Theme Parks of Past and Future
I was obviously going to see "Jurassic World". I've seen the first on several occasions, including random cinema viewings, though I did miss its recent wide revival. The second still holds a pretty special place in my heart, which isn't hurt by its focus on Jeff Goldblum and the fact that it's the basis for a fairly clear and early memory of good times at the movies. My aversion to the third one was apparently strong enough to inadvertently associate it with a distastefully weird stage of my life instead of the era in which it was actually released. I honestly just discovered that it actually came out in 2001 after "World" hit screens. In fairness, my antipathy could only have been heightened by the lack of Ian Malcolm, who represented the franchise most vividly in my mind. There's even a part in the third movie where the woman who planned the expedition is chastised for excluding that chaos theorist and his intimate knowledge of the featured island, which only made his absence feel more apparent.
I didn't expect him to be in this one, however, and Chris Pratt would have been enough of a draw on the acting side if I'd needed one. But I didn't. It's a new "Jurassic Park" film, and it's not the third one.
But the particular source of my most pleasant surprise lay elsewhere. The Pratt plot was a fairly standard action movie thing, which brought no complaints from me, but I was especially drawn to the kids' adventure through a wonderfully realised theme park that rapidly descended into a state of panic and peril. The emphasis on that atmosphere was welcome in an entry of a franchise that only touched on it briefly in its initial installment despite its very name. At the least, the delivery of that ambience matched its transmission during some of the strongest moments of "Tomorrowland", though it differed in execution, partially by dint of decreased idealism in its execution. It didn't feel like a pristine portrait or a cynical caricature. It felt like a candid photograph, casually conveying all aspects of the scene with reasonable neutrality.
The juvenile perspective also felt fresh and distinct from that of the children in the first two movies. Thinking about it now, I wonder if the scarcity of youth in the third one may have made it even blander for me.
Oh. And there's also the theme song. That was on point here. Ever awesome.
Best T. Rex? Marc Bolan.