So yesterday we went to see Jurassic World, or as it could more accurately have been titled, The Little Velociraptor That Could. The relentless unstoppable killing machines of Jurassic Park have been rehabilitated into adorable little killing machines, who obey Chris Pratt because he’s so amazing. Of course, this is only to make way for an even more fearsome enemy: the Indominus Rex, which is basically what you’d get if you asked a seven year old boy to design a dinosaur. It’s bigger, fiercer, and more cunning than anything we’ve seen before. Of course, we’re only about twenty minutes in before it gets loose. Chris Pratt, the park manager, and her two plucky nephews must fight for survival against pterodactyls, the Indominus Rex, and incredibly inappropriate shoes.
Before I get on to how much fun it all was, I’d like to cover the things that I thought could have been improved. The set up at the beginning was rushed. With so many characters to introduce in such a short space of time, we were limited to a few touches per character. Sometimes I felt this worked well – the portrayal of the brothers didn’t leave me wanting them to get eaten, which was an improvement on Jurassic Park. Chris Pratt was, as in his other films, an engaging lead. However, I felt Bryce Dallas Howard’s character swung to the wrong side of caricature, and her assistant could have been a cardboard cutout labelled ‘pterodactyl bait’ for all the characterisation she got. For Howard, I did like that they took a career woman and made her somewhat sympathetic in the end, but the parts at the beginning, where she hadn’t seen her family for seven years and couldn’t make a rough guess as to her nephews’ ages, made me roll my eyes a bit. If you’re the sort of person who invites your nephews to stay for several days, you’ll have at least bothered to see them every few years. And then, of course, there’s the fact that she does the whole film in heels. You can’t tell me that an overplanning career woman wouldn’t have had a pair of hiking boots stashed in her truck just in case.
Even given all of these caveats, I loved the film. Part of that is because of the velociraptors. I defy anyone to watch the scene with Chris Pratt on a quad bike surrounding by his raptor pack and not want one of their own (whether the one is a raptor or a Chris Pratt is left to the reader’s preference). And when the plucky little raptors took on the Indominus Rex, I wanted to jump out of my seat and cheer. But my heart belongs to a very different beast. The film is stolen early on by the appearance of a creature that isn’t even a dinosaur. The mosasaur is a marine reptile, which grew to up to fifty feet in length. Of course, here that translates to about two hundred feet, but that’s two hundred feet of pure awesomeness. From its first appearance, my thought was: what this film needs is MORE MOSASAUR. And, at the climax, that’s exactly what we got.
So my verdict on Jurassic World? Does exactly what it says on the tin. As long as the tin says: ‘Contains awesome dinosaurs. Warning. May cause evisceration.’