My wife and I ran out last night to see the new Jurassic Park movie, Jurassic World, and I have to say that we were both pleasantly surprised at how much we liked it. As a huge, lifelong dinosaur fan, I was planning to watch the movie only to see the dinosaurs. I wasn’t expecting a good, entertaining movie. So I went in with low expectations, and walked away absolutely thrilled!
When the first Jurassic Park was released back in 1993 I was going bonkers as I looked forward to its release. The book by Michael Crichton was a huge success, and it was being directed by Steven Spielberg, so my expectations were crazy high. A whole movie about dinosaurs!!! Needless to say, it was a world-wide hit, grossing more than $900 million upon its original release, and has eclipsed $1 billion since. The movie immediately became one of my five all-time favorite movies- not only because the dinosaurs, but also because the musical score, written by John Williams, was awesome! Most of the actors- especially Jeff Goldblum- were genuine and helped advance the script; the plot and storyline were well done, there were some great lines, lots of suspense, and it was perfectly entertaining.
Unfortunately the sequels weren’t nearly as good. The second movie, The Lost World, and Jurassic Park III were horrible. I couldn’t stand the acting or storyline, even though the dinosaurs, of course, were wonderful. The story, dialog, and characters were disappointing, even with some of the original actors who did their best to salvage it.
The other night I even watched the sequels when I found a marathon on tv, but it only reminded me of how much I couldn’t stand them. Maybe part of it was that I had read the sequels before the movies were released, and I loved the novels. And, as you probably know from your own experiences, the book is always better than the movie. So perhaps the movies never had a chance to meet my expectations. But, nonetheless, the only good thing about the sequels were the ever-so-cool dinosaurs and the havoc they wrecked.
And that leads us to the new release of Jurassic World! Yes, it was definitely worth the price of admission, and I’ll be watching it again- this time without any reservations.
Now that’s not to say that the movie is cinema magic. It’s certainly not as good as the original Jurassic Park, but it has plenty of suspense, action, twists-and-turns, and enough mojo to satisfy. I didn’t care for any of the actors much; none of them blew me away with their performances, and I don’t expect any Oscar nominations. Many of them were simple cardboard characters, but they worked. The movie started off slow, and I found a few scenes that didn’t make sense, so there’s plenty to be critical of, but for me, I was able to get around all that because of the sheer entertainment and “wow” factor. I went in with low expectations and was blown away. Another plus were the many nostalgic moments, tying the original movie to the present as if we were transported back in time.
As far as evolution goes, there were references to it, but not as overt as I had expected. None of the dinosaurs had feathers, so I have little to complain about. Had the movie had an agenda to turn the dinosaurs into birds, I would have been turned off, but they didn’t, and for that I’m thankful. However they did make a reference to dinosaur-to-bird evolution during the opening of the movie when the camera was zoomed in on the feet of what appeared to be a dinosaur, but when the camera zoomed back, it was a modern day crow, and if flew away. That was a turn-off, but that was the worst of it.
There was plenty of violence and lots of people being eaten, so be cautious about taking children. But if you simply want to be entertained, then I think you’ll love this movie. And if you love dinosaurs, you’ll love this movie even more!