Movie Review: Jurassic World

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Jurassic World is a luxury resort where, over the past years, people have come to see real life dinosaurs. Sure, they were once extinct, but, thanks to a little genetic DNA manipulation, scientists can whip up any dino they please. People are getting bored now of regular dinosaurs- as is the case of humanity. So, in order to keep attendance up, a new dinosaur is bred.

This dinosaur is the “stuff of nightmares” as the owner calls it. So we are introduced to some characters we are supposed to care about, a park where everything is going great, and a Indominus Rex that is smarter than everyone else.

Thankfully, it is in a cage. Until it gets out and starts killing stuff. Surprise surprise… I mean, seriously, what did you expect to happen?

Moral Messages

Two brothers/nephews are introduced in this movie, and they are the typical set. The hyper excited younger and the the girl chasing/depressed older. While their relationship is, at best, tolerable of each other, the various events with dinosaurs escaping bring them closer together and result in them sharing real, personal fears with the other. Likewise, Claire gets a wakeup call in the horrendous events of the Indominus Rex escape. She realizes her nephews and family are so much more important, that once they are reunited, she doesn’t let them out of her sight. The pain of divorce is touched on as well, giving this film a minor, yet solid approach on family values.

“Assets” are the parks main priority. As well they should be, as these assets are the dinosaurs people come to see. What appears to be forgotten, is these assets are living, breathing, and thinking creatures. Claire disregards this point that Owen brings up, saying “extinct animals have no rights.” Later on though, it is made clear through a dire scene that these animals may not have a human soul, they certainly have life, and should be cared for as such. Many relationships of man and beast in this movie asked excellent questions about the dominion of nature vs. being submissive to it. Ultimately, a well struck balance was found and was lacking in the typical progressive agenda which we find in other films.

How do you live a happy life? Claire is asked this question in the midst of her business speech. A man simply states “The key to a happy life is to accept you are never in control.” A quote like that should not be forgotten, especially in a movie like this. How true it is that man has no control over anything, and this is emphasized in Jurassic World. The people who try to hold onto everything and manipulate every situation often wind up unhappy (or dead), while those who live Hakuna Matata style wind up with that Disney happy ending.

Content Cautions

What would a Jurassic movie be without the carnivorous violence? A dinosaur zoo- that’s what. While I personally think that kind of movie would be awesome (Please Pixar?), apparently Hollywood disagrees. In the couple of hours we sit through this movie, all kinds of voracious violence ensues. The Indominus Rex kills her share of humans. We see several munched up off the ground waist up, others are clawed and impaled, some are crushed with her tail, and yet others are simply squished by her huge feet. She picks up a tourist filled glass ball with people inside and attempts to break it open. The death count by her savagery is easily exceeds three dozen, most of whom are military personnel who signed up to stop escaped assets such as herself.

But it doesn’t stop there. The aviary is broken open by a crashing helicopter (all men die in said copter), and the Pterodactyls wreck havoc upon the civilians trying to escape the park. Many are grabbed and dropped in the air. Others are pecked to death. Some even are impaled by beaks of Pterodactyls who have been shot down by the park security. Unfortunately, one woman in particular is not only hoisted in the air by the flying beasts, but fought over by two of the dinos… only for the Pterodactyl and the woman to be eaten whole by a huge Mosasaur (Whale-type Dino).

Let’s not forget the Raptors. Those wolf-type creatures who are way too smart for their own good. This results in messy blood spattering deaths in not only the woods, but also in the lab where the raptors track the last of survivors down. In one particularly gruesome scene, a man’s arm is bitten in half, then the rest of him attacked.

Finally, in case the CGI Dinosaurs eating people wasn’t enough, we are treated to a full our monster mash of dinosaurs battling and beating the complete life out of each other. It is a terribly spectacular fest which leaves you in awe of not only what we can do with technology, but also what it might have looked like thousands of years ago had these beasts met.

Expletives are proficient with about a dozen S and D words, A man is called an A, another mention of a B word. God’s name is used in vain seven times.

There is one extra-marital kiss, and a crude reference of mating with another.

Closing Thoughts

It truly is remarkable how a single movie can alter the course of the film industry. Jurassic Park did that in 1993. This long awaited sequel by the fans of the original is nothing short of a beautiful and well told CGI spectacle teasing back and tipping the hat to the “glory days” of the first movie. This film delivers on all fronts when it comes to a telling a quaint and simple story, while feeding the masses’ bloodlust for more bone crunching, more explosions, and more dino action.

While there is so much more to be dug up in Jurassic World, that is where the flick leaves us. Instead of exploring greater into the depths of some pretty heavy themes that are merely touched upon… We are given humans being juggled and torn apart by pterodactyls. The same old themes in the old movie are resurrected, and once again, trampled.

