Jurassic World Review #3

IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN JURASSIC WORLD BY NOW AND AREN’T PLANNING TO BEFORE IT LEAVES THEATERS, I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE DOING ON SUCH A HARDCORE JP FAN BLOG. BUT ANYWAY, JURASSIC WORLD SPOILERS!

I’m back! Sorry for the break in posting, especially after such a momentous event in the fandom. I have a few post ideas queued up, I’m working on some actual art (not just mutilated coloring pages, but I should probably do another round of those now that I think about it) and I’ve gotten a story request for I think the second time in my writing career, so this blog won’t die, I promise. I saw Jurassic World again the other day (and some people on JPL have been seeing it every day since it came out; you guys are a true inspiration) so since I’ve already written my structured, 3,000+ word review and then a 2,000+ word follow-up to it, here are some assorted things that I noticed this time around.

· During the raptor jungle attack, Barry hid inside a log while Blue attacked him from above. Said raptor, who was equipped with a sickle claw AKA one of the most effective weapons ever devised by nature, was unable to puncture the log and feast upon her former trainer, but that’s an issue for another day. His hiding inside a fallen tree while dinosaurs attacked him was probably a reference to how Sarah Harding hid in a hollow log to avoid the angry stegosaur herd in Lost World.
· In Wu’s secret lab was a screen, which showed 3D models of I. rex, Stegoceratops and some other kind of pachy-looking abomination. Hoskins and Wu talked about a “deal” that the two of them had on a couple of occasions, and Hoskins said, “Our little side project is about to get shot in the arm.” Later, in his final scene, he talked about making a smaller I. rex to use in combat and inferred that there was I. rex DNA in the cooler of embryos that he had his men smuggle out. Does this mean that there was Stegoceratops DNA in the cooler as well, and/ or that the animal was part of the “side project”? If it does, then that means there’s a real possibility of a flesh-and-blood Stegoceratops in Jurassic Park 5. Lord have mercy on us all.
· In the secret lab scene when everyone was looking at Wu’s various experiments, one shot showed Gray looking at a little, fluorescent lizard that was either a species that I’ve never seen before or some variation on a Dimetrodon. If it wasn’t, the sail made it look just like one. I, for one, support the presence of glowy Dimetrodon in future sequels. Imagine one of those animals not giving a single ****, but shimmering while they did it.
· I can’t believe I didn’t notice this until the second viewing, but not only is Margarita Guy hilarious, he’s also played by Jimmy Buffett. Of course he’d prioritize the safety of his margaritas:

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· In the beginning of the movie, Claire’s clothing really evoked John Hammond, but as the movie went on and she was wearing a tied shirt and blue camisole, she looked a lot more like Ellie Sattler; that was basically the way her character changed, from someone detached and not concerned with the real world to an action star who would do anything to protect the people she loved. That makes her outfit brilliant on two levels, since Trevorrow also said that she represents the park and that she got torn up as it did. I could also discuss her heels, but other than her arc’s perceived sexism, that’s all that the general public can say about her character so I’ll let them do the talking.
· I was wrong—Delta, not Charlie, was the raptor who killed Hoskins. Boy, he really let the situation get out of hand, didn’t he? You’d think he’d get a handle on things by that point, but he didn’t and he got justice handed to him.
· I was also wrong about the final fight, as commenter rosa pointed out. I. rex slams Rexy to the ground and prepares to tear into her, but Blue attacks I. rex and provides time for Rexy to get back up.
· Seriously, the Raptor Squad was one of the best parts of the movie and I want one of my own more than ever (but I’d settle for just Blue if it came to that). Everyone else seems to think so too, and people are fangirling about the Squad all over the place. People who normally had just a passing interest in JP are making tributes to and screaming about raptors on the Internet, and it’s a really widespread thing. After all the time that serious Jurassic Park fandom was a really niche thing, Jurassic World is becoming a popular fandom really fast and it’s really surreal to watch. All I can do when people talk about the movie is be like, “You like raptors? I like raptors too! I love raptors! Everybody finally likes this thing I love!
· I still think Echo was the first one to die, but even without the dark lighting, I doubt I’d be able to tell anyway. The raptors’ colors were more in keeping with the original trilogy’s raptor colors, but their lack of distinctive coloration—besides Blue—made it so difficult to tell them apart that I think the JPLegacy forums just got the order of their deaths straightened out a couple of days ago.
· Masrani was much more of a good guy than I remembered, and his corporate greed wasn’t pushed quite so hard. However, I still find it interesting that he could be so enamored with the wonder of the park—and talk about how the key to a happy life is accepting that you’re never in control—while still assuming that they could contain and control this massive killing machine and waiting until it killed a whole troop of mercenaries before doing anything about it. He was wise and conscious of what he was doing while still succumbing to a hunger for money, which is what makes him such a layered and interesting character. Although he went out on a distinctly good-guy note and always kept Hammond’s mistakes in mind, I think his character shows the sinister side of the park (other than, you know, rampaging dinosaurs). Everything’s happy and full of wonder, and the park exists to humble mankind—right up until an asset breaks loose, and then everyone assumes they have all the power in the situation.
· The talk Henry Wu gave to Masrani about tampering with genes to create monsters—“Nothing in Jurassic Park is real, but you didn’t ask for reality, you asked for more teeth!”—was straight out of the first novel and served as great justification against the feather truthers. Masrani didn’t want actual dinosaurs, he wanted what the public thought dinosaurs looked like, and that included scales. Hopefully someone outside the fandom will understand that and spread it around. Scientific justifications like that don’t always reach casual viewers, as exemplified by how the person sitting across the aisle from me in the theater kept mumbling, “Idiots,” under their breath whenever any scientific discussion was brought up on screen.
· The one Gentle Giants Petting Zoo shot that we didn’t see in any of the trailers was of a baby apatosaur licking a little girl’s hand, which instead of the life-changing joy that anyone reading this would experience in such a situation, she replied to with “Yuck!” I assume this is a reference to Lex’s tree scene with the brachiosaur.
· There were some pretty big animals in the petting zoo, most notably the parasaur and stego that were visible in the background. I think one of the set visits (Slashfilm?) said something about this. It seems like another move to bring up guests’ interest (to interest older kids with the babies’ newly developed horns and thagomizers, maybe) but it’s pretty obviously a dumb move considering that a teeny triceratops can’t do much to a little kid that keeps poking it, but a ten-month-old trike with larger horns sure can. Handlers probably protected the kids from anything serious, but it still seems like a big potential safety hazard.
· Another chink in the armor was how the pachycephalosaurs’ tracking implants shorted out when they butted heads. The park’s been open for 17 years, head-butting is a very common behavior among pachys and they still haven’t fixed that glitch? I’m fully aware that I’m preaching to the choir here, but you’d think park management would work on something like Indominus after they, you know, got a handle on keeping the rest of the animals in their paddocks.
· One of my favorite exchanges was when Masrani asked how people were enjoying the park and Claire’s immediate response was, “Well, visitor satisfaction is steady in the low 90s…” Claire, you complete and total dork.
· A lot of people are saying that Rexy’s CGI was mediocre to terrible, but I think it looked okay. Not the greatest, but okay; I liked the way her skin glistened in the final fight scene and how her muscles moved.
· I. rex killed at least six apatosaurs simply by slashing at them with her claws. The claws on her hands are sharp enough to tear through at least three inches of skin, and since the slash across the main dead apatosaur’s throat was probably what did it in, her claws can cut through important body parts/ organs too. In the final fight scene, I. rex slashed Rexy all over, including but not limited to on her neck, across her sides and probably on the legs and chest. I’m not complaining that she got up after going through that—Rexy is a tough mother****er and she’s been through a lot in the past 22 years, she can take this newbie’s clawing attempts—but I do wonder how, in the shot of Rexy roaring over the island the next morning, no scars or wounds from the fight were visible. I could have missed them—like everyone else, I was mostly focused on the pure awesomeness of the final moment—but I looked a little closer this time and didn’t really see any marks. (EDIT: she had a few bloody scars in the final scene.)
· I. rex learned how to kill effectively and she did it very fast. Obviously the humans were easy pickings—we are little more than fleshy Pocky sticks to animals that big, after all—but she killed the apatosaurs pretty quickly, judging by how the area where they were killed was clean, mostly undisturbed and pretty much bloodless. She killed those by slashing at them, or at least that’s what she did to the first one (the one Claire and Owen watched die). She did a sloppy and unsuccessful job with that one, but then she went over the hill and killed five more in a much faster and easier way. She learned from her mistakes. Then, only a little while later, she killed an ankylosaur in the woods. With that one, she just clawed its side once and then twisted its head in her jaws, using exactly the right angle to snap its neck. For an animal who’d never had contact with any other living thing since she ate her sibling, and whose attacks on the humans were basically the first time she’d ever hunted anything in her life, that’s an extraordinarily short amount of time that it took her to master the skill of killing. That’s a testament to just how smart she really is (that amount of problem-solving intelligence probably rivals the raptors’) and makes the rest of her smart actions, like setting the trap in her paddock and clawing out her implant, more believable.
· The spot where I.rex clawed the wild ankylosaur is roughly in the same spot where the Dino Damage wound is on the JW ankylosaur toy. (“Hey kids, you wanna know something cool about your super-awesome ankylosaurus toy? He’s the one that died!”) Also, I can’t stress this enough—Indominus had never seen an anky in her life and she still figured out that she needed to slash its underbelly to kill one within the first few minutes she ever saw one.
· When Owen and Claire are running from the pteranodon flock in the jungle, Owen’s first instinct after running is to yank Claire to the ground and put his arm across her to protect her. It reminded me of Malcolm and Ellie in the Jeep chase scene:

