The Horror Honeys: JURASSIC WORLD: Welcome to Your Genetically Modified Childhood

JURASSIC WORLD: Welcome to Your Genetically Modified Childhood

A Monster Honey Roar-worthy Review by Jennica

Jurassic World (2015)

Upon hearing the news so long ago that there would be a fourth film in the Jurassic Park franchise, my eyes lit up as if it were Christmas morning and that glow of excitement only became stronger after the release of the trailer. Last weekend, my agonizing wait finally came to an end. 

As I sat in the theater with overwhelming anticipation, I watched as a few people entered in search of their seats. And then a few more people came inside, and then a few more, and then a whole horde of people. They kept coming. Even though I didn't know any of those people, it was strangely like a Jurassic Park reunion. There were grandparents there who likely took their kids to see Jurassic Park twenty-two years ago, and now their kids were taking their kids who weren't even alive when the adventure first began. It has been quite some time since I've sat in a theater for a movie that has something to offer every generation, every age group. Honestly, it was refreshing.

Although this fourth instalment didn't have much competition from the previous two sequels, it absolutely blows them out of the water. It fact, it allows its audience to completely forget the existence of the mediocre sequels before it. With the exception of a few shortcomings in the screenwriting, Jurassic World (2015) was everything that I could ever have hoped for in a return to the island of Isla Nublar.

ARE WE THERE YET?
ARE WE THERE YET?

The Plot: Two decades after Jurassic Park closed its doors presumably for good, Isla Nublar is back up and running as John Hammond's vision has been restored and improved. With upgraded means of transportation as well as never before seen attractions, business is literally booming at the newly named Jurassic World, at least for a little while. When attendance begins to slow down, the voice of the park Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) instructs her team of scientists to give life to a genetically modified dinosaur. It's part T-Rex and part... something else. Stronger and far more intelligent than any other living thing on the island, this scaly beast quickly climbs out of confinement and to the top of the food chain. This is the part when you're supposed to run. 

On the surface, the plot of Jurassic World appeared to be solid. Because of course InGen would want to go back to the drawing board and redesign Jurassic Park! They're scientists! It's in their blood to continue trying to perfect an initially failed plan. What concerned me, and I can only hope all of the parents in the audience as well, were the onscreen parents of the two boys visiting the island. 

Now, I know that many kids travel solo because I was once one of them. I got on my first plane by myself at the age of eleven. It's not a big deal. You hug your parents, get your own set of wings pinned to your shirt, and everyone says "how cute" as you board the plane. But I have to question the sanity of the parents in Jurassic World who put their kids on a plane by themselves to spend time with their estranged workaholic aunt on an island full of dinosaurs. Really, what could possible go wrong? My inner child says that these are the coolest parents ever, but my adult self is contemplating how to explain that sort of situation to Child Protective Services. This is why I'm a firm believer that people should be required to have a special license to reproduce.

My kids are so going to get eaten. 
Briefly staying on the subject of faulty screenwriting, I can safely say that Chris Pratt was dealt the worst dialogue of any other actor throughout the movie, not to mention the whole idea of a person being hired as some sort of velociraptor whisperer is just too unbelievable. As Pratt's ridiculous line in the trailer suggests, "I gotta eat. I gotta hunt. I gotta [enter first pump here]." These are sixty-five billion year-old carnivorous beasts with killer instincts, not household pets. 

Jurassic World may not have the perfect plot or the highest quality writing, but I think it's important to remember what the Jurassic Park franchise was about when it began twenty-two years ago: getting lost in a fun, thrilling adventure. And this fourth film does not waste any time to turn back the clocks and remind its older audience members what it felt like to be a small frightened child in a dark movie theater. The moment I saw those giant, sharp-clawed feet firmly planted in front of a car with a park employee hidden underneath, my mind and the rest of me were on another plane. I was four years old again, frozen in my seat, awaiting the toothy monster's next move. 

While the previous two sequels only slightly referenced the first film, Jurassic World left pieces of my childhood scattered around every corner of the park. And it's done in such a way that made me overwhelmed with joyous nostalgia and at the same time somewhat saddened by the way technology is often used to make staples in my childhood more appealing to today’s children. I could get mad at the latter, shake my fist, and tell those darn whippersnappers to get off my lawn. But that is the reality of things. Mr. DNA is no longer amusing enough, so we have to plaster him on a touch screen that is likely covered in tiny sticky finger prints. But I digress…

"I'm still cool, right, kids?"
Instead of giving away all the delightfully memorable moments of homage, I'm only going to address one very special tribute to Jurassic Park, or rather a tribute to a very special man (and for once, I don't mean Dr. Malcolm). What caught my eye in the very beginning was the newly restored laboratory where we first saw the baby raptor poke its adorable little head out of an egg, warning of the danger ahead. And in big shiny letters, a sign reading "John Hammond Creation Lab." I'd like to think that somewhere Richard Attenborough is grinning from ear to ear.

Cheers to you, John!
Overall, I found myself mostly uninterested in the renovations to the theme park, InGen’s idiotic militant plans, and the genetically modified test tube dinosaurs. My love for Jurassic World stemmed from my infatuation with Jurassic Park and the drops of nostalgia being served in a petri dish. If all the fond memories were stripped away from this fourth installment, would I still have been so invested? Perhaps. But I might have rolled my eyes just a little harder.

As many have speculated, the conclusion to Jurassic World was left open to the possibility of yet another sequel. However, no matter how much I thoroughly enjoyed my return to Isla Nublar, I really hope a fifth installment never makes it to the silver screen. I want to remember the island just the way it was left this last time.

Fangs for the memories!

Jennica’s Rating: 4 Dinosaur Teeth out of 5


Have you also made the journey to Jurassic World? 
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