(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)
(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there may be some in this review)
SW SCORE: 37
3.5 out of 5 🐙
If you were to go back in time to when I was an 8-year-old, the idea of an amusement park with actual dinosaurs would have blown my mind. Also, I would like that now. And I’m 46.
I don’t know how many of the movies you’ve seen in this franchise. I assume you’ve seen at least one. Well, and this cannot be considered a spoiler by any reasonable person, the dinosaurs always escape and shit goes sideways. If they don’t escape, stupid humans go see them out and then shit goes sideways. I think one time the dinosaurs made it to civilization and shit went sideways. But I can’t remember for sure, and it really doesn’t matter.
I’ll give you ONE guess as to the plot for this reboot of the franchise.
A luxury resort and theme park showcases genetically engineered dinosaurs and is a smashing success. Throngs of people visit the park and it is booming. Never satisfied, the company executives continue to pursue new and better dinosaurs. They make a super badass one named Indominus rex who is like part velociraptor (crazy smart) and tyrannosaurus rex (part dynamite).
My problem with this new dinosaur is it doesn’t really look that different from all the other dinosaurs in the T-Rex/Velociraptor genre. It was also a very dull color. I get they have to try to be authentic, but there’s no reason they couldn’t have put some flames on the side of this guy. I’m kidding. Kind of. But seriously, they could have at least made it a cool color. I get this is a small complaint.
In a development that will surprise no one, Indominus rex escapes and starts a chaos spree that frees all the other dinosaurs who proceed to wreck everything and eat as many tourists as they can. It’s utter chaos. Enter Owen Grady (played by the perpetual charm machine called Chris Pratt), an animal trainer employed by the park to train velociraptors. This seems like an insane idea. Whoever thought this was a good idea clearly has not seen any of the previous movies.
But the velociraptors are strangely cute and sympathetic. It reminded me of the adorable big cats in Tiger King. I do not like how those cats were housed and treated in that series, but I cannot deny their adorableness. And they are also super lethal. So what I’m saying here is you can be a super lethal a creature and cute. They probably gain our love because they are Pratt’s dogs, essentially. Everyone loves dogs. Even dogs that would eat you in a heartbeat and are the size of a horse.
I don’t think I need to tell you how this plays out. Owen and Claire Dearing (his ex-girlfriend and required super smart scientist) save the day. This isn’t a noir blockbuster. The effects are smooth and flawless. The action set pieces are exciting and sharply choreographed. Howard and Pratt have excellent chemistry, though they follow the standard blockbuster rule of hating each other at first and eventually coming to appreciate each other.
The absolute best scene in the movie, for me, is when the gigantic fish dinosaur swallows a pterodactyl and an evil executive who helped bring on this chaos. It’s just a fantastic and silly and over the top visual shot of the dinosaur’s giant maw taking care of business.
Also, keep an eye out for a hilarious scene involving the T-Rex. It’s total fan service and I don’t want to spoil it. It’s a perfect call out to the original installment.
It’s not that the outline of this movie is anything really fresh. The only new aspects are that the park is actually working and that the velociraptors are on the good side this time. It’s fun. You should definitely buy a ticket to this park.
(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.
(2) Octopuses (0-5 🐙, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)
(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feeling…not that SW score is scientific…but this one is even less so
(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)