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Actually, knowing Malcolm it’s distinctly possible that he was just trying to make one last pass at Ellie before he died, but if you look at it like he’s putting his arm across her to protect her, that’s what the pteranodon scene reminded me of.
· Another injury I missed was the spot where I. rex clawed out her tracking implant. I didn’t really see any skin missing from her back at any point after that. The piece of meat she clawed off was relatively bloodless, though, so maybe I just didn’t see the wound because it wasn’t messy.
· Hamada’s role in the movie was really, really cut down. In the original script he was Muldoon 2.0, a game warden bad@$$ who kept a wary eye on I. rex. In the final version, he has maybe four minutes of screen time and only one distinct line. Trevorrow also says that Barry’s role was cut down—he talked a few months ago about how he wrote the role specifically for Omar Sy and how the character would be so memorable, but that was not the case in the final movie. He mentioned a scene where Barry speaks French to the raptors and Hoskins pretends to know what he’s saying. The fact that that scene was cut for the final version shows that a lot of Barry’s other memorable parts were probably cut, too.
· When Claire and Owen find the wrecked gyrosphere, we can see dinosaur poop smeared across Claire’s chest, but not how it got there. We knew before the movie came out that the poop scene was cut, and it would have added a lot of unnecessary crude humor to the movie, but I still think it showed more of the funny and spontaneous “I am not one of your damn animals!” Claire that we glimpsed in the shirt-rolling scene at the waterfall. Hopefully it’ll be included as a deleted scene when the DVD comes out.
· There was surprisingly little rude humor overall, except Owen’s terrible attempts at flirting (I did like how he backed off flirting with her after that one scene, though; if he didn’t, then all the sexism complainers would actually have some good points). One of the investors in Claire’s tour also made a vaguely sexual hand gesture, but that was it.
· I really don’t think I. rex was killing entirely for sport like Owen said she was. With the ACUs it was partly self-defense, but when she was out in the valley, I. rex had no idea where she was or what these new animals around her were, and she may even have killed out of fear or the desire to establish the place as her territory. She wasn’t running around like a hyper little kid, slashing like crazy and screaming “WHEEEE!” like “killing for sport” implies, is what I’m saying.
· Zara’s line when she’s on the phone, “No, he isn’t having a bachelor party, all his friends are animals” pertains to her fiancée (Trevorrow said recently that she was about to get married before she died, to a man named Alex if I heard her line in the movie correctly; her death just got much sadder). I’m pretending, though, that it applies to Owen. Try to tell me for one second that Owen wouldn’t hold a bachelor party with the Raptor Squad as the only guests if he were to get engaged before the events of the movie. They’d all have steaks and Owen would play fetch with them, and he’d have too much champagne and put little party hats on them and just giggle about that for an hour.
· I. rex’s ability to sense infrared radiation came from her snake DNA, which Claire says but I somehow missed the first time. Considering that the different types of reptile DNA used in the different raptors influenced their appearances so much, I wonder what snake species Wu used when he made her and what other characteristics came with it. It probably helped her stand still for long periods of time, at least.
· Throughout the whole movie, Indominus never seemed to be affected by a single bullet or, other than when she got hit by that flamethrower, any weapon at all. I think I was right about the bulletproof skin. Even Rexy’s teeth didn’t appear to draw any blood until the very end.
· Zach’s transition from annoyed to loving brother, and the progression of the boys’ relationship, was a lot less rushed than I remember. Zach grudgingly becomes nicer in the gyrosphere scene, and he isn’t really in full-on protection mode until the Mobile Veterinary Unit scene.
· Overall it made his character more endearing to fans, and it was a nice way to show what the general public response was now that everyone in-universe knew what happened during the first movie, but I still think Lowery’s original Jurassic Park T-shirt was a little insensitive in-universe. If he wanted to worship a “real” dinosaur park that was based around Hammond’s vision and didn’t need hybrids, why couldn’t he have been the same way about Jurassic World when it first opened? When the new park started out, it was basically a more high-tech version of the original park and featured only “real” dinosaurs, plus nobody (to our knowledge) had their lives ruined or ended there. He could have been a hipster about this park—and the park had obviously changed a lot since it first opened—and it wouldn’t have seemed to Claire or anyone else that he was glorifying a serious incident that caused a lot of deaths. Of course, he might have only come to work at the park recently and possibly decided that he liked the old park after going out in the Restricted Zone and seeing what the original place looked like, and out-of-universe it was really cool to have a character who was a Jurassic Park fanboy and spoke for all of us. But still.
· I liked the pigeon-foot joke in the beginning—not only was it a funny little transition gag, like how Lost World skipped from the little girl’s mother to Malcolm screaming, but it was a nice little nod to the series’ consistent theme of dinosaur-to-bird evolution, which the rest of the movie didn’t mention at all.
· This is now my favorite Christmas movie ever. If it took place close enough to Christmas that “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” was necessary to set up the time frame, I wonder why the boys’ mother still had to go to work and the airplane hangar that the survivors were in (which, to be fair, may have been in Costa Rica) was in a completely bright and sunny area, but I don’t care. I’m watching this every December from now on.
· Other than when the original theme played, “Our Rex is Bigger Than Yours” and the main theme—the one that played when Rexy roared at the end—are my favorite pieces of music in the film. This is one of my favorite scores from the whole franchise, second only to the first movie’s. But then again, the highlights of JP3’s soundtrack were a symbolic Western song and a mangled version of the original main theme, so it’s not like there was too much to beat.
· Owen didn’t protect or save Claire in the sense that she hid behind a log while he beat dinosaurs down with a two-by-four, but he did do things like yank her to the ground to keep her away from the pteranodon flock and tell her to stay in the car while he investigated the remains of Gyrosphere Valley. I realize that some people might cry sexism because of that and say that Claire was constantly being looked out for by a man while they were out in the jungle, and I can’t say I don’t understand where they’d be coming from, but I actually kind of liked how that worked out. Owen might have protected Claire and saved her a couple of times, but that was in the jungle. Once they got back to the park, Claire was the one who did all the saving—she shot away that dimorphodon like a boss within five minutes of arriving back at the park, and she thought to release the T. rex when Owen probably wouldn’t have. Owen did his best when they were out in the wilderness and Claire didn’t because she wasn’t used to that type of environment, but when they got back into the park, she took over and kicked butt. The two of them had different areas of expertise and both of them had to rely on one another when they were out of their comfort zones, and I liked that. Their differences weren’t because of their genders—they were because both Claire and Owen were unique, complex characters.
· Finally, other than Claire’s obvious story line about learning to care for her family, the movie really returned to Jurassic Park’s more overt family- and parenting-related themes. This article makes an excellent point—the first movie had a lot to do with parenting and family-centric plots. The sequels had family drama subplots, of course, but none of them had as much to say about the importance of family as the first movie did, and this one definitely brought those themes back. There was Zach and Gray’s reconciliation, Owen’s relationship with his raptors (which was more like family than anything else) and the boys’ parents, all three of which dealt with different types of family relationships. That’s why I don’t feel bad or sexist about saying that Claire learned to be a good mother over the course of the movie. She learned something important about valuing family and being a parent, and it’s a good thing that she did. That’s what these movies have always been about.

