Saturday, June 20, 2015
What Jurassic World Did Right
You know what made Jurassic World a much, much better movie than the previous two sequels?
- A high-tech amusement park is a much more interesting setting for a disaster movie than the middle of an anonymous jungle. Seeing Jurassic Park realized -- with working attractions, guest rooms, gift shops, everything -- is fucking amazing.
- It's about something. It remembers that the original novel was a story about the hubris of humanity and the folly of attempting to control nature, and it delivers on those messages even more strongly than the original film did. The Indominus Rex is a living symbol of everything we do wrong. It was created as a commercial product, it kills for sport, and in the end, the thing that destroys it are the (comparatively) natural dinosaurs.
- It's about people. The characters aren't given quick setups so that we can spend more time watching them get eaten. We recognize these characters. We understand what motivates them. We care if they live or die.
- The fan service. Henry Wu was cut back dramatically from the original novel to the original film, but now he's back, and we get to see his true colors. They visit the original, abandoned Visitor's Center and show us all the things we remember. And Mr. DNA hosts an interactive educational presentation.
- The raptors get their proper respect. I'm not the only one who was rolling his eyes when the idea of trained velociraptors was floating around the Internet, but they got it right. The raptors aren't tame. Their loyalty is uneasy. They are dangerous, and they command respect.
- The big dinosaur fight isn't five seconds of the T-Rex getting her ass kicked.
- You can forget that The Lost World and Jurassic Park III ever happened and just go from the first one to this one without missing out on any necessary continuity.
- It is fucking amazing.