It is only fair that I preface this review by stating that I am a diehard Jurassic Park fan; I was seven years old when Jurassic Park was released in 1993 and for some inexplicable reason my parents actually took me to see it in theaters, knowing that it would certainly cause me nightmares. Those nightmares came to fruition but they were the best nightmares I’ve ever had and my love of video games and action figures immediately went to the back burner to make room for all things Jurassic Park in my life. I read the Michael Crichton novels shortly after seeing the movie, bought all the Jurassic Park toys I could find and used them to stage my own dinosaur fight club. Suffice it to say, I have been looking forward to Jurassic World since the moment I first found it was being made.
When I saw Jurassic World last night I went into the theater with very high expectations and when the credits rolled at the end of the movie I realized that not only did Jurassic World meet my massive expectations, it managed to vastly exceed them. Honestly, if you are a fan of the original Jurassic Park and you are reading this review, chances are you are going to truly enjoy Jurassic World. It is also worth mentioning that unlike some movies that are released in IMAX that aren’t worth paying the surcharge instead of seeing it in a regular non-IMAX theater, Jurassic World is a film that really needs to be seen in IMAX to get the full experience that director Colin Trevorrow intended.
Jurassic World is by far the best movie in the Jurassic Park franchise since the original 1993 film. The storyline completely ignores the other two sequels (The Lost World, Jurassic Park 3) the way that most Jurassic Park fans will probably ignore those films after seeing Jurassic World. It was almost an out of body experience at the movie theater seeing it in IMAX; I was so completely enthralled in the film that during some of the more suspenseful parts I realized I wasn’t breathing. I was fully entertained for the entire 124 minutes of cinemagic (cinematic-magic). The film did exactly what I had hoped going in which is provide the viewer with the feeling that they were actually visiting the park, a park which is far grander than even John Hammond could have imagined when he built that first Jurassic Park. The first hour of the movie provides scenes developing the characters of both Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen (Chris Pratt) while also following along Claire’s nephews Zach and Gray (Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins) as they arrive at the park and get a VIP experience enjoying all that the park has to offer. Colin Trevorrow really did a magnificent job making the viewer feel as if they were actually visiting the park themselves, while also balancing the character and plot development that was needed to make the second half of the movie possible. The last twenty minutes of the movie is one of the most memorable scenes of pure entertainment bliss that I’ve ever seen. It is so wild that not even a diehard Jurassic Park fan like myself could have ever imagined.
The worries that I had going into the movie, primarily around the Chris Pratt character training raptors like show ponies, quickly faded away. Fortunately, the raptor training was handled perfectly and was about as realistic as possible for a movie that’s entire premise is based on something completely fictional. The chemistry between Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard is not the best I’ve ever seen but it is certainly more than adequate for what it needed to be in this film. The character Lowery (Jake Johnson) is really an amazing character in the film and provides a very unique and refreshing point of view. The acting was great. I never thought to myself, “Chris Pratt deserves an Oscar nod for this,” but I also never saw anything that made it painfully obvious that they are just actors and not the actual character on the screen.
Let’s be honest, the movie is really about the dinosaurs and they are everything I had hoped for and more. There was a great mix of CGI as well as animatronic dinosaurs that reminded me much more of Jurassic Park than it did The Lost World or Jurassic Park 3!
If I had to say one thing about this movie to the readers it would be this, get off your computer/tablet/phone etc. and get yourself to the closest theater so you can experience the cinemagic that is Jurassic World!
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