We have something to celebrate– Jurassic World has shattered records with its opening weekend, and it had, domestically and internationally, the biggest opening weekend of all time. Let’s all pour out a couple of margaritas and protect them at all costs!

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4 thoughts on “Jurassic World Review #3

  1. I don’t think the Dinosaurs in Jurassic World were ever as “real” as in Jurassic Park. The way I see it, Hammond, like his book counterpart, wanted real dinosaurs. There were mistakes – they didn’t expect feathers so they didn’t see it as a problem when feathers didn’t show up on their theropods (probably due to the frog DNA), but Hammond wouldn’t want to intentionally design the dinosaurs to be unnatural. In Jurassic World, Wu makes what the public expects – which includes tweaking the animals. Most likely, making the herbivores docile as domestic cattle as opposed to territorial and aggressive (because people think herbivore = nice). So we Stegosaurs, Trikes, and Apatosauruses(SP) guests can safely be close to without being attacked, raptors mixed with lizards to make them easier to recognize (and feather free in case they ever could display them). This is all head canon – but compare how dangerous the herbivores on Isla Sorna were compared to Jurassic World’s collection. Wu says it in the movie – none of the dinosaurs are real – they’re all designed to be what the public wants – and designed to be manageable (aside from not being able to code out aggression in predators – probably because domestic carnivores lose some of their features – see tame foxes)

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    1. Yeah, you’re completely right. They wanted “real” dinosaurs, but if they re-created dinosaurs and the animals happened to have features that didn’t match what kids saw in their picture books, then people would consider them “not real” out of stubbornness and the park engineers had to adjust their practices in keeping with that. It’s another example of how these people claimed to be running a park that was all about science and discovery, but in the end, all they were doing was playing to the public’s demands and doing whatever they could to make the most money.

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