Today, I finally got off my ass and saw maybe my most anticipated movie since the first Avengers. Burt Macklin: Raptor Wrangler
Jurassic Park is one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s easily in the top ten, possibly in the top five. Re-watchable to the max, full of great one liners and timeless scenes, plus Dr. Mother-fucking-Ian Malcolm:
I first saw JP at a Drive-In Theatre (google it, children. I don’t have time to undo faulty parenting) and It excited, thrilled, and straight up terrified me. I remember hiding behind my parents’ seats in the car, peeking out and just loving the Hell outta the ride. I had tons of the toys (with that rad “real skin” on the dinos), crossing them over with the X-men, Star Wars, and Ninja Turtles for an epic mega battle every chance I could. I loved Jurassic Park. Dearly. So what did I think of this in-continuity, mega budget re-boot?
This is gonna have more spoilers than a TGI Friday’s parking lot, so hold on to your butts.
So the movie kicks off with the settled-down Cheryl from Archer’s kids going to the Park for the first time. Iron Man 3’s sidekick and his pervy older brother go to Dinosaur Island to meet up with their Aunt, my #4 Celebrity crush (Behind Aubrey Plaza, Zooey Deschanel, and Anthony Mackie); Opie’s Hot Daughter
Blind Village Girl is busy and cold and doesn’t like hugs yet so she dumps the kids on random cranky British assistant, who is soooo obviously gonna get eaten later. The kids, being A) capricious, and B) in a movie, quickly sneak away to explore the park on their own. NOTHING BAD COULD COME OF THAT, RIGHT?
Anyway, we meet the other analogs for the characters from the first movie: Newman and Nick Fury are replaced by Sloppy-Hipster-Meta-Nerd and Fired-Guard-From-Orange-is-the-New-Black. There’s some promising chemistry here, mainly because, Just like Microchip in the first movie, no one puts up with Meta-Nerd’s shit.
Our John Hammond analog is Indian Clive Palmer and HE. IS. THE BEST. He spouts witty aphorisms and actually inspiring maxims, flies Helicopters shittily, and is 100% going to die.
Fun Rich Billionaire introduces us to our main antagonist: SplicedMutatoSaurus: a Dino created from the DNA of *REDACTED*….Oooh, mystery. Right away we can tell that Tyrannosaurus PlotDevice is Mega Intelligent and probably gonna fuck a lot of shit up, so Daddy Starbucks sends Lady in the Water to go and get our only hope: Burt Macklin, FBI.
Macklin is cleaning a motorcycle and drinking a glass bottle coke, so he’s clearly the hero and going to save us all. A short sexual tension and misogyny filled convo later, and we meet his team of awesome raptors. Tan Douchey Kingpin shows up and is our B-Villain for the film. He’s appropriately awesome and terrible. Then lots of shit goes wrong, dinos get out, people get eaten, and Jimmy Buffet drinks margaritas….listen you know the action movie formula, I’m not going over every detail. Just know that Johnny Karate and Gwen Stacy fight dinosaurs with kids who can hotwire Jeeps and survive 300 foot falls. It….it’s honestly pretty great.
Also there’s a Monster Dino Whale, and Star-Lord rides a motorcycle through a jungle with a pack of raptors.
The movie is full of awesome, nostalgic nods to the original, great comedic moments, and horribly cheesy dialogue; so in that, at least, it feels like an appropriate successor. The main issues of the movie are the lack of Women characters and the McGuffinSaurus, both of which feel hugely weak to me considering how much money this was destined to make and the history of the franchise. BDH does great work here, and she makes Claire into a true badass. I know a lot of people were complaining that she wore heels through the whole thing, but it was actually BDH who insisted on it. She said she thought it gave Claire a real power and strength, and I think that’s fine. She’s the true star of the film and the only character that actually has an arc of any kind. Pratt is, expectedly, really fun as well. The action is strong, the cgi is good enough….it’s just that pesky plot that blows chunks.
All told; the stellar cast saves the day here from hackneyed writing and one-dimensional directing. Plus the unbelievable score from John Williams is just as good as you could hope. I’ll probably see it again. A couple times. Also: The way they beat the Indominus and the Mufasa moment for our beloved T-Rexy both made me giggle and clap like a ten year old
Jurassic World is not without it’s problems. The sequel needs at least twice as many women, and maybe a few different punch-up writers, but overall I had a great time, and will now dream of having a pet raptor until I die, so I guess thanks for that? Bonus points for the token black guy making it to the end. Maybe the next movie they should let him pick a team because the fat white dudes the park was staffed with sure weren’t very helpful.
Here’s to the sequel: