Friday, June 12, 2015
Lightning has struck twice this year, my friends. I often complain about how action sequences haven't done it for me in a long, long time. I'll watch an elaborate car chase, explosion-heavy war scene or tricked-out superhero vs. villain battle and just feel bored. It's all like "been there, done that" for me at this point.
Until last month with Mad Max: Fury Road. And again this week with Jurassic World. Two totally different kinds of films—the former having truly changed the game and the latter being pretty much the definition of a popcorn movie—but all that matters to me is that I loved every minute of watching both of them, and that's something I can't say about any other recent action/adventure titles. I should probably mention here that I have no nostalgic feelings about the original trilogy, so there wasn't any of that factoring into my enjoyment of the film. This isn't the Star Wars franchise to me, by any means.
Having said all that, does it really even matter if I tell you what Jurassic World is about? No. Plus, you already freaking know what it's about: people being stupid (again) and dinosaurs wreaking having on those stupid people (again). It's a great combination, even though the dino mayhem far surpasses the idiotic human stuff in terms of entertainment value. And I'm not ashamed at all to admit that I was rooting against mankind for the majority of the movie.
Almost nothing of importance has changed plot-wise when comparing Jurassic World to 1993's Jurassic Park, except that this time it's 22 years later, the rebooted theme park has been operating successfully for years, and there's a guy named Owen Grady (Chris Pratt, in full "Hire me as the next Indiana Jones" mode, not that there's anything wrong with that) who's been attempting to train four Velociraptors with "positive reinforcement" techniques, much in the same way that I tried (and miserably failed) to train my black lab years ago.
So I truly had no issue with Claire overall, but the character I thought was most ripped out of the Movie Character Stereotype Handbook was Vic Hoskins (Vincent D'Onofrio, who I still can't believe is the same guy who played Thor in my beloved Adventures in Babysitting). Vic is the head of security and is all about weaponizing the dinos. He relishes the death and chaos when things start going horribly wrong. In other words, he is the Evil War- and Violence-Obsessed Villain.
And that's all fine and good, because watching these people (plus many other minor characters it's pointless to mention here) deal with the repercussions of humankind's greed, arrogance and inability to learn from the past was absolutely thrilling. The dinosaurs looked great, they sounded great, and everything about them was incredible. They're what's worth the price of a ticket, and thankfully you won't have to sit through too many human-only scenes. Michael Giacchino's spectacular throwback score and shots of the gorgeous island of Oahu (specifically Kualoa Ranch) are worth the cost admission, too.