(might contain light spoilers. I did my best to keep those minimised or otherwise mark them. Enjoy!)
Haven't had a movie review/babble for quite some time! And now that i've watched the fourth installment of the Jurassic Park franchise i felt like doing something like that again. Why Jurassic World? Because it's the bloody Jurassic Park franchise, man. I bloody LOVE Jurassic Park, may it be the book or the movies. The original movie is kind of holy to me (yes, with all its derp moments and Spielberg kinks, but man, it is still a masterpiece okay and its groundbreaking CG effects still keep up if not even look better than some of the shit we're so used to see today. And yes, i'm also one of the few persons who also loved the „Lost World“-sequel with all its quirks. I just find the third one awful) so this one was kinda important to me - even more so since i went to cinema with strong, mixed emotions.
Because yes – i was, in fact, super doubtful about it when the first rumours spread. Still having the awful Jurassic Park 3 bomb in mind and being not a great enthusiast of sequels in general (as most of them tend to be just bad) i wasn't sure if i actually wanted to see another Jurassic Park installment in the first place. Another „people run from dinos and get eaten“? Sigh. Been there. Another „CG in your face“? Yawn. Done that.
But as more and more got revealed and the first teasers came out, there would suddenly be curiosity and actual interest to join my general feeling of doubts. The actual park being realised, 20 years later, just like Hammond once imagined it? That didn't feel like just another bad sequel as the third one. That actually felt like something with the slight potential of, more than anything else, being an actual homage to the original. Okay then, let's give it a chance, i thought. Let's see what they did.
And truth be told: It was a homage with many humble bows to the original in many ways, and not a bad one as that (not as bad as the third installment at any rate).
In fact, i actually had a pretty good time watching it.
Was it a perfect movie or as good as the original one? No, of course not.
Did it have flaws? Oh, you bet it has! I found the majority of the characters quite mediocre for example. Unlike the original Jurassic Park, where every character was fleshed out and so unique (man, i even couldn't simply hate on Nedry/Newman because...“Ah ah ah! You didn't say the magic word!“), with Jurassic World it was just....meh. That bad fat InGen-guy: Forgettable. The two boys: Not really memorable. The new dino hybrid monster: Not worth mentioning. Though, seeing Omar Sy was quite the nice surprise, Sy's awesome. And Dr. Wu definitely was another surprise that kinda felt like meeting an old „friend“ again (though, „friend“ is a relative term considering everything that's revealed about this character here, especially at the very end. Also, random Jimmy Fallon cameo, wth).
Did it have over the top silly moments? Pfsh, you have no idea! Especially the last third was so full of Wambo!-CG that i had to think of Peter Jackson's King Kong for a moment (not to mention a kissing scene, so awfully kitschy and cliché that i had a hard time believing they actually did that)
And yet, it also has moments that i really begin to like this movie for. It has these bows and nods to the original, little things that make me just pleased.
Or even not so little things like the literal comeback of the one and only T-Rex at the near end of it all (the way getting there being a great and super-satisfying homage itself; GO, rocket flare!), where it gives the newest antagonist in the line, the Indominus Bitch hybrid, the glory by reminding us all who is and always has been the real OG in the whole franchise. In fact, that scene felt like as if the makers wanted to apologise for the disgrace the T-Rex had to take in the third movie, where it was ingloriously killed off by the Spinosaurus just like that and make „things right“ again (don't get me wrong – i also love the Spino, but seeing T-Rex getting owned like that was something that i couldn't bear with for the longest of time).
And then...the raptors. The raptors!
That' what really got me here and what i actually wanted to share my thoughts about in the first place. The raptors (or the Raptor Squad, as they are better known in the Internet). Prepare for some dedicated babbling about my lifelong raptor love. You've been warned.
No, i won't drop the tiring „but-they-are-scientifically-so-inaccurate!!“-bomb, because, seriously; this issue has been brought up so often by now and we all know that raptors actually had feathers and so on, blablabla. I actually stopped caring about that in this case for quite some time because i see the Jurassic Park raptors as simple movie creatures, just like i'd see any other animal from an animal horror film as a movie creature and honestly – as simple movie creatures/monsters, i love these raptors just as much as i loved them back in the 90s. They never meant to be accurate here, so why bother.
A part of the reason that makes Jurassic Park so dear to me is that it not only sparked my enthusiam for dinosaurs in general (like it did with so many i'm sure) but my absolute love for the dromaeosaurids. And although the movie's top seller always was the T-Rex, it were the raptors that would have a special place in my heart. For me, they were the real secret stars of the whole franchise.
