Welcome to Amelia’s not even close to objective and absurdly long winded ‘review’ of Jurassic World. Here are my obligatory disclaimers: I don’t work for anyone involved in this movie, I did not get paid to watch this movie, and did not watch an advanced screening of the product (unless you count the Thursday release, which was available to the general public).
We start off the film with some pretty stereotypical story tropes. You’ve got two very different children being sent off from their parents who we later find out are going through a divorce, and the romance angle set up with the exceptionally type A Claire, and the strong but quippy and laid back Owen. Honestly, I am absolutely okay with how predictable both of these arcs are, because I’m not here for a feel good family or a romance movie. I’m here for dinosaurs.
Dinosaurs were delivered. Feels, nostalgia, gratification and what I will call ‘AHMAHGAD YES Action’ were also.
-First of all, I need to freak out about the baby dinosaur petting zoo. I am an adult woman, and sitting in that theater watching these things reduced me to a wreck in my seat. Basically I just sat there crying and mumbling ‘Cera’. If you don’t understand that reference please go watch the first Land Before Time right now, because you obviously need more baby dinos in your life.
-We meet the raptors next. I am terrified of velociraptors. I have been since I was a small child and it is absolutely Jurassic Park’s fault. I am not only afraid of the non-historical raptors we see in these films, I am also terrified of what velociraptors actually were, which are kind of weird looking, feather donned death bird things. Keep that in mind when I tell you that I was already emotionally attached to these jerks going in. Why? Because stupid Owen had to NAME. THEM.
They did a stellar job keeping these things completely terrifying while still illustrating a bond between them and Owen. The idea of a velociraptor imprinting on a human is completely absurd, but once again, I didn’t care, because the semantics weren’t why I was there.
-Indominus. Rex. It’s impressive that they managed to up the ante on horrifically bad ideas after having three movies of bad decisions, but they did it! This genetically modified monstrosity was everything anyone could have wanted from the mad scientists who cooked it up.
-It was interesting to see them finally touch on a water dinosaur with the mosasaur. It was cool to see one, as this is a colossus of a beast, but there’s not really much opportunity to show the personality of a creature that’s mostly underwater and only in the film for about 2 minutes total.
-I only have one thing to say about any flying dinosaur of any kind: Birds. Are. Dicks. Yeah, I know they’re not birds. It’s fine. Has wings? Is a dick. The end.
Feels – There weren’t a ton of ‘feels-y’ moments in this film, but the ones that hit, hit hard.
-I have watched two brontosauruses die in my life. Both reduced me to a pathetic, sobbing, snot covered mess. How dare you make me watch Littlefoot’s mother die again. This moment was painful, touching, and absolutely necessary. Claire finally saw what her ‘assets’ were. Living, breathing, mortal creatures, and we saw her move from mostly robot to a living, breathing, mortal creature herself.
-YOU PUT THAT BABY TRICERATOPS DOWN RIGHT NOW YOU STUPID DICK BIRD!
-Why did he have to name the raptors? Why? Do you know how weird it is to be emotionally attached to something that gave you nightmares? Maybe you do, we watched the same movie, and I don’t know your life. I know mine though, and I was not okay in basically the last 4 scenes the raptors were involved in. Particularly when they decide to protect Owen, Claire, and the kids and several of them die from it.
Gratification – There were so many moments in this film here I found myself punching the air in glee, or doing that happy little theater chair dance where you try not to squee in excitement so you just wiggle like a fool.
-The kiss after Claire saves Owen from the pterodactyl (dick). No, we weren’t here for a romance film and it was 100% predictable and I don’t care because it was awesome.
-Owen punching Hoskins in the mouth. It was nice to see them depict Owen as the Alpha at multiple points throughout the film. It happens with the boys as well, but in this case, you’re threatening his pack and he’s mad, and watching a leader of InGen getting socked in the mouth is a treat for franchise fans both young and old.
-Hoskins getting eaten by a velociraptor was also extremely gratifying. Their hubris being the cause of death for any antagonist is always pleasing to see, and it was delivered in spades when his hand was chomped off. Knowing he was then eaten was just icing on the cake.
-Again with these velociraptors. When they turned against Owen and the rest of the humans after meeting the Indomenus Rex it was harder than expected. It was something that we all knew was coming, but when it happened I found myself not ready for him to lose his little raptor buddies. So it was exceptionally satisfying when they meet up again shortly after and not only do not eat Owen, but protect him, Claire and the kids.
-When the boys ask Owen if things are going to be okay, he doesn’t lie to them. It’s not portrayed as cruel, or a moment where an alpha role is trying to show them how bad the world can be, it’s just a moment of truth between him and the boys. A small moment, but an important one.
Nostalgia – Jurassic World won at nostalgia in the best possible ways. There were several moments where I found my eyes welling up because suddenly I was a 5 year old little girl hearing the theme for the first time, or seeing my first dinosaur on screen.
-John Williams is, in my mind, the best composer of our age. Is that biased? You betcha! I warned you at the beginning of this. 5 piano keys can reduce me to a weepy pile of fangirl, and I’m not ashamed of it.
-After the boys make their way into the new visitor center and meet with Claire’s stressed and dry assistant, you can see Mr. DNA on the screens talking to kids about the modification of the dinosaur’s DNA to make them what they are today. Once again, I’m 5.
-Zach and Gray walking in to the original Welcome Center from 22 years ago gave me a joy I couldn’t express. The grimy banner, the night vision goggles, and the jeep all had me grinning like a fool in my chair.
‘AHMAHGAD YES! Action!’ is exactly what it sounds like. There are some things I saved for this category that could have gone in other areas, but I wanted to save them for here because you obviously save the best for last!
-Owen riding a motorcycle with velociraptors. I’m sure there are people out there who think this is the most absurd thing, and they’re probably right, but look me in the eye and tell me that isn’t one of the coolest scenes ever. He’s riding a motorcycle with vicious death monsters all based on trust. Big nod to the first scene with him and the raptors as well.
-Claire saving her family. Her portion of this story is by far the one with the most growth, and I ate up every second of it. She starts of as the emotionless, type A robot lady, and ends the movie sprinting (in high heels! For the love of god will someone get this woman some sneakers!?) to get a T-Rex out of its cage to fight the beast that she allowed to be created.
-The final fight could be one of my favorite fight scenes I’ve ever seen. There was not a second of it where my jaw wasn’t on the floor, and it just kept getting more ferocious. It was emotional, honestly. First we are watching a one on one between a T-Rex and the Indomenus Rex, with the T-Rex essentially being the hero of the first film after saving Ellie, Grant, and the kids from the raptors. Because of this, and because the T-Rex is all that is protecting Owen, Claire and the boys, we are obviously rooting for her, and we watch her all but lose until Blue jumps in.
Let me repeat that: Blue, a velociraptor, jumped into a fight between a Tyrannosaurus Rex and an Indomenus Rex. My direct quote from my notes is “T-REX!!! BAD ASS RAPTOR!!! T-REX/BLUE VS IDNOMENUS! EPIC BATTLE”. It’s choppy for two reasons, the first being that I was staring at the screen while scribbling, the second being that IT. WAS. AMAZING.
So, that’s my very long, not objective at all, ‘review’ of Jurassic World. I obviously walked out of the movie filled with glee, and immediately wanted the next one. I can’t wait until we see InGen fall. I definitely hope to see Ellie, Ian, Grant, and maybe even the kids be a part of that fight. This is a battle that has been decades in the making, and I look forward to continuing to share the ride with you, fellow geeks.