Jurassic World, IMAX 3D: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Well – this is a little late since the movie’s been out for a while now – BUT – if you have not seen it and do not want to have any part spoiled – turn away now and save yourselves!

As for everyone else….

The Good:

This is a great, CGI movie. Hollywood really has it down when it comes to dinosaurs! Why? Because – none of us know what they really look like and depend on picture books … so, yay for Hollywood getting an easy, “A”!!

The sound effects were pretty awesome in this movie. In fact, it was one of the only reasons I was willing to see it in an IMAX 3D, wanna-be theater. And, surprisingly, I wasn’t too disappointed.

The storyline was great! A couple kids go to an island where their family member is in charge of a dinosaur park, and they end up getting lost, and the dinosaur starts to chase them, and then the head of the park has to ask the wildlife expert to take out a special vehicle to find them … um … and there’s a scene with a sick dinosaur where a couple people stay with it and it’s really sad … wait a second … and finally, the moral is all about the illusion of control…. Okay – hold on a second … wasn’t that the EXACT SAME sequence and story in Jurassic Park?

Steven Spielberg – really? You couldn’t … mix it up a little? Oh well – there were LOTS of dinosaurs – awesome! There were lots of dinosaurs eating people – even more awesome! And, they included the scientist, Henry (BD Wong), from the first movie, as a cool point of continuity! There was great humor, some edge of seat moments, and a LOT of green trees! Needless to say, it was definitely a winner on a big screen!

And – honestly, the scene when the velociraptors realized that the big guy was – their alpha male, and they all turned and focused on … who else … Owen (Chris Pratt), was VERY cool. For those who may have missed it (as I’ve noticed several who did) – think back to “How To Train Your Dragon 2”. When the dragons got a new alpha male and new instructions – the first of those instructions – kill the other alpha. So, when the velociraptors, like lions, or other vicious meatasaurauses, find a more powerful alpha male- the other one is in deep trouble. It was very subtle to show the “dinosaur-vision” heads up where they were all focused on Owen – almost to a fault. A little bit of dialogue might have helped. But, again – for those who saw Owen’s face when he realized what was happening – CLASSIC!

The Bad

Oh … where to begin? Again … there’s a lot … so I’ll try to focus on major issues.

1. The evil, escapee dinosaur is actually one part chameleon (or … chameleon fish?), one part rock climber, one part social engineer / trickster, one part alpha male, one part meat-a-saurus, one part run-away dinosaur, one part ruthless hunter … and on, and on, and on. They shot for the moon – and hit Jupiter. So, it ended up being a really cool idea that was a little lost in the need to avoid trying to explain it all.

2. Claire (Bryce Howard) was an interesting role for the John Hammond replacement. Of course, considering that this woman could run a marathon in high heels that even the women next to me frowned at makes her next to superwoman! Her “tough” attitude, as a strong, business woman, was eerily lost in the suck-up job she started out her appearance with, appealing to the investors to invest in this great, new, dinosaur attraction … or, um … an existing dinosaur attraction!! (Another – stupid continuity fix by … lack of explanation or re-write!!).

3. So, the big, bad dinosaur is going to trick the others, right? And, he cloaks himself from the thermal scans because … he knows they are thermally monitoring him? WHAT? Okay – maybe. But, whomever decided to plant trees tall enough to hide this dinosaur – FIRE THEM! What they missed explaining in the beginning was that the terror-o-saurus was actually cloaked and standing still – and that’s why no one could see him. It is hinted at a couple other times in the movie – but not to any real clarity. They make the entrance into the dinosaur paddock look like 3 bumbling idiots who can’t tell that there’s a giant dinosaur right behind them.

4. The set-up for “who’s going to die,” in the dinosaur paddock scene – was just dumb. Let’s see, I think it goes like this: the hero, a fat, telecom guy, and a really fat security guard enter a dinosaur paddock where the most evil hybrid meatasaurus is hiding. Two Die. Can you guess which two? Well, unless you’re the same goober that Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio) is playing to fill Dennis Nedry’s shoes, then I bet it’s pretty obvious!

No – it’s NOT Owen. The two fat-abulous guys are the first to go. They are the weak link in the food chain. Of course, Spielberg just pointed out that he considers 95% of the audience members as potential food sources for the dinosaurs when the dinosaur apocalypse comes!! Spielberg hates fat people.