I don't know why exactly, but actually, i always found the raptors to be so much more terrifying than a T-Rex or the later Spino (or, the new Indominus Bitch). With the first film, it wasn't the incoming T-Rex with her skill to make waves appear inside a water glass that make me shudder. No. It was that claustrophobic kitchen scene to give me nightmares. Later, with the second movie, it also didn't take a pair of T-Rex to freak me out. No. It was that goddamn terrifying bird view on men running through high grass, approached by silent and deadly raptor silhouettes. Again – i would get dreams of that, one of them being so intense that i actually still remember it nowadays, so many years later (i was running through the night forest, hiding behind trees from these raptors, pumped with adrenalin (me, mind you, not the raptors)).
I still fail trying to figure out why i feel that way. Perhaps it is the raptor's medium size combined with their speed, stealthiness and intelligence. A Jurassic Park T-Rex sure has an impressive size and mouth, but you can hear it long before it appears and it can't follow you into a kitchen or cellar. A Jurassic Park raptor can.
While the main big dino-antagonist would change in each installment (first one being a T-Rex, second one two of them, third one a Spino and the fourth one featuring a fantasy hybrid. Notice how the makers raise the Sayan power level with each movie), it was the raptors to be the only real constant thing, and at that, having a prominent role/appearance in each movie. They didn't just serve as the secondhand bad guys of somesuch. They were the ones to open doors, the ones with that certain hissing sound, that would make an Ian Malcolm freeze with horror in the sequel and an Alan Grant majorly think about in the (horrorful) third movie. They always had this one big, terrifying, major part. And i just loved that. So it's only natural that i had some of the biggest concerns about the raptors and their role in the newest film.
The first time i saw the Raptor Squad running beside Star Lord in the teasers, i was extremely unsure whether i could buy that. Trained raptors? Why would you even train them in the first place? Those things can bite your head off after all (and no, i see lions and tigers as a complete different pair of shoes). It just seemed like such an odd idea. Another thing that concerned me about this was that this move could possibly take away that „something“ that made the Jurassic Park raptors so frightening – seeing them all trained and with names (though, i dig these names. „Echo“, what an awesome choice to call a raptor!)
But as soon as they appeared on screen – i was hooked.
The way they looked up to Star Lord, feeding them and clicktraining them; I couldn't help but go all OMG JUST LOOK AT THEM inside. Sure, i still had my concerns about the whole thing through-out the most part of the movie (until the last 30 minutes where the kind of twists would kick in and convince me/take over my emotions), but it was drowned out by my sheer sympathy for how the raptors just acted. And well yeah – then, there were these twists coming in – the first and than the second. And boy, these scenes involved, mashed together with Star Lords relationship to „his“ animals were actually some of the most heartfelt of the whole movie, making me going from „Aw noo!“(surprised-this-is-bad-tone) to „Aw man“ (empathetic-tone) to „AW NOOOOO!“ (protesting-tragic-don't-die-tone).
„Raptors to the rescue“. „Blue to the rescue“. Boy, i could have squealed with joy at the whole thing (i'm sure that with the raptors, this could also be seen as quite the fanservice moment of some sorts but oh God, did it work out for me. Because yes, me, with being a person loving raptors so much, it filled my heart with the biggest delight to see Blue, the Beta animal going „HEY BITCH“ at the Indominus critter, having this total badass moment – and coming to the rescue, kicking it's ass and helping out the T-Rex in that big showdown fight. Ahhh. Hhnnng. YES. Gimme).
All i can say is that i ended up admiring how the raptors turned out here, which is a reaction that i would have never thought of me, especially for this movie. It was unexpected and new. It could have backfired pretty much and i'm certain that for some people it will backfire, but it worked really great for me. Again, i just love how the raptors always had and still have this constant part in every Jurassic Park movie and how they undergo that sort of evolution and development in each film. In this one, the makers took them to yet another level and i like how they made it. The raptors, in fact, still are terrifying. But in addition to that, they became much more: Unpredictable, dangerous, fierce – but also daring, dedicated, even likeable at times.
They're real characters here.
So much on the Raptor Squad. Final Verdict? I bloody love the raptor subplot. Needless to say that I might draw them once in a while.
Lastly, even though being so relatively positively surprised (now that this movie exists, we can all pretend that the third one never existed); i would not mind this one to be the last Jurassic Park installment. As a homage to the original, it did well and i think it would do even better to find a completion here. It would be a good one.
Though, Dr. Wu getting away with that „deal“ that he addressed before he gets off with his helicopter i fear that this could conclude to yet another sequel. If so, i just wonder: What next? After Indominus Rex, it will be hard to find yet another creature to hit over 9000.
Gray, the younger brother from the kids said: „We need more teeth!“
And i am wondering. Do we really?
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