Format Reviewed: Cinema Release, June 2015 – IMAX 3D
4.5 out of 5. Pretty darn awesome! Some minor nitpicks aside, it’s a great and fun movie.
WARNING: some light character-based spoilers.
Dinosaurs, ladies and gentlemen, are cool. Fact.
Dinosaurs in 3D IMAX? Even better!
The feeling of nostalgia when THAT theme tune come on. Just lovely.
Suffice to say, I rather enjoyed Jurassic World. Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt held the story well. Without giving too much away, the park is open and has been doing well financially for the past few years. But the “same old” attractions don’t keep the crowds from coming back, so they have to come up with something new to get the feet through the door. And it all goes horribly wrong.
Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) is the current manager of the park, who has to oversee everything; and I mean EVERYTHING: staff, guests, security, the dinos, current financiers, new investors, research and development. Despite being clearly a successful businesswoman, who must have worked twice as hard as anyone else to get where she is, she is given the obligatory guilt trip for not yet having procreated (because clearly a woman cannot possibly be fulfilled in life, or congratulated, on merit alone), and for wearing the wrong shoes (pardon the office attire – we weren’t expecting the apocalypse today!). She still manages to kick-ass and save her two unruly nephews (Nick Robinson & Ty Simpkins), and works with Owen (Chris Pratt) to mitigate the disaster; and quite frankly deserves a medal for not breaking an ankle in 4-inch stilettos (she *could* have changed them at one point, which seems like a missed opportunity). Speaking of the kids, why were they sent by themselves in the first place? Claire’s sister clearly knew that she wouldn’t have time to look after them herself day and night, but instead chose to berate her for it from afar, instead of supervising her own children. They clearly knew they weren’t to be trusted on their own. Interesting family dynamics!
Then there’s Owen. His character is almost that of a more “feminine” park ranger type, in that he has a more emotional connection to the animals compared to the business-oriented manager role, here taken up by Claire. Owen has learned to respect the dinos and even interact with the Velociraptors in particular – see all the trailers! He’s built that relationship on research of the behaviour of predators in the wild, his military background, and most of all, trust. So in this respect, we still have the stereotypical gender-roles, but they have been switched up and mixed up to make them stand out. I’ve seen other reviews where the Claire character has been criticised for being “cold” and “unfeeling” towards the animals, but there is little mention (or credit given) to the more emotional aspects of Owen. Which just enforces the fact that no matter what the female role is – she’s somehow in the wrong! Were Claire’s role played by a guy, would he also be criticised for being cold, dispassionate and businesslike? Or is that expected, and therefore okay? I think it was refreshing to see the more sensitive side of Owen, and the work-focused Claire. These are just as realistic as character types as the reverse.
Of course the primary stars of the show are not the humans, but the dinos themselves. I can’t believe the film-makers made me get “the feels” for a Velociraptor! You just want to hug them – but extremely quickly, then run a mile..! This was the first time I’ve been to an IMAX 3D showing, and it was definitely an immersive experience. The crowd around me seemed to melt away, and I was purely focused on the movie. If there hadn’t been a reflection of the IMAX logo from the back of the theatre in view on my 3D lenses (I had to wrap my hair around the glasses to block out the reflections), then I would have completely forgotten where I was. The 3D imagery wasn’t overly “gimmicky”, it felt just about right. Enough depth to make you feel as though you were looking into the world, and enough times when things flew at your face to get the excitement level up. Mosasaurus vs shark = fun! T-Rex, check. Raptors, check. Nostalgia, check!
Put simply, if you like a good/scary/funny action movie with lots of running, shouting and above all, DINOSAURS, then this is definitely the one for you! Catch it in 3D if you can – and if your eyesight allows!
Header Image: That time when I faced-off with a Velociraptor at a convention. Good times!