Most kids love dinosaurs, or at some point in life have been intrigued by the idea of the large monsters among them. My inner child still does, so twenty-two years after having seen the original Jurassic Park movie, I watched the first three movies again with my girlfriend, as preparation for its most recent incarnation:Jurassic World.(JP4)
The movie starts from the same premise as the original one (building a theme-park with dinosaurs), but unlike the original, this theme-park is already up and running, and welcoming over 20.000 visitors a day. However, as the mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm noted in Lost World:
Oh, yeah. Oooh, ahhh, that’s how it always starts. Then later there’s running and screaming.
and so it is in Jurassic world. Everything is peachy, until the genetically engineered Indominus Rex (or the King that can not be mastered/tamed) escapes and runs rampage on Isla Nublar. The representation of a commercialized dinosaur theme-park is scarily realistic: With a type of kids-farm like section, where little children can hug small dinosaurs and ride baby Triceratops’s, shops selling merchandising, rides through the park and animal (feeding-)shows. Also the modern trend to use abstractions (as euphemisms) to describe negative experiences and events, turns out rather painfully realistic with the automated warning messages to inform the tourists of a “containment anomaly“, when in fact the aviary is breached and the escaped pterodactyls are about to start pecking the above tourists to death.
In addition to the stunning computer animated dinosaurs (ignoring the debate about whether or not they would need to have feathers to be scientifically accurate**), this latest installment of the franchise also contains quite some references to the previous three movies.
- Mr DNA (from JP1) is present in the interactive tutorials and games of the theme-park, teaching kids about DNA.
- Someone getting squashed under the foot of a Rex (JP2: Carter’s dead body is dragged along several steps)
- Almost getting crushed by your mode of transportation (JP1: The chase scene with the jeep falling out of the tree, JP2: The caravan-truck hanging over the cliff, JP3: Airplane falling out of tree, and JP4: gyrosphere being crushed by the I. Rex)
- The final “battle”-scene contains a T-Rex, and the T-Rex claims it’s role as King of the island.
- The evil/opportunistic get eaten by the dinosaur of their own choice (JP2: Peter Ludlow by the T-Rex on the ship, JP4: Hoskins by the raptors which start by taking of his arm, remember Ray Arnold’s arm) …With this in mind the character Zara, must be extremely evil since she gets eaten twice(first the Pteranodon which soon after becomes a snack for the Mosasaurus).
All in all, Jurassic world delivers what one should expect, a few hours of dinosaur filled entertainment. However, why it is sold as a 3D movie, I have no idea other than the 2 € extra we had to pay for our tickets…the “3D experience” was entirely irrelevant for the movie, and it clearly shows the movie was not build around the idea that it needs to be seen in 3D. Other than that, I can only say I enjoyed the entertainment, and was only slightly confused the Mosasaurus didn’t eat the public during the show.
**Note that in the Jurassic Park universe, the missing pieces of dinosaur-DNA are fixed by putting in DNA of modern animals. This could be used as a loophole to explain why the dinosaurs in the movies do not have feathers. In addition, if you are running for your life from a raptor, the fact that it has feathers or not is the least of your worries 🙂