5. STAY IN THE BUBBLE – or don’t. When the two boys are being slammed up and down in the gyroscope, the older brother, against all reasoning or logic, unbuckles them. You see – thus far, they’re safe – only the back-side breaks. But, hey – he’s a runner. So – instead of staying under the ball where they’re safe, he starts to run. In a frantic realization that they’re not going to make it, he pulls his brother back under the ball with him and  – WHAM! Dinosaur sets the ball down in the same, exact spot, perfectly missing the two boys. A 1 in a billion chance – but, I guess, a 1 in a billion chance with a 3 billion year old creature = success? As long as you’re willing to forget that it’s a brand new hybrid – part dinosaur, part basketball player.

6. Time for the rescue. A helicopter pilot is needed to get the gunners up and firing. But, wait – the trainer for the wealthy tycoon that manages John Hammond’s money is nowhere to be found. So, the ONLY other person on the island capable of flying a helicopter, Lowery (Jake Johnson), gets his screen time! So … let me get this straight … you’re on a remote island. You’re surrounded by deadly creatures with a potentially high kill rate. You have no escape boats and … NOBODY else can fly a helicopter? Wow. A billion dollars and the most advanced engineering in the world … but nobody can do the math on basic transportation skills!

7. The gunners! The shooting in this movie was worse than watching storm troopers try to hit the broad side of a star destroyer!! The gunners, with an M30, cannot hit a dinosaur the size of a T-Rex, constantly firing 2 inches behind him at all times. Sure – they scare it – but only to their detriment and the terror on the park guests who now have to contend with the pteradactyls who were released. Great shooting, tex. Didn’t John Hammond say, “Spare no expense?” Well then – how about you buy someone who can SHOOT! Of course, the militia with Hoskins was no great team, either. They could randomly snipe a pteradactyl over ocean water, but couldn’t shoot the T-Rex, sized evil lizard with a rocket launcher! That – was just bad movie convenience-ing.

8. No escape boats. None. Now, we’re back to the concept: you shipped out a bunch of people to a resort (where – anywhere else in the world, ships would be standing by), filled with dinosaurs that EAT people, and didn’t think – hey – I’ll keep a dinghy on hand? Nice. Apparently, $100 billion dollars will buy you genetic labs and remote islands – but you can only fill it with fat people and idiots.

9. The water-monsters … have incredibly awkward timing. So, our water attraction can see the multitudes of people standing there, leaning against the railing, looking out at it and . .. does nothing. The Indominous Rex shows up and … BLAM! Movie convenience snatch and grab! A little bit of continuity failure there.

10. Yay, T-Rex wins! Oh … no … T-Rex doesn’t win. Yay – T-Rex wins again. Oh, no, wait, in comes the Mosasaurus (one of the coolest dinosaurs in the entire movie), and takes him out with a steel chair .. or, um .. rather, drags him to the bottom of the sea. It’s like watching WWE … but with better dialogue!

11. Velociraptors … or terminators? So – when the velociraptors went nuts on everyone (which was continually foreshadowed to DEATH … as if it wasn’t obvious enough that it was going to happen) – several bad things happened to the poor, dinosaurs. One of these was the little guy getting run over by the big, truck. But – hey – how can mangling the body of a velociraptor below a vehicle be considered terminal? After all … they regenerate … and came back with a vengeance, don’t they? Didn’t the velociraptor growl out “I’ll be back?” Of course, somehow, they returned humbled by their little revolt that gave them cause to side with Owen again – and, no – removing the headset is not the same as the nail in the lion’s foot that would make a velociraptor your friend … don’t try it… it won’t work … this is only Hollywood, folks!).

12. Velociraptors are very selective. Toward the end, as our heroes discover the secret laboratory of the evil, mad genius, Hoskin’s men carry out the last case filled with Dino DNA. Immediately, Hoskins entered and is rapidly followed by a velociraptor. Did the velociraptor take time because he was eating henry and the others (no – because it showed them boarding a helicopter)? Did the Velociraptor just not like asian food? Or perhaps she wasn’t fond of extras and wanted only the big, fattie for herself (oh look – more proof that Spielberg hates fat people)? I guess – we’ll never know. Movie convenience dictates – avoid explanations and move on!

Conclusion of the bad: Yeah – lots more that I could spend time pointing out – but I think you get the picture. It’s Spielberg and Universal Studios. Need anymore be said? Do they even have to make movies? You should just be giving them money out of your pocket because they’re Spielberg and Universal Studios!! Big people like that don’t have time for petty, little things like … movie edits! How SELFISH can you be?!!

Was that sufficiently cynical … hopefully? More importantly – did it get the point across?

The Ugly

Remember – these are just opinions now – not movie boo-boos – and so – take it or leave it.

