I have a deep connection with the Jurassic Park series. I loved dinosaurs when I was little, and can still tell you all about Ankylosaurs, Diplodicus, Dromeosaurus, Allosaurus, and of course, Tyrannosaurus Rex. I had posters, toys, books, you name it, I was into it if it was even remotely related to dinosaurs. I credit Jurassic Park (the book) and Michael Crichton with sparking the fire that burgeoned into the inferno that is my love of reading. I was seven years old when I read Jurassic Park for the first time. While kids my age were reading about Maniac McGee and his pre-teen exploits, I was trying to wrap my head around genetic engineering and Ian Malcom’s addiction to morphine. But I loved those damn dinosaurs, and I loved the book.
I was so so excited for the movie to come out in 1993. It’s one of the few moments I can look back on and still feel a tingle of the pure joy you get as a child when you’re incredibly happy and nothing else matters but that happiness. I remember my mom took me to see it the weekend it was released, and afterward we went to Toys ‘R’ Us and I picked out the T-rex toy with the dino-damage around the ribs. I loved that thing, and kept it for years.
So now with the backstory, you understand my skepticism about a sequel 20 years later. But it was good. Really good. Not great, but really good. It managed to entertain me, bring back some of the nostalgia for the original, and give me a glimmer of that youthfully unblemished joy. It’s the sequel the original we were all waiting for, and definitely deserved. Some of the plotting is…novel (no pun intended) but at least makes a modicum of sense. Do you need to suspend some disbelief? Like an unruly child from a prep school. But they don’t jump any sharks, everything at least gets an explanation or some exposition, and also…dinosaurs.
The theme park feels real and expansive, and the nods to the original are tasteful and noticeable to an avid fan. It feels like they took some time to think and imagine what Disneyland with dinosaurs would feel like, and they hit the nail squarely, right down to the corny celebrity instructions included on the rides and the kiddie park where you can ride baby dinos. Militarism rears its ugly head, as does the danger of Over-Science, which I also felt to be a nice homage to the thematic elements present in the original book but glossed over in the original movie.
You’ll love Chris Pratt being Chris Pratt. Bryce Dallas Howard is very entertaining as well, and their sexual tension came off as hilarious and real, not forced. It was nice to see Vincent D’Onofrio enjoying a career renaissance in following up a great go-round as the Kingpin in Daredevil with a pivotal villainous role in a blockbuster, and B.D. Wong’s return as Dr. Henry Wu…nothing short of epic. But that might be the nerd talking.
Once more I endeavor to not reveal anything too plot-related Hopefully without that, you’ll still take my word that this movie is good. Made me feel like an anxious seven-year old again, a few minutes before it started, and delivered the action, suspense, and breathtaking visuals that made the first so memorable. This one had a little more humor in it, but also higher-stakes in terms of lives on the line, so the dichotomy fit quite well.
All in all, I give Jurassic World 4-out-of-5 Theme-Park Construction workers. Cuz that fifth one was way overweight, and we know he didn’t make it.