At the earliest drawings of the fractal curve, few clues to the underlying mathematical structure will be seen. This movie has been in development for over a decade. Steven Spielberg got the ball rolling with a new idea. At one point Sam Neil, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, and Richard Attenborough all said they were attached (None are in this one). William Monahan (Kingdom Of Heaven, The Departed) was signed on to write. Keira Knightley (Yeeeeah!) was attached at one point. Then John Sayles was signed on to finish Monahan’s script, which was odd because he hasn’t done anything noteworthy almost ever (Working on E.T. and Apollo 13 notwithstanding).
Details emerge more clearly as the fractal curve is re-drawn. Then Alex Proyas was attached to direct. Again, an odd choice as he had only directed one film in the last decade (Which was Australian) before doing I, Robot. The film would go on and languish through the writer’s strike. Then Michael Crichton (The author of both Jurassic Park books) passed away. Things seemed bleak.
Inevitably, underlying instabilities begin to appear. In 2012, Spielberg announced he would not be directing and the writers of Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes came on. Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver are a married couple who hadn’t written anything since The Relic in 1997. They had not written a single movie since the year Lost World came out. System recovery may prove impossible. In 2013, Brad Bird (Tomorrowland) brought a director to the producers’ attention and they brought him on after seeing his film Safety Not Guaranteed (A film most people haven’t heard of). Colin Trevorrow had not written a movie in a decade, but they allowed him to bring on his writing partner Derrick Connolly (Who also had only done Safety Not Guaranteed). Increasingly, the mathematics will demand the courage to face its implications.
Flaws in the system will now become severe. Twenty-two years after the original incident on Isla Nublar, the park has finally opened and is doing gangbusters. It’s run by Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard, Ron Howard’s daughter, The Village) who is expecting a visit from her nephews Zach (Nick Robinson)and Gray (Ty Simpkins, the kid from Iron Man 3). It’s established very early that she is a workaholic and hasn’t seen them in many years, a fact that doesn’t please her sister Karen (Judy Greer, Archer). But the park has been doing so well, in fact, that attendance is starting to drop as live dinosaurs are becoming passe’.
“Don’t worry, they’re herbivores. They can’t hurt us.”
“Um… what if they step on us?”
The solution you ask? Ripped from the headlines of the last two years. .. GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms). They’re not just doing it to our corn, they’re doing it to our dinosaurs. They have created a new species that’s bigger, stronger, and scarier than a T-Rex. It’s called the Indominus Rex, which in Latin means fierce king. By splicing T-Rex DNA with that of Gigantosaurus, Rugops, Majungasaurus, Carnotaurus, Velociraptor, and the mighty (And deadly) Cuttlefish, they have created a badass with all the traits of several top predators that’s smart and can camouflage itself. In short, it is a massive, cunning, invisible dinosaur.
(Editor’s note- Not actual Indominus Rex)
Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan, Life of Pi), head of Masrani Global (The company that purchased InGen when it went into bankruptcy after Jurassic Park) is pleased with it… as well as the possibility of selling new attractions to corporate sponsors. The Verizon Wireless Indominus Rex! The McDonald’s Nuggasaurus! Gigantoraptor brought to you by Depends (You’ll need them)! He wants Owen Grady (Chris Pratt, Guardians Of The Galaxy and The LEGO Movie) to inspect it’s paddock though.
Owen is an ex-Navy animal behaviorist who is training the raptors to obey commands. He’s assisted by Barry (Omar Sy, Days Of Future Past) and thwarted by Vic Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio, Daredevil) head of InGen’s private security division. He believes that trainable raptors are a military asset and can be weaponized. Who needs drones when you can send raptors into caves after insurgents? I mean, what could go wrong with that?
“Dance off, bro!”
