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Movie Review: Jurassic World

Spoiler scope: I may mention specific events that happen in this movie, but this kind of movie is pretty difficult to spoil.

In a few words: Sweet dinosaur action, I found it exciting. Lots of awful Hollywood tropes. Worth seeing at the movies if you’re into the action, would probably not be nearly as enjoyable at home.

I really enjoyed this movie. It had me on the edge of seat at times, and I loved some of the action scenes.

That said, this movie is riddled with awful Hollywood tropes, and seems a bit like a paint by numbers Hollywood movie (where they happened to get the animation and action scenes right), to the point where it could be mistaken for satire.

It stars a little boy (say about 10 years old?) and his slightly older brother (about 16?). This adds a moralistic element to the movie – it’s not just an awesome movie about dinosaurs attacking humans, there’s the lessons learned, a coming of age.

I found myself thinking ‘Couldn’t they just make the movie without this crap?’.

But actually I think I get it. The movie studio is out to maximise profit on this movie, so firstly, it can’t be an R rated movie, they simply don’t make as much money, which means no F-bombs or nudity in the movie. Secondly, you need to put kids in the movie, so it looks like a kid’s movie and the parents take the kids along to it.

I think the original Jurassic Park did this better. It had kids in it, but only as one facet of the story. This actually made it a bit more credible, as well as less sickly sweet.

The level of violence in the movie raised an interesting point, in going along with this family-friendly theme. In one scene all these flying dinosaurs have been released and they attack a large crowd of people.
I watched with close anticipation – in a family friendly movie do you show the wholesale slaughter of innocent people?
What they did was showed people being knocked over by the dinosaurs, or picked up and dropped; there was one shot that panned off where it looked like a guy was being pecked to death.
There was also an elaborate scene showing the kid’s babysitter being picked up by one of the flying dinosaurs, taken through the air, and then the giant sea dinosaur jumping out of its pool and eating her and the flying dinosaur. In the flying dinosaurs scene, this was the only explicit death of a innocent person.

I felt this was quite unfair to the babysitter – I think they should have built the babysitter up by making her quite mean to the kids, and this would have been a much more satisfying scene.

The movie also went to lengths to show how the park had been turned into this highly commercial theme park, full of crowds, screaming kids, and a detached experience. It showed several scenes demonstrating various dinosaurs being used as rides, or feeding.
This did have the effect of making me feel ill and over it.

One thing I enjoyed was they put in several references to the original movie. The original park is referenced several times, in hushed tones because it was a tragedy of course. The kids discover the old visitor’s centre, complete with the night vision goggles, and the original jeeps, which they get working.

Overall the dinosaur action scenes were very well done and enjoyable and made the movie enjoyable to watch, but at the time I couldn’t help thinking, ‘I wish they’d just make this an adult movie for the people who saw the original as kids, and leave the moral tale out of it’.

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