All original written content is (c) 2015 Mike Pascale. Visual content is (c) its respective owners. Bru-Hed is a trademark of All Ages Media and Mike Pascale.
NEWBIES: If this is your first trip here (welcome!), here’s the QT on what these reviews are.
THIS WEEK: A new age has dawned–one that allows better CGI to justify returning to Jurassic Park! The dino-theme park is back up but needs a new attraction every few years to please shareholders. So they mess with nature with (of course) disastrous results. With a family issue/bonding thrown in as usual. This time, Bryce Dallas Howard is the no-nonsense cold b***h/management exec/career-focused aunt who lets her two nephews run loose in the park, while Star Lord Chris Pratt is the dinosaur-whisperer/former navy first date/alpha-male-trainer who has to play hero. And yeah, there’s an obvious corporate baddie thrown in as well.
Written by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly (story by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver) from characters by Michael Crichton. Directed by Colin Trevorrow.
- Amazing, astounding, awesome, take yer pick of adjectives–they all apply to the creatures and effects. Unlike the first JURASSIC PARK, there’s no let down of CG due to lack of available technology. (One of the things that kept me from getting into it back then was the way the dinosuars moved, plus in some scenes, the Raptors looked like they weighed 40 pounds.) This one lives up to the first one’s hype.
- Action abounds, as you’d expect. Lots of great chase scenes, from different perspectives.
- There’s a ton of dinosaurs. Big ones, baby ones, cute ones, mean ones, slow and fast ones, fighting and flying ones. Like you need more?
- Casting is good. Pratt is superb (as usual). I’m sure some critics will try to pan him as being close to his Star Lord character, but they’re noticeably different. His Owen character isn’t as much of a wiseass or as vulnerable. But still likable and believable as the hero. Howard’s Claire shows believable change and growth.
- I would love to see the Mosasaurs meet Shamu!
- Comic fans will recognize Claire (Howard) as a redheaded version of Gwen Stacy from SPIDER-MAN 3. Movie watchers will recognize CEO Simon Masrani (Irrafan Khan) from LIFE OF PI and SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.
- Speaking of Howard, she looks a lot better in a tight skirt than her director dad Ron or her actor uncle Clint. Especially when she opens up the blouse! Nice. Never gets torn off, unfortunately. (Ladies will be disappointed that Pratt’s shirt stays on as well.)
- Prehistoric version of Hitchcock’s THE BIRDS. Keep your head down when fleeing in panic!
- Really gives a feeling of being in a legit amusement park (thanks in part to using a New Orleans Six Flags as one location) and all the fun stuff that goes with it, including souvenir shops. I really want to try one of those Gyrospheres!
- For once, the product placement makes perfect sense and actually adds to the story. (“Verizon Wireless presents the Indominus Rex!”) Anyone who’s been to a park this century will get it.
- The bits of humor are overall genuinely funny. Nice dialog exchanges with Pratt and Howard.
- Lots of nods to the original movie, both verbal and visual. (No spoilers, just look for ‘em.)
- There are two “didn’t see that coming” moments toward the end, but are believable and a ton of fun!
- Did I mention the dinosaurs?
- The family subplot with the kids and parents is touching but superficial. They had to have it for pathos and it kind of shows.
- No button during or after the credits. Wasted a perfect opportunity to do a takeoff of the MGM lion with a dinosaur in the JW logo! Also, at no time do we hear, “I am Groot.”
- A couple characters I liked didn’t make it.
- For parents: Only one (unnecessary but funny) use of the “s” word I that I can recall, and a few “b” words. Of more concern are the “people as chew toys” and “people as Dino Chow” scenes that might be too intense/bloody for some young ‘uns. But no flying severed heads or stuff like that.
- I’m no dinosaur expert but I’m pretty sure Pterodactyls and Pteranodons didn’t weigh more than 100 pounds and didn’t pick up anything larger than fish. And there’s probably a lot of other liberties taken with the dino-source material. But historical accuracy rarely looks as cool in a movie.
- Some of the plot points may seem contrived for some viewers; “X happens only because Y needs to happen” type of thing. But to me it was minor. Just enjoy the ride.
Like you need me to tell you? Other than AVENGERS (and maybe MAD MAX), there’s no other movie this year more worthy of the big screen treatment. Don’t be a cheapass waiting for cable or Netflix. Get yer butt off the couch and see this on a giant screen with the best sound possible and immerse yourself in the adventure! You can then buy the DVD later for all behind-the-scenes and how-they-did-it stuff. I’ll let others debate whether this is as good/better/worse than the others, but I had a great time. And so will you. The park is open!
P.S.: How about an ORIGINAL ART commission of a cool dinosaur or superhero or hot babe or hot dude? Pascale will rock your world, Jurassic or otherwise. Just ask Craig here!
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of Wednesday’s Heroes, Mike Pascale, Steven Spielberg, Michael Crichton, or archeologists with guns. Bru would like to see even more sequels with Cretaceous or Triassic worlds!