Down the Ballot

Monday, September 28, 2015

GSY: Jurassic World

*Please Note, this was written a while ago to give some folks a chance to go see it. I think three months is enough time. 

Dr. Ian Malcolm: Gee, the lack of humility before nature that's being displayed here, uh... staggers me.
Donald Gennaro: Well thank you, Dr. Malcolm, but I think things are a little bit different then you and I had feared...
Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, I know. They're a lot worse.
Donald Gennaro: Now, wait a second now, we haven't even seen the park...
John Hammond: No, no, Donald, Donald, Donald... let him talk. There's no reason... I want to hear every viewpoint, I really do.
Dr. Ian Malcolm: Don't you see the danger, John, inherent in what you're doing here? Genetic power is the most awesome force the planet's ever seen, but you wield it like a kid that's found his dad's gun.
Donald Gennaro: It's hardly appropriate to start hurling generalizations...
Dr. Ian Malcolm: If I may... Um, I'll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you're using here, it didn't require any discipline to attain it. You read what others had done and you took the next step. You didn't earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don't take any responsibility for it. You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could, and before you even knew what you had, you patented it, and packaged it, and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, and now
[bangs on the table]
Dr. Ian Malcolm: you're selling it, you wanna sell it. Well...
John Hammond: I don't think you're giving us our due credit. Our scientists have done things which nobody's ever done before...
Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should. 
-Jurassic Park 1993

I went to go see Jurassic World on opening weekend and decided to put off writing about it until now. It was a good production and the while plot made sense (for the most part). The acting could have used some work, but I think the main take away from this film is how much BIGGER everything was in it, when you compare it to the original Jurassic Park. 

Many reviewers have commented about how the relationship of the two films has mirrored the changes in movies and the movie audience. The director even states that this is a big part of what he was trying to express. It was as if they put all the carnage from the first three films into this film and it probably still left some people wanting more. The final fight scene is especially noteworthy in the need for MORE and BIGGGER action. 

Remember in Jurassic Park III when the T-Rex the and the Spinosaurus fought for like 30 seconds and the T-Rex lost? Fast forward and a fight between a T-Rex and this new dino that is part raptor, part rex part everything at some point is the entire climax of the film! 

The above quotes from the first film sorta sums up my overall feelings about Jurassic World and modern movies in general. Studios take these franchises and give them to directors that had little to nothing do with the creation of the franchise and blow them way up. Make them bigger, flashier, more special effects, but don't invest equally in the story. As if 'MORE TEETH' is suppose to more than make up for having a ho-hum story. 

 You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could, and before you even knew what you had, you patented it, and packaged it, and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, and now you're selling it, you wanna sell it.

 Now fast forward 15 years and a fight between a Rex and some mutant killer dino that can hide from sensors is fighting for like over 10 minutes! The whole climax of the film is dependent on the T-Rex beating the latest and badest dino. 

The human element of the plot was severely lacking. I was very much indifferent to the survival of several of the characters that I was suppose to supposedly care about. Bryce Howard (Aunt Claire) and many of the characters exhibited the same type of arrogance that got John Hammond into trouble in the first film. Even Pratt's character believed he had some ability to control the raptors he had been working with (he was wrong by the way).  

A film that spent over a decade in development and the results, as entertaining as they might be, spent too much time trying to preach to us about the nature of modern cinema, instead of focusing on a story and developing characters that people would relate with. The chemistry between Howard and Pratt was a bit forced. A touching part though was when the kids discovered the old visitor center, as far fetched as it might have been to get a 20 year old jeep working that had been sitting in the jungle. I did enjoy the story elements surrounding the covert-espionage stuff with the genetic engineering and the INGEN dino-tech development used for combat. 

The Dr. Wu character gained even more importance, especially concerning the INGEN and genetic engineering story elements. I'm sure we will see him in the next one. I do find it humorous that of all the characters to survive in the Jurassic universe for over 20 years is a character that dies in the original Jurassic Park book. 

Seeing the expanded park turn into an actual working park in the universe of Jurassic Park was also somewhat important to the story. It indicated that Hammond and his people, given time could have done it right, but just like their predecessors, they didn't learn much in the end. Kathleen Kennedy, a produce of the franchise mentioned in one of the behind the scenes extras in Jurassic Park III mentions that the audience needs to take a leap, in order to believe people would wind up on an island with dinos on it again. With the Wu character and the above plot device they now have a more reasonable and perhaps more compelling plot line to get people back onto an island with dinos on it in Jurassic World II (or whatever it might be called). 

This movie has long since left most first run theaters, and for all the supposed self preaching it does and so-so story, it is still an enjoyable movie. I hope it doesn't take another decade for the next one. 
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