The Ankylosaurus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Barynoyx, Mosasaurus, and the hybrid abomination, Indominus rex. These are just a few of the new dinosaurs that were unveiled in Jurassic World, the fourth installment in the Jurassic Park film series. Netting the biggest movie opening of all time with $208.8 million in its first weekend, there is no doubt that Jurassic World‘s blockbuster success is even larger than the behemoth king of dinosaurs, the Tyrannosaurus rex itself.
Back to Isla Nublar
Jurassic Park was written by Michael Crichton in 1990 and brought to the big screen by Steven Spielberg in 1993; combining both CGI and animatronics, Jurassic Park was a fantastic attempt at bringing dinosaurs to real life and forever changing the way we look at these tyrant creatures that once walked the earth.
It has been 22 years since then, and 2015’s Jurassic World is bigger, scarier, and even more dangerous. It takes us back to Isla Nublar, where the first horrors of the original park happened; without John Hammond (he was eaten to death by compies in the book, by the way), InGen is now owned by Simon Masrani, CEO of the Masrani Global Corporation.
As if no lessons were learned the first time around, Masrani, along with Jurassic World Senior Assets Manager Claire Dearing and chief geneticist Dr. Henry Wu, work together to create the Indominus rex, a genetically modified dinosaur that is more monstrous than the Tyrannosaurus rex and the Spinosaurus from the previous films.
With a T.rex base genome, and a bit of cuttlefish, Abelisaurus, tree frog, pit adder, and velociraptor in its DNA, there is no doubt that the Indominus rex is nothing short of terrifying.
As if to add the cherry on top, another great addition in the Jurassic World dino roster was the Mosasaurus. Yes, the one that gave us Sea World vibes. Although not technically considered a dinosaur because it doesn’t live on land, the shark-eating Mosasaurus does a great job in bringing the scare factor of Jurassic World to the maximum.
When it comes to the dinosaurs, Jurassic World does not disappoint. There are more dinosaurs present this time around, and although there are a few inaccuries here and there, overall, the dino roster of Jurassic World has exceeded expectations.
Animatronics never die
When Jurassic Park came out in 1993, CGI was barely out of its training wheels, and when Spielberg used special effects born on desktop computers in the film, it gave way to what was once considered impossible in the world of film.
However, although the CGI effects in the first movie were laudable and way ahead of their time, it was the animatronics that got the people to never stop talking, even twenty years later.
Staying true to its roots, Jurassic World incorporated both CGI and animatronics in its dinosaurs; the velociraptors and the dying head of the Apatosaurus, specifically, were all robots. And as if the movie couldn’t be any more loyal, the Stan Winston School, the institution that spearheaded the assemblage of the animatronics of Jurassic Park, was the very same institution behind the animatronics of Jurassic World.
Jurassic Park nostalgia
The scenes and characters that pay homage to the first film, Jurassic Park, must be mentioned. Some examples are Dr. Wu, chief geneticist of Jurassic Park, resurfacing, Gray and Zach’s glass gyrospheres calling back to Lex and Tim’s Ford Explorer jeeps, Claire using a flare to catch the T-rex’s attention calling back to Malcom using a flare for the same reason, and several others.
There’s also what could be considered one of the most powerful scenes of the movie: Gray and Zach finding themselves in a decrepit building, which happens to be the Visitor Center of the old park. The dinosaur bone displays blackened through the years, the velociraptor painting from the Jurassic Park kitchen scene, even the “When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth” sash that once grazed the T-rex in the ending of the first movie were all shown in Jurassic World.
Exciting but predictable
Jurassic World got hearts racing throughout the entirety of its 130-minute screening; an exciting ride that somewhat redeems the series through acts of nostalgia and sentimentality, but all in all, just a great creature feature.
Watch it for the thrill, the new dinosaurs, more macabre dinosaur violence, and better CGI effects, but when it comes to storyline and characterization, Jurassic World is as predictable as it can be—a shadow of Jurassic Park.