Jurassic World is a unique movie for a number of reasons. It’s a sequel to all the previous films of Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and Jurassic Park III, but at the same time it’s feels most like a direct sequel to the original Jurassic Park. This is a very good thing because this is what helps brings back the feelings associated with the original movie, but not just for nostalgia’s sake.
Jurassic World takes place 22 years after the events of the first film which they just refer to as the “incident.” Sometimes later returning to the same island as Jurassic Park, InGen is able to successfully create the theme park that John Hammond had envisioned and expand it into a thriving theme park with thousands of visitors at a time.
Despite shots to the contrary (because the park always looks INSANELY full), we’re told that the park attendance is in decline and InGen is desperate to unveil a new attraction/dinosaur to make attendance surge again (Really they need to just look at other sponsorships or other operating costs because there are already way too many people). InGen’s solution to getting people back into Jurassic World is by instead of just bringing back actual dinosaurs from extinction, they would actually create one of their own. Not only that but they decided to make this into a fearsome predator called the Indominus Rex.
Before opening the attraction to the public, the new head of InGen does one smart thing and asks for an expert to come in review the cage for the Indominus Rex to make sure it would be safe. The head of operations at Jurassic World, Claire, brings in Owen to judge the cage for it’s readiness. Owen is currently in InGen employ and has been training a set of raptors to obey commands. However, the meeting is a little rough because Claire used to have short relationship with Owen when they tried to date.
At the same time that all of this is going on, Claire’s nephews are visiting Jurassic World as weird attempt to have a family vacation before their parents divorce even though the parents are back on the mainline (supposedly settling their divorce but it’s never clear). The two brothers, Zach and Gray, try to have a fun time while waiting for their aunt Claire to finish her business even though she doesn’t seem to be in any real hurry for them to reunite. After a few attempts, the brothers are able to shake their chaperone and go on their own.
Owen and Claire make it to the Indominus Rex cage and discover that the Indominus is more dangerous than they originally thought. It turns out that InGen had infused the DNA of the Indominus Rex with several different abilities like camouflage, thermal body temperature control and more. But somewhere along the way, the military wing of InGen that wants to use bioengineering and dinosaurs as weapons but the abilities in the Indominus without telling anyone and once the Indominus does get loose, still refuse to tell them everything that the Indominus Rex can do.
That is just one of the dumb decisions that follow in Jurassic World. The Indominus Rex gets loose and starts to go on a rampage, first through the off-limits portion of the park and then breaking into the public portion. As Jurassic World tries to protect the park visitors without letting them know that a super deadly dinosaur is on the loose, Claire’s nephews also break the rules and travel through the restricted area and encounter the Indominus.
With the Indominus free, setting dinosaurs loose, and killing others, the bad decisions begin to compound, making this disaster much worse than “The Incident” 22 years prior. Thousands of park visitors are in danger with no real way off the island and all crammed into one relatively small space.
Now I realize that I make it sound like all the bad decisions ruin the movie, but honestly that’s not the case at all. Just like the original Jurassic Park, without bad decisions there would be no movie at all. At least some bad decisions had to have been made in order for the drama to take place. But there are several issues that could have been resolved along the way.
One of the biggest was once the Indominus Rex was out, all the abilities of the dinosaur should have been revealed (though being able to change body temperature probably would have been a good one when building the cage) once it got out and endangered people. Things should have started to be evacuated. I’m surprised that they weren’t required by law (though might be outside of nations) to have enough boats or places to get the people to safety. Though this is the kind of thing that you’d grow to expect from the Jurassic Park franchise. They prepare in some ways but never in the ways they should.
That’s not all that the movie does well to play on nostalgia. There are several scenes that are recreated in the film to pay homage to the original movie. From a John Hammond statue in his classic pose to Claire being dressed in white, to chase scenes recreated, and much more, a lot of the film seems familiar but different enough to stand on it’s own so it doesn’t get bogged down. While not a perfect movie, it’s one that’s definitely fun and as the box office of this summer has proved so far, it’s one that has resonated with audiences. Do I even think it’s the best movie of the summer? No. But is it fun and one that you should see? Heck yes. We give it a four stars out of five.
Note: If there is anything you want me to go more in-depth on, I’d be happy to do so. Just let me know in the comments.