1. I remember a day, back when Jurassic Park first came out, that a lone child ran from the theater when the T-Rex appeared, screaming and dragging his dad along with him. Now – as appalling as the dinosaur petting zoo with children saddle-riding the triceratops, are the kids that are really loving the more blood – more action – more dinosaurs! If dinosaurs – big ones – don’t phase our youth anymore – then what the heck will? Video games and Hollywood – thou hast destroyed the effect of “thrill” for us all! When the aliens come – nobody will run and we’ll all die.

2. Training velociraptors was … neat – kind of. Yeah, it was used in a somewhat cool way – but not really. What it did was conveniently add to and push the story along because quite frankly – this was a travesty in the story. Velociraptors are supposed to show superior intelligence and an evolving brain. In this movie, they’re reduced to really evil cats! (Yes – they were more feline than anything else with the behavior they showed). Now – a headset mind control device would have been kinder. Then, we could have left them as super intelligent creatures without destroying their legacy. After all – they have specific hunting techniques – one from the front and two from the sides – and all during the training, that was being “undone”. Pitiful.

3. As I stood in the excessively long line, I thought I would be funny and shorten the line, pre-spoiling the movie for everyone by shouting “The T-Rex did it!” And, they would all disperse. Having not even read anything about the movie – boy was I surprised at the end, when, the T-Rex was let loose and was the killer! Glad I didn’t yell it out – might have upset some of those hoping to be “surprised…”

4. The music in this movie was TERRIBLE. Why – oh why – did they create a new score? You know what score would have fit REALLY well into this movie? How about the theme from Jurassic Park? We don’t need a new score because it’s a new movie-  they’re connected. Worse – the new score lacked the epic feeling of the original movie by – leaps and bounds. Take, for example, the end scene. Old, T-Rex climbs up on the old control building, looks out over his land, as proud as any lion looking over his domain, takes in a deep breath – and as the camera backs out for the epic shot of the park…

blah .. blah … blah music. Of course, if this wasn’t insulting enough, it was followed by a T-Rex roar that sounded more like an old dinosaur wheezing. Is this really the T-Rex from Jurassic Park 1? If so – they’ve kept that poor guy around WAY too long!

5. Why did NOBODY, in the rescue crew, think to pull a pinnochio save and go after that poor woman swallowed whole by the Mesasaurus? I mean – she wasn’t bitten!! She withstood being thrown around by pteradactyls … so … is she still in there? Is she suffering? Holy cow – that was a REALLY unpleasant loose end. Nice going, Spielberg. Avoid the blood for the kiddies … but leave them with a lifetime of trauma wondering if that woman is being tortured – pooped out – or living in the belly of the whale on a boat with Gipetto?

6. Did nobody recognize that the indominable rex was NOT after the children?! He was trying to find his place in the food chain. So, when he heard the Iphone start ringing – he knew it was his time to shine. Any big whig in Hollywood knows – you gotta have an IPhone to look cool! (Personally… I hate all of them – but especially IPhones). But, when Indominable Rex looked down into the water and realized – oh man, it’s not waterproof and they’ve ruined it .. he moved on!

The ugly conclusion – I’m nitpicky. Except for the music – which was a REAL let down, and the dinosaur petting zoo which was disgusting, and the pet velociraptors … well… all of it, I’m just being nitpicky.

Conclusion

I give Jurassic World a 5 out of 10. It loses 5 stars for: 1 for the WWE dinosaur fight ending which started out cool – but ended dumb when Mesasaurus Cain came in and suplexed the Indominable Rex, 1 for the musical let down since that’s especially an epic part of any IMAX 3D experience, 1 for telling the EXACT same story over again in the EXACT same sequence, 1 for Universal Studios and Spielberg conspiring to make this a “sequel” movie, setting it up for another one by NOT ending the adventures of Henry and the Dino DNA, and finally, 1 star for the loud cough that was supposed to pass for the awesome, mufasa, T-rex roar that brought us all into the theater in the first place. Geeze, Spielberg – didn’t you watch Godzilla? Stupid movie – but GREAT roar!

If you haven’t seen it in a theater – all except for the horribly disappointing ending – it’s pretty awesome! Is it worth the money? Well… if they hadn’t killed off Lowery, I might have contacted the Hammond foundation and demanded a refund. Otherwise – I’m sure you’ll be yanked into buying the Blu Ray or ordering the movie when it comes out and furthering the financial adventures of Universal and Spielberg. After all – it’s them – the all powerful! Sheesh!!

T Rex did it

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