Saturday, June 20, 2015

Riding with the raptors

There’s a lot to love about the new dinosaur film Jurassic World. Mostly, it doesn’t pretend to be anything more than what it is—a fun and fast-paced action film about a dinosaur theme park that bites off more than it can chew when it creates a new and better dinosaur, Indominus rex, to attract larger audiences. The new dinosaur has four different kinds of DNA in its genome, all of which have produced a cunning killer that appears to be unstoppable. Part of the fun is finding out what kind of DNA the scientists have used to create this monster. And as always in these kinds of films, scientists come off as the bad guys who can be bought, either by the paranoid military or by greedy companies or both. When you go to see these kinds of films, you know that within about thirty minutes after the start, it’s all going to go to hell, the dinosaurs are going to start eating people, and panic will ensue. And it does. Jurassic World is a dinosaur disaster film with a hero who gets to do the coolest thing I’ve seen on film so far—ride his motorcycle in the midst of the velociraptors that he’s been trying to train (with very limited success since they are cunning killers themselves). Their help is enlisted when it becomes clear that the velociraptors are perhaps the only creatures that can bring down Indominus Rex. But there is a neat twist here once the raptors meet Indominus, and I won’t give it away. The film is worth seeing, the special effects are very good, the plot is fairly predictable, the acting a bit stiff, but overall it’s a fun 3D ride. We all know that what is said is not nearly as important as what is done in these kinds of films. Action is what counts; in that regard, Chris Pratt will be a good addition to the genre for the future films. When I saw the first Jurassic Park film, and Sam Neill and the children stood watching the dinosaurs from a distance, I remember commenting to my husband that it would be so cool if humans could actually travel in the midst of the different kinds of dinosaurs, at their level if you will. In Jurassic World, they can and they do, with the help of the Gyrosphere, a computer-controlled sphere-shaped ride that has room for two people to sit in it, and that moves along the ground so that the park visitors can get a real feel for the dinosaurs. I’m looking forward to the subsequent films, although I cannot for the life of me figure out what ground the filmmakers are going to cover next. But I’m sure it will be one heck of a ride.  

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