Ryan Gosling in Gangster Squad with Emma Stone
Emma Stone in The Help with Bryce Dallas Howard
Bryce Dallas Howard in Jurassic World
2015, where have you gone? We’re halfway through the year at this point, and I had almost lost faith in movies. When The Boy Next Door is one of your most memorable moviegoing experiences of the year*, you know that times are tough. But 2015 really turned it around when I saw Jurassic World on a fateful Thursday night. And I’ve seen it twice now.
Do I love Jurassic World for being self-aware or do I love it for wringing every ounce of nostalgia out of me? Maybe both. The latest entry in the franchise cleverly references moments from the first movie while still wholly existing on its own. The Lost World: Jurassic Park gave us two T. rexes instead of one and Jurassic Park (clawmarks) III gave us a weird-looking dinosaur whose name starts with an “S” that no one remembers, but neither evoked the same sense of wonder as the first movie. As someone who has recently re-watched the third movie on the USA Network (don’t ask), I can safely say that Jurassic World brings back the wonder to the franchise that was lacking in the last two installments. And, yeah, it has cool dinos, too.
As a kid, I was always frustrated that we never got to see the functioning version of Jurassic Park in 1993. One of the most satisfying parts of Jurassic World is seeing the park/world in its fully-functioning glory. If I was younger, I would be dying to go to the dino petting zoo, take a ride in the gyrosphere and get inside the mosasaurus “splash zone.”
Jurassic World isn’t a perfect movie (what are you doing, Vincent D’Onofrio?), but I haven’t felt this much like a kid in a theater in a really long time. I’m not really sure where they’ll take the franchise from here, and I’m not really sure if I need another Jurassic movie, but who can deny watching dinosaurs chasing humans and battling each other?
If you’re the only person in America who hasn’t seen it yet, I definitely recommend Jurassic World.
*The author also really liked Ex Machina.