Film - Jurassic Park or Jurassic World?

Jurassic World

After watching Jurassic World, our own baby dinosaur Nate McKenzie, remembers back to the original Jurassic Park and asks which one's best...

"So... the original Jurassic Park or Jurassic World?"

That was the question posed to me by my eight year old son after watching the latter on opening night. He knows my love for the original. He shares that love as well, especially after getting to experience the 3D re-release in 2013. We are unapologetic fanboys. Jurassic Park is one of the most wonderful films I have ever had the pleasure of watching as a young boy and then sharing with my young son.

So, when my son asked me which I thought was better, which one I preferred, I was stunned. At myself.

Because I couldn't immediately answer the question.

I stuttered and stammered, "Well, I, um. I guess... I don't know, man. I really don't know."

Technically, Jurassic Park was the first movie that eventually became part of a trilogy. But The Lost World was barely watchable and while Jurassic Park III gained back some, but very little, credibility (thanks in major part to the return of the character Dr. Grant) neither is good enough to be considered even a valid distant cousin to Jurassic Park. To call it a trilogy is to kick sand in the eyes of a true and honorable trilogy like Star Wars or Indiana Jones (the Crystal Skull debacle doesn't exist in my world). If the word "very" is a lazy use of lexicon, The Lost World and Jurassic Park III are the film versions of that sentiment; they could have been titled Very Jurassic Park and Very, Very Jurassic Park.

Where those sequels failed to capture the ambiance and grandiose nature, the awe-inspiring beauty of the original, I must say... Jurassic World absolutely succeeded.

Bryce Dallas-Howard is Claire, the director of the new resort. Chris Pratt (settle down ladies) is Owen, a former Navy-man (I said settle down) and current animal trainer (ok now I'm just seeing how riled up you all will get). The movie follows the two of them traipsing through the jungle trying to save her neglected nephews as a new attraction is wreaking mass havoc on the island. If you want a more thorough synopsis, check out Ren's review. She's much better at that than I.

I'm here to completely gush and fanboy all over your computer screen.

Jurassic World has flaws.

Are there some (many?) technical issues with the plot and the direction? Sure.
Are there factual inconsistencies regarding the science depicted in the movie? Definitely.
Does Chris Pratt keep his shirt on the whole time? Yes. (sorry ladies/gents)

As is often the case in current filmmaking the writing takes a heavy-handed turn issuing a warning about the evils of corporate greed and of warmongering. Though Owen's snarky bit about a "Pepsisaurus" referring to corporatization of everything induced a chuckle.

The movie isn't perfect.

But if you require a perfect film in order to be awed and ensconced in the narrative, if you need every plot point tied up in a little bow for you, if you are concerned with the fact that Claire runs around a jungle in "impractical" shoes trying to escape A GENETICALLY MODIFIED DINOSAUR then you have lost touch with what it means to be a movie fan.

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park wasn't perfect. It didn't have to be. And neither does Jurassic World.

I was left mouth-agape on numerous occasions watching great giant beasts attack each other and the people that created, or were there to be entertained by, them.

There were some subtle, and some not so subtle, nods to the original, and all of which worked perfectly to capture my imagination and allegiance, along with (if the applause at the end of the movie was any indication) that of almost everyone else in the packed theater. World has its own personality but the perfect touch of homage to its forebear. Specifically, the scene in which Claire does the thing and tells the guy to do the thing while she holds the thing. That was terrific. (You'll know it when you see it).

Pick apart the movie if you want. Point out where the fledgling director made missteps, where the acting was a little off-key, where the shock-value was a little too obvious - that's fine. While you do so, I will shake my head, smirk, and get in line to buy another ticket - this time for the 3D sample - because rarely does one get to immerse themselves in genuine, tangible nostalgia and transport their psyche back to when they were a twelve year old child, wide-eyed, staring up at a giant screen as a T-Rex roared into their life for the first time, as that iconic score (updated but concise) soared.

If you can't appreciate that... like a teacher that hates kids, I'm not sure why you even bother anymore.

I watched Jurassic World as a fan of the original, as a fan of movies not as a person preparing to critique. It is much easier to lose yourself in, and enjoy, a fictional world if you're not trying to make that world fit the one in which you exist.

So, then, the question is, "Jurassic Park or Jurassic World?"

Ok, I'm not insane. Of course, after giving myself some hours to reflect, OF COURSE I say Jurassic Park.

But the fact that the wondrous Jurassic World caused me to pause and consider the question at all is recommendation enough.

Images - IMDb