While themes of family bonds are showed to us by the two brothers, nothing lasting is established. Claire and Owen wind up together, against all odds of complete clashing of persons throughout the entire film (spoiler alert). The film isn’t such a “clever girl” to be honest, while it could have been. All the musings about life control and the state of nature disregarded as the Indominus Rex takes the screen.

But while we are being honest, no one going this movie wanted a discourse on the morality of genetics now did they? Who is going to go see a movie where everything goes right in an abusive dinosaur zoo? No one in this generation, that’s for sure. So, if you want to see more things going wrong, more humans turning into snack food, and a really cool scene where raptors team up with Chris Pratt riding an old motorcycle… Yeah, this movie is for you.

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Movie Review: Jurassic Park

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What if we somehow, someway, could bring back dinosaurs? What color would they be? What would they sound like? How would they act?

John Hammond has found a way to bring dinosaurs back. With all of their secrets. Through DNA preservation, filling, and extensive scientific genius he has created a park. It is filled with Dinosaurs of all kinds, and has grand and glorious expectations of making it an incredibly profitable theme park. Think of a Zoo, on steroids.

So he brings in a panel of people to review his masterpiece. Some love it, some hate it, and some… want to steal it. Regardless of their opinions however, a storm comes through and kocks out the power grid containing all the dinosaurs on the island. Including the T-rex, and Velociraptors.

Now it is a perilous and mad rush to escape the island. The predators have other plans however. It becomes a fight of survival of the fittest. And who is more fit? Man, or Dinosaur? These poor folks are about to find out.

Things I Liked

While the first thing you think of when hearing “Jurrasic Park” may be Dinos eating people, there are some postive elements in this movie. The largest one is probably the view of man manipulating nature. John is accused of Playing God in the movie. Taking an extinct species, rebuilding the DNA, and releasing them back into the wild. All for the purpose of making money in an amusement park. The consequences of these actions are profound, and it is very telling of what happens when man thinks he knows better than God in how the world should operate.

Another character, Dr. Alan Grant, had this thing against kids. Through the movie however, we see him stuck with two children and he learns kids aren’t that bad. He also risks his life on several occasions to save the children, which takes guts, when the attacker is a T-Rex. He and his assistant, Ellie, are people of character who continually put themselves in harms way to protect others.

Things I Didn’t Like

This movie is famous for a reason, and that reason is not from acting, a powerful story, or otherwise. It is famous because digitized Dinosaurs run around, chase people, and eat them. In this movie, I was surprised how low the body count was, but revolted at how those few bodies went. One guy is poisoned in the face, and then jumped on by little dinosaurs. A man hiding in the bathroom is picked up by the T-rex and viciously shaken back and forth, we hear his back snap, and then watch and the T-rex swallows him whole. Another guy, hunting a velociraptor, is tricked by the beasts and pounced upon. Lastly, we see the remains of a man. That is- his bloody arm, in a particularly tense scene.

Otherwise, there is a lot of chasing in the movie. People are always running from something, and while it may sound ridiculous on paper, the music score combined with dark sets makes a particularly scary experience. There is cursing, and God’s name is used in vain as well. Some derogatory crude speech is used, and a man is reprimanded for saying he should go outside to get something, instead of a girl.

Closing Thoughts

“God creates dinosaurs, God destroys dinosaurs, God creates man, man destroys God, man creates dinosaurs.”

Jurassic park has three prevailing themes. One, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Two, never try to play God. Three, don’t fight dinosaurs- they always win and get lunch at the same time.

John had an idea and pursued it wholeheartedly. However, he failed to think about the impending consequences of such a plan. One thing we can be reminded of when watching this movie is to really think through our actions and to take the feedback we are given. He didn’t, and the results were terrible.

The idea of “playing God” as quoted in the movie was fascinating to me, as they clearly rejected such a Creator when speaking of evolution. When things got serious though, it was incredible how quickly they resorted back to the idea of a supreme creator who has a hand over all nature. In our age of incredible scientific advancement, it would be wise to consider this movie when attempting to do this which indeed are unnatural. They disrupted the state of nature, by bringing from the dead dinosaurs using genetic manipulation and cloning. Something our society is pursing today.

But while these themes are excellent to consider and put forth in a persuasive fashion, it is that persuasive attempt which makes this movie about as appealing as meeting a velociraptor in real life. Granted, most of the time people are being chased around with great background music, the few deaths which are shown are gruesome and terrifying indeed. And if you aren’t careful- you start to enjoy seeing these massive beasts “live” in the world which they are placed. The hunting, and the aftermath.

In short, Jurassic park is a great idea conceptually, but when it hits the picture, instead of seeing a film focused on man’s mistakes and learning from them, you see for about an hour people getting chased, killed, and eaten by dinosaurs we have only imagined. The message, already small and weak, is crushed by the prehistoric predator’s actions in relating and dining on humans. The movie is no walk in the park, more like a mad rush through a dark alley.

Expecting at any moment, that one predator is going to jump out, and get you.