As a kid who grew up in the ‘90s, you could say I am more than a little obsessed with the Jurassic Park movies. I had a lot of the toys and even buried them in my parents’ backyard, distinctly remember the power going out right after I watched the movie for the first time, and obsessively read everything I could about the sequels.
Though that obsession had ebbs and flows over the years, that little fire remained in my dinosaur-enthusiast heart like a little pilot light waiting and ready for the next adventure. That adventure came in the summer of 2015, when Jurassic World, the supercharged sequel and rekindling of the dormant franchise starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, and perhaps the most terrifying dinosaur to ever grace the screen debuted.
In preparation for the arrival of Jurassic World: Dominion, I started to rewatch all the movies, and after giving Jurassic World another spin, I have some thoughts about the movie and my love of the franchise.
Finally Being Able To See A Living And Breathing Dinosaur Theme Park Never Gets Old
Up until Jurassic World was released, we never got to see the fruits of John Hammond’s labor pay off and see the opening of his exciting and dangerous paradigm shift in the world of amusement parks and zoos. Sure, we were close in Jurassic Park until that good-for-nothing and greedy-as-all-hell Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight) had to come in and make a mess of things. But I digress…
One thing I loved about Jurassic World the first time I saw it in theaters and on every subsequent rewatch since then is the fact that the park is fully open and operational when we go through the gates the first time. Sure, it’s sterile, expensive, and covered wall-to-wall with advertisements and chain restaurants, but people are interacting with dinosaurs, and the promise is fulfilled more than 20 years later.
Jurassic World Makes Me Feel Like A Kid All Over Again
Although Steven Spielberg didn’t direct Jurassic World (he was very much part of the process, though), the movie has that same sense of wonder, adventure, and terror that makes me feel like that little kid who had to wait until October 1994 to watch Jurassic Park because his dad wouldn’t take him to see the movie at the local theater the summer earlier (the home release didn’t land until nearly a year-and-a-half after its theatrical run).
That Colin Trevorrow, and his amazing production team, were able to create this oversized and chaotic adventure excites me on the purest level, and I am reminded of that each and every time I watch Jurassic World, whether it be on the big screen or on Blu-ray with my own children seven years after the fact. And it’s not hard to relate to Zach and Gray Mitchell (Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson) in the same way I did watching Tim and Lex Murphy (Joseph Mazzello and Ariana Richards) run from raptors all those years ago.
It’s Crazy How Big Of An Action Star Chris Pratt Has Become
One thing that shouldn’t be overlooked in regards to Jurassic World is just how big of an action star Chris Pratt has become in the seven years since the film’s release. Sure, he was great as Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy the summer before, but I feel like his performance as Owen Gray helped prove he was more than just Andy on Parks and Recreation, and that he didn’t just get lucky with one of the best Marvel movies.
In the years since being introduced as the one man who can not only train a pack of raptors but also earn their trust, Pratt has gone on to star in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, two Avengers movies (which are two of the most successful movies of all time, per Box Office Mojo), The Magnificent Seven, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and The Tomorrow War. And that doesn’t even include his upcoming projects like Thor: Love and Thunder, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and the soon-to-be released Jurassic World: Dominion.
I Am Stoked That Dr. Henry Wu Finally Takes A Bigger Piece Of The Spotlight
There are a ton of differences between Jurassic Park the movie and the book on which it was based. I have already gone over most of those in the past, so today I will just focus on Dr. Henry Wu (BD Wong), the lead InGen geneticist who helped create the dinosaurs in the first place. In Steven Spielberg’s 1993 classic (which some would argue is superior), Wu shows up in only once scene — the hatching of the baby raptor — and then is gone, presumably on the shuttle off the island. This is a shame, because the character was a major component of Michael Crichton’s novel.
Well, Wu finally got to take a bigger piece of the spotlight in Jurassic World, and it brings joy to my heart whenever he’s on screen (and it’s not because of my adoration for Wong’s Oz character). He’s obsessive, cocky, and dangerously naïve, creating a more sinister version of the character from Crichton’s best book.
How Can A Company Like InGen Still Exist With All These Disasters?
Somehow, someway, InGen still keeps on rolling no matter how many parks are destroyed, billions upon billions of dollars are wasted, environmental disasters are created, and human lives are lost. You would think the government (either United States or Costa Rica) would step in and stop the company from carrying out any more experiments or opening another resort putting tens of thousands of lives at risk once more.
The craziest part about all of this is the fact that InGen never learns its lesson. The first Jurassic Park failed and what did InGen do? Tried to open a park in San Diego. That fails and nearly creates an even bigger disaster, and what happens? InGen is bought by another corporation and keeps doing what InGen does: clone dinosaurs and wait for the inevitable to happen.
I First Saw Jurassic World The Weekend My Wife Found Out She Was Pregnant With Our First Child
Jurassic World was released on June 12, 2015. My wife and found out she was expecting our first child on June 12, 2015. I remember sitting in the theater that Sunday afternoon excited for what the future would hold for our new family, and wondering if my kid would grow up to be as obsessed with the franchise, and dinosaurs in general, as much as their dad.
Nearly seven years after that fateful day, my daughter said she wanted to watch Jurassic World for the first time. And so it begins again…
There are also a ton of random thoughts about Jurassic World living running around my head like that pack of Compsognathus in The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
- I can never not call out the Jimmy Buffett cameo.
- Can I get a gyrosphere?
- Vincent D'Onofrio is such a good villain.
- The Mitchells’ house in the snow has to be some of the worst CGI.
Is Jurassic World the best movie in the franchise? No. Was it the best movie of 2015? Again, no. But it is a movie that I enjoy thoroughly, and will continue to do so for a very long time…maybe even 65 million years.
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Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop barking at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.