whole movie that kind of “seen that don’t care any more” attitude of the world today but for me it just killed some of the magic. Gray as a character so very nearly lived up to his predecessors but fell short.
Never in the whole movie did I feel like anyone really felt scared of anything. Especially with a park full of people it just never really got to that individual level of fear you had when walking with Grant or Malcolm or running with Sattler. There was no character you honestly cared for enough for their death to effect you like the other movies, then again for a movie with so many people being attacked there was a lack of deaths due to Dinosaurs in the main cast (Hoskins was one but because he was such a idiot it didn’t really matter, Masrani nearly had you care as much as Hammond did but died way too early.)
I guess what I’m trying to say is that Jurassic Park (and for me Lost World and JP3) all felt HUGE but focused on such a small group with such tight scripts that made you fall in love with the characters and feel a certain amount of dread whilst watching them try to survive.
Jurassic World felt so SMALL but at the same time cast its net so far with characters that none of them really became important to you.
It is a great movie though for me though as a kid who loved Dinosaurs and who just adored the first movie and is one of the rare people who love the two sequels as well it had a lot to live up to. Unfortunately for me it didn’t live up to that standard and mainly that is down to just how different films are today then they were when I was a kid. We want bigger movies with bigger action and badder bad guys and I feel they’ve forgotten that what made films like Jurassic Park so good was that it had a tight little cast in a world made believable by acting, good scripts and wonderful animatronics and it wasn’t so much the Dinosaurs being big and bad that made the original such a classic film but the fact that from the moment it starts to the moment it ends you believe it could happen, you fall in love with the characters, you feel their joy at seeing these creatures, their fear of being chased by them and the Dinosaurs aren’t just monsters they are creatures. Bloody scary ones. Scarier because they are so intelligent.
As good as Jurassic World is it goes for the big bangs without any of the substance underneath it.
Still though. Dinosaurs.