Jurassic World {A Review}

Jurassic World ReviewThe classic film Jurassic Park was released on June 11th, 1993 – exactly 22 years ago as I type this. I was graduating from 8th grade, 14 years old, and couldn’t have been more excited to get to the theater. NO ONE had seen real dinosaurs before! This level of cinematic realism had rarely been seen in any film, let alone one about extinct animals we could only dream about.

THANK YOU Steven Spielberg.

I loved it. And I’ve watched it countless times since then. Even now, if I can’t sleep, I can pop in Jurassic Park, and within a few minutes the familiar score and script lulls me off to dreamland. Seriously. I can’t make this stuff up.

We’ve of course seen the two spin off films that followed. IMO, they’re the worst. Let’s press on.

Last night, my 15 year old, my husband and myself were able to pack into the AMC 19 in NYC with an excited crowd of industry professionals and their guests. We put on our 3D glasses, and off we went: To Isla Nublar, the Island of the original Jurassic Park, now home to Jurassic World.

(I’d like to mention that I’ve read a number of reviews trashing this movie for its weak script and parallels to the original. Let’s be clear. The script is kinda weak, and it is very parallel to the original. BUT it’s 22 years later! It’s made for our teenagers, and a new generation. So take those reviews for what they are – just someone’s personal opinion.)

I’ll set the stage. The film stars an Indiana-Jones-ish dinosaur trainer (Chris Pratt, whose abs were my 15 year old’s prime motivation for attendance), a shrew-like park manager with no time for fun, and 2 young brothers, on vacation (sans parents) to see their aunt (the aforementioned shrew). In order to keep park attendance soaring, investors want the ‘attractions’ to become more thrilling. Genetics engineers have been designing new DNA strands to make new dinosaurs. They’ve created Indominous Rex, part Tyrannosaurus, part a-whole-lot-of-other-things, and he’s massive.

I bet you can tell me what happens without even seeing the movie. It’s truly one of the most cliche movies I’ve ever seen.

A total homage to the original, the clever monster escapes its paddock, while the children are alone in the park, directly in the path of the ‘I. Rex.’ As a result, the following expected things happen: adventure, danger, narrow escapes, running from dinosaurs, high speed car-on-dinosaur chases, romance, crying, and young boys who are afraid.

“Should I go see this movie?” you ask. I say yes! The CGI is incredible. It’s beautiful and terrifying and captivating. We were lucky to experience the 3D version, and my family has mixed reviews about whether springing for the 3D ticket is worth it. I say spend the extra money on popcorn and watch it without 3D, or take one giant leap further and see it in IMAX. 

There were some comedic moments, and of course, a spark of romance between Indy and the shrew. It was a pretty clean film – a handful of swear words that start with b, d, and sh. I think there were 4 total. The PG-13 rating comes from the massive amount of violent deaths.

Everyone dies. Dozens and dozens and dozens of people. And not just worker-bees like in the first film. In Jurassic World, even some of the innocent park-goers with their grandmas and children perish in nightmarish ways. Little ones might truly be terrified watching people get stepped on, chewed in half, thrown, picked up and dropped, and clawed apart by dinosaurs of all kinds. There was audible shock and horror in the crowd over the nature of the death toll.

My 15 year old enjoyed the film (thanks, Chris Pratt), but thought it was pretty predictable. She watched the original film less than 48 hours before however. Kids who haven’t seen the original lately are going to love this sequel. My husband declared, “It was awesome!” He’s a bit of a geek… but he was excited, and so was his artistic workmate who came along with us. Boys will probably be way more into this movie than girls, probably due to the lack of a young female heroine, although the shrew does some pretty girl-power worthy stuff in the end.

I felt pretty mixed on the whole thing. I’m glad I saw it in theaters. It’s definitely better on a big screen. If you are looking for a great story, you’ll love it if you aren’t too familiar with the original. If you are looking for something really cool to watch – beautiful scenery; scary and realistic looking dinosaurs; adventure – this is the perfect summer film for you and your family.

I agree with the PG-13 rating. If you are a family who let’s their younger kids watch really graphic stuff, this film might not terrify them. But if they aren’t familiar with scenes that show people getting chomped up by wild animals, you might want to wait a few years.

I’d recommend seeing it in the first few busy weekends – it’s definitely more fun with a full theater of excited movie-goers. We were cheering and clapping and gasping and laughing… you’ll definitely enjoy this film with the energy of the crowd adding to the excitement.

Jurassic World opens June 12. Let me know your thoughts in the comments, below!

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