Of course, the Super T-Rex gets loose and starts fucking up everyone’s day. It kills everyone who tries to stop it and also begins killing for sport instead of just food. A non-lethal attempt to capture it fails, which leads to a lethal attempt to kill it, which also fails. Under the circumstances, Hoskins takes control and brings a team of mercenaries in. He convinces Owen that the only way to take Mega-Rex down is to use the raptors to hunt it down. Will it work? You’ll have to plop down your ten bucks to find out (Or keep reading).
The plot of this film, which could have been very simple, has occasional moments of sheer stupidity. I don’t know if this is due to the multiple writers and drafts or what, but it’s frustratingly dumb and vague. First you have Raptor Dan, an ex-Navy animal training expert? This is never explained. We don’t know what he did in the Navy or how he has become de raptor wees-perer.They kind of gloss over it by explaining that he became the Alpha of the pack by imprinting himself on them as babies. I wonder how he did that…
Perhaps by singing to them?
Claire’s credentials or background are never mentioned. Gray is some kind of boy genius but it’s never really set up or explained. At one point he and his brother are able to repair and start one of the jeeps from the original movie, despite the fact that it hasn’t been turned on in over twenty years. Then there’s Vincent D’Onofrio, who has a Southern accent that disappears whenever he tries to emote. And why the Hell does InGen, a bioengineering company, have some kind of black ops unit anyway? And how in the Hell can Claire outrun a T-Rex while wearing heels when it’s stated in the first film they can run up to 30 mph? Dumb dumb dumb dumb.
This movie is basically a copy of the original. The only difference is that the park is open and there’s tons of people for the dinos to snack on. Why do you need more than that? What’s all this business with Hoskins and Henry Wu (BD Wong, the only actor from any other Jurassic film to make an appearance)? And although the jokes in the movie are quite humorous, why are you cracking jokes when dinosaurs are eating people? It’s just kind of weird at times. At a certain point it seems like the producers were so preoccupied with whether or not they could make a part four that they didn’t stop to think if they should.
It is a tough pill to swallow.
But if there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it’s that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously, but
life finds a way. Somehow, in spite of everything I listed above, the movie is really enjoyable. The acting is good (Chris Pratt and Ty Simpkins especially). The chemistry between Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard is solid. Rounding out the cast are Lauren Lapkus and Jake Johnson (Let’s Be Cops) as wise cracking techies. There are little nods to the original, which are nice. There’s a statue of John Hammond and at one point they end up in the building from part one. Also, if you look closely you can see copies of a book by Dr. Ian Malcolm here and there in the film (A woman is holding a copy of it behind the children in the beginning and Jake Johnson has one).
Although I thought it was out of place at times, the gags are quite funny. It is a visually stunning movie (I’m not sure if this is because they shot on actual film instead of digital) and the 3D is killer. The action is excellent and suspenseful. They even pulled off the whole Chris Pratt can control velociraptors thing and I thought that was going to suck something indominus. They also didn’t skimp on the body count as so many PG-13 movies do. They unleashed a bunch of dinosaurs on a buffet of humans and they got busy. The Uber-Rex VS anything is good, the scene with the raptors and the mercenaries is fantastic, and the last ten minutes are basically the boss battle of Primal Rage.
Mortal Kombat X just landed but we can’t get a new Primal Rage?
This seemed like one of those movies that a child wrote but in the good way. “I’ve got a big underwater dinosaur, Timmy. What do you think it should do?” “What if they fed it SHARKS?!?!?!” At the end of the day, it made me feel like a kid again myself. I was almost completely absorbed with it (Even though my boss very accurately predicted how it was going to end). This movie really brought back the same sense of wonder I felt with the original (Which came out when I was nine). This is one of the movies that theaters were invented for. Spend the money. Go take it in on the grand scale. Be a kid again. Somehow, in spite of a ten year weight with different writers, producers, and actors getting on and off this all came together pretty great. See, here I’m now by myself, uh, talking to myself. That’s… that’s chaos theory. B+
T-Bagz bought an Aussie hat as a child because of Muldoon