Yesterday I saw the mid-June summer spectacle Jurassic World.
Brian (bdm) asked me to answer eight key questions about Jurassic World and my Jurassic World experience:
3D or not 3D?
I actually went out of my way to see the not-3D version. I’m not a huge 3D guy in general. 3D is hugely expensive plus I wear glasses already and so I have these awkward glasses-on-top-of-glasses experiences, for like two hours or whatever. Also I have a giant head. Also I can’t remember the last time I was actually impressed by the 3D-ness of a 3D movie over the regular version.
Anyway, I didn’t see Jurassic World in 3D.
Maybe it is just me but all I thought about during the commercials was James Cameron’s Aliens and Paul Reiser’s character. Every time Bryce Dallas Howard said “corporate decided” or referred to a dinosaur as an “asset” I winced. How many movies had their DNA sampled to make this thing?
It’s funny you ask that but I didn’t really register Aliens. I was thinking more superheroes. I didn’t actually see Spider-Man 3 (and I guess no one else did, either) but Bryce Dallas Howard was Gwen Stacy in that; and Chris Pratt was Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy; and I just got finished watching Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix… Where Vincent D’Onofrio plays Kingpin!
To wit, I didn’t see Jurassic World as being derivative of any specific movie beyond the really superficial macro tropes of scientific progress sometimes being bad, corporations [always] being bad, and the Venn diagram overlap of the two together making for the odd [zombie apocalypse].
Bryce Dallas Howard vs. Jessica Chastain…fight!
Jessica Chastain for sure. I wasn’t particularly sold on Bryce Dallas Howard in this one, actually.
Can Chris Pratt be a dramatic leading man/non-comedic action hero?
Folks are capable of all kinds of stuff that we don’t necessarily peg them for up front. When you first saw Chris Pratt playing a portly loser on the first season of Parks and Recreation did you imagine he was going to end up a musclebound superhero?
… You know, from just giving up beer?
Dan Schneider (the butt of every fat joke on Head of the Class thirty years ago) was declared “the Norman Lear of children’s television” by The New York Times. He went from being an overweight comic punchline on a middling situation comedy to a hugely influential tv guy and writer of Good Burger upon initial retirement.
In Jurassic World Chris Pratt wasn’t even that comical. He pulled off a largely straight implementation of the summer action star, and did so service-ably.
WHY THE FUCK WOULD ANYONE VISIT JURASSIC PARK AT THIS POINT!!!???
Jurassic WORLD Brian. “Jurassic World”, not “Jurassic Park”. Jurassic Park was a totally different amusement park that also happened to be situated on Isla Nublar, and also happened to feature genetically resurrected prehistoric monsters. Sure people died at Jurassic Park, but it is specifically stated in the movie that, say, wearing an original Jurassic Park t-shirt would be considered in poor taste.
This is twenty-two years later! To the customers at Jurassic World, riding a stegosaurus is no more novel than seeing an elephant at the local zoo. What kind of question is this (vulgarity and all)? What are you, the progress police?
Who wins in a fight, Indominus or Godzilla? Indominus or Iron Giant? Indominus or MechaIndominus?
For those who haven’t seen the movie yet, Indominus rex is the big danger of the movie; essentially a leveled up Tyrannosaurus rex. I hate to call her “the villain” of the movie, but she is certainly putting a lot of humans and other animals in danger.
Indominus rex can grow up to 50 feet according to Science Exposition Man early in the film; but the one running around the theme park is not yet fully grown. Even then, Indominus rex would only stand at about 18 feet tall. Godzilla (or Gojira to non-Philistines) was scaled to about 164 feet in the original 1954 film; as buildings in Japan actually got taller, future installments of the Godzilla franchise made for a taller monster (and even taller, say 400+ feet for American viewership given the larger American skyscrapers or suspension bridges). A Godzilla that is much smaller than the buildings around him is just less imposing. Point being, any version of Godzilla is much bigger than even a fully grown Indominus rex and can also expel some kind of crazy radiation dragon breath. Indominus rex has a keen head on her shoulders (and some cool abilities I don’t want to spoil) but I think she is just out-sized by even the classic 1954 Japaneze Kaiju.
The Iron Giant is 42 feet tall and also made of iron. We see Indominus rex messing up bulletproof glass and generally tearing up the furniture, but I am skeptical she would be well-suited in that pairing. I’d still pick not-Indominus on this one, while recognizing The Iron Giant’s kind heart might end up his undoing… You never know with these softies, made of iron or not.
And Indominus v. MechaIndominus? We’ll just have to wait for the sequel!
Best reason to see the movie?
The movie certainly has its moments. There is a nice long sense of tension where you don’t know what will happen next. There are some leaps in logic you might have to just accept, but I was personally comfortable shutting off my skepticism for the purposes of a popcorn afternoon with the kids. I liked Jurassic World well enough and would generally recommend seeing it if you’re in the market for an action movie.
It was also somewhat thought-provoking, but maybe not in the ways it was originally intended. I think that the director wanted the movie to be about the dangerous or dehumanizing ramifications of consumerism, rampant greed, and progress gone amok… But it was really ultimately about the shortcomings of shortsighted or lazy individuals. Most of the disastrous moments in the movie, the times when something went wrong that could have been avoided would have been avoided if someone just dotted an i, crossed a t, paid attention at his job, had one fewer doughnut, or kept one fewer secret. The highly successful people — exemplified by Chris Pratt of course — were characterized by quick thinking and a willingness to take actions others would never be flexible enough to think of, on the spot.
But the BEST reason (as with any project involving Judy Greer) is that Judy Greer was in it. <3 a Judy Greer.
Best reason to skip it?
I think if you are in the market for going to the movies, and for that matter going to a summer action movie, it is a perfectly sound choice. I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to see it if I weren’t. Heck, I haven’t even seen Mad Max: Fury Road yet!