Sunday, June 14, 2015

Jurassic World Review

"That was kinda scary!"

That smile. It lights up the darkest room.

"I know, it was! Did you like it though?"

When I was a kid, cinema lit my imagination on fire. In reality existence can be pretty routine and mundane. On celluloid, anything is possible. When I sat down in front of a screen, big or small, I could travel to distant worlds. I could meet new, fascinating people, and after literally minutes of knowing them I would feel the warmth of their charms. I would be rattled by their misfortunes. I would shed tears because of their pain.

"Yeah, I loved it!"

I see that same kid when I look at her.

It's fucking magical.

Jurassic World isn't a perfect film. Many would argue that it isn't even a good one, and I can completely understand such a claim. The screenplay is lazy, like a copy and paste job from other by-the-numbers generic blockbusters. The concept, while interesting on paper, suffers from being rushed along, like I didn't have a chance to ever bask in the wonder they tried to portray because scenes either felt recycled or simply didn't have a chance to breathe. Some of the characters, Vincent D'Onofrio as "Hoskins" for example, technically played important roles to the progression of the narrative and yet they really added nothing at all to the mix. The product placement in the movie is laughable and tedious because it honestly does take away from the experience. When I am focused on Mercedes logos popping up in every frame or the strange placement of stores that would only be there because the real life entity wrote a fat check to put their name in it rather than get lost in the story, it's kind of a bummer.

Despite these issues, and there are even more I could rattle off if I wanted to I'm sure, I had a whole lot of fun watching Jurassic World. Why? I don't know. Perhaps the kid in me goes into a film like this and craves the possibility of pushing the critical eye to the background for a couple of hours so I can just shut it down and enjoy watching dinosaurs eat people. Perhaps I was aided by the fact that I walked in with lowered expectations because I had already heard all of the complaints and had a gut feeling they would prove to be valid (and they did). Perhaps, and this is a big one...perhaps I just feel good about a trip to the theater with my beautiful seven year old daughter. One where I can look over at her at any point during the picture and see her locked in focus on only the images in front of her when so much of the world is reading tweets. One where I get to see her cower behind her hands in fear as a monster approaches her favorite character, begging the gods of cinema for his safety much the way I did when I saw Aliens or Predator for the first time. 

One where I get to see her smile. I will never complain when I get to see her smile.

"That was kinda scary!"

Those were the first words out of her mouth as the credits began to roll, and while I asked her if she loved it, I really didn't have to. I could see it in her eyes that she had a blast. 

It's hard to give a shit about a bad screenplay or a perfectly placed Coca-Cola bottle when you sit down in the theater with the same mindset as a seven year old. I just wanted to have fun.

I did. Jurassic World is a bunch of fun.


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