Life, uh, finds a way...

Life, uh, finds a way…

“We have our first genetically modified hybrid.”

This is and, for as long as I keep doing it, will always be primarily a book blog. Books are the main media I consume, so it makes sense to write about them. But believe it or not, I do occasionally experience other things. I’ve already reviewed a show, so now it’s time to bring a film under the spotlight. After all, the blog title says “fiction” – it doesn’t specifically say anything about books. As such, I’m about to review Jurassic World. Before you continue, I’ll just give fair warning that this review will contain spoilers, so if you haven’t seen it yet, maybe wait before reading on.

So we find ourselves on Isla Nublar, which is now running a fully functioning dinosaur theme park. Our main characters include Zach and Gray, two young boys who have come to the island to experience the magic and wonder, their aunt Claire who is one of the park’s directors and very focused on public opinion and the financial running of the park, and Owen, a trainer who appears to have formed a close bond with the Velociraptors, getting them to obey him.

Because dinosaurs no longer supposedly have the “wow factor” that the park’s bosses want, the scientists, including Dr Henry Wu from the first film, have been cooking up stuff in their lab. They have come up with a new creation, the Indominus rex, a creature based on a Tyrannosaurus rex, but with a whole bunch of other classified animal genetics thrown in. Due to the fact that a theme park with real life dinosaurs in it is never a good idea, this all very quickly goes wrong. The Indominus rex breaks out of her enclosure after showing enough intelligence to trick her human captors, and soon she’s on her way to the centre of the park, where twenty thousand human visitors are located, and it seems that nothing is going to stand in her way.

As a big fan of the first films (well, the first and third ones anyway, I never much cared for the second), I was hugely excited about the prospect of a new film, although also very wary. Thankfully, it’s a really great movie. Considered a sequel to the first film, the original two sequels seem to have been forgotten about, although apparently they are canon just not mentioned.

Jurassic World seems to enjoy throwing in references to the original film and it’s fun to try and spot them all. There’s a guy wearing a shirt with the logo of the original park on it, a repeat of the classic Dilophosaurus moment, someone saying that the park “spared no expense”, and also a prolonged scene in the first visitors’ centre, which appears to have been left to the elements after a very quick evacuation. Despite all this, only three characters make an appearance from the first film – the aforementioned Dr Wu and … I won’t say the other two. You’ll see.

Alright, so the characters are basically stereotypes, but they do get deconstructed throughout and it works well, and the action scenes are second to none. It’s such a beautiful film, I’m happy to believe that the dinosaurs are really there. Do I completely get the notion that someone has managed to (almost at least) tame the raptors? Not really, but it’s a fun idea. The Indominus rex is a thing of wonder, and further emphasises the muddy waters we’re playing in when it comes to genetic experimentation. They’ve even managed to get away with ignoring the last twenty years of dinosaur research and discoveries by handwaving that the dinosaurs may look very different if they had a whole genome to work with, rather than having to fill the missing its in with bits of frog, toad or snake.

If you want an all-action, scary, funny and incredibly entertaining film, then go see it, because it may be full of cliches and archetypes, but no one really minds all that much. It’s a film about dinosaurs – is that not enough?