Cast/Crew: Directed by Colin Trevorrow, Story by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, starring Chris Pratt as Owen (raptor trainer) Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire (JP’s manager).
Plot: Jurrassic Park has been re-opened as the popular tourist attraction, and well, it wouldn’t be any fun without the Dinosaurs getting free.
Thoughts on the movie:
• I gotta get this rant out of the way: This movie has absolutely no shame when it comes to on-screen advertisement. Claire uses execu-speak about marketing and sponsors (this doesn’t make it ok!), as we see the Samsung Information Centre and obvious shots of the jeep’s Mecedes logo. We’re talking multiple, long, shameless shots. It makes me think this film was already in profit before they started shooting. It fits to have Jurassic Park merch (they have that too) but wow, it was overboard – they never let you forget that this film is a money-making exercise.
• Now! The dinos do in general look pretty great. Unfortunately the film is 95% CGI dinos, which is a real shame – CGI always looks worse over time, whilst animatronics tend to look better. Using almost exclusively all CGI make it difficult to wow audiences.
• Although they have white protagonists, there’s the indian owner, the asian swat-team leader, black head of security guy, so they make a play for most of the demographics. They smartly have two kid protagonists, the younger Gray, who loves dinosaurs, and the sarcastic, interested high-schooler Zack; so moviegoers can identify with one of them. They throw in a divorce sub-plot and a ‘let’s stick together’ deal. Similarly Claire’s arc is becoming less uptight and learning to….love?
• Chris Pratt’s character is a cool, charismatic dino-wrangler, a raptor whisperer. His backstory and how he’s at the park in general is hurried over, so he feels quite out of place/over the top with respect to the rest of the characters. Amongst a lot of corporate types he’s some old western throwback. He plays off the fussy, work-obsessed, corporate Claire. He carries this movie! Real fun character.
• Judy Greer (mother of the two boys) starts crying on cue during a phone call, it’s hilariously thrown in there.
• I didn’t appreciate the owner being so lax and ignorant towards what his employees/scientists are doing. When things go awry he starts wagging his finger, which I felt was real heel heat. He’s the guy in charge, he makes the decisions, he asked for genetic splicing for new, bigger, scarier dinosaurs. He’s no-one else to blame!
• There’s also the evil American wanting to use the Park for his/America’s/the army’s nefarious means (straight out of Avatar). Yee-haw! (*shoots off guns*)
• Main dino is the new genetically-engineered “Indominus Rex”, a cocktail of different animal/dino-genes. It was a bit meta of execs thinking the T-Rex wouldn’t be “good enough”. Thought they did a good job of holding off seeing all of him to build anticipation.
• The film rips off some famous TV/movie camera-moves (eg Hitchcock’s the Birds) which I thought were grand.
• It’s always great to hear the main/old-school Jurassic Park theme being used. They do something I always love in movies, re-visit sets of previous films. The kids poke around the last building in the first film and find objects from the first film. Love it.
• There’s multiple heel and face turns (and not just humans) which was a bit cringey but hey. It’s a movie about a Dinosaur Wildlife Park!
• The tone is a bit serious and lots of darkness with not much wonder, despite being PG.
• I quite liked the ending action scenes, although there’s a few MASSIVE plotholes/leaps of faith you’re asked to accept before the credits roll.
Overall: I enjoyed it, but not something I’d be aching to see twice. Great to see dinos in a huge lavish affair, could’ve done without the shameless advertising. It’s the 2nd best JP film (behind JP1, which is one of the greatest movies of all time) so good job! I’d definitely recommend watching. In the cinema if you can, too.