So I guess no one here but me was excited. Oh well!
I saw the movie yesterday, the very day it came out - which I believe was one day before the US. If you don't want to know a single thing about the movie before you see it, better wait to read on, but of course I'll hide any real spoilers.
Good thing no British characters used the shorthand for pachycephalosaurus. Well, they'd have refused. I'm not going to write it, even with a different spelling to the bad version (which it's sure to have, with a C in for one thing). If the British made a film and accidentally used a word that's offensive in the US, I bet there'd be a huge fuss. Just sayin'! I think it's okay, though, for Americans to call a pachycephalosaurus that (but then I'm not someone who would be targeted by that word).
Anyway, moving on. I didn't expect it to be as good as Jurassic Park
and The Lost World
, and of course it wasn't. It had a lot of substance over JP3, but not so good a cast. I liked it, but I'll get the gripes out of the way first.
1. I'd have liked just one more mosasaur appearance. (It did occur to me to wonder where they got her DNA, as marine animals were unlikely to be bitten by mosquitoes, but it's only a movie so it doesn't matter.)
2. There was some potentially interesting family stuff with the characters, but they needed to spend more time on it. I don't see the point of having one scene where a child cries about an issue we haven't heard about before, and never will again (bar sequels, of course).
3. They set up a personal journey for Nick Robinson's character, and then didn't do enough with it.
4. I was expecting some lame attempts at comedy, because that seems to be part and parcel of a movie nowadays. Some people in the cinema laughed at, for example, the character called Larry who was obviously supposed to be amusing. Not everyone laughed, though, and I didn't.
5. The movies have never made it clear that the gallimimus was a carnivore, so much so that someone didn't realise, and put them in the herbivore petting zoo (the baby dinos are cute, though).
6. No compies!
7. They missed an opportunity for homage when the indominus rex was attacking the two kids in the gyrosphere. I was waiting for Zach (not into dinosaurs) to ask Gray (totally into dinosaurs) what it was, and Gray to reply that it wasn't any kind of dinosaur. They didn't even do that. Then the missed opportunity occurred to me; Lex, in the kitchen with the velociraptor, asking, 'Timmy, what is it?'
That said, there was plenty of homage to all three Jurassic Park
movies, and that was satisfying. The biggest problems could have been fixed with an extra 20-30 minutes on the runtime; the film could have done with it.
They made good use of BD Wong as Henry Wu, the only returning original cast member. Quite surprising, actually, and I'll say no more.
The important thing, though, is the dinosaurs. There was some really emotional scenes involving them (hey, some of my favourite characters are animated, and the rest are in books). I've mentioned the mosasaur (awesome but underused), and there are plenty of others with small but cool appearances. There are, however, three protagonists worth going into some detail about. So, in order of appearance:
1. The i-rex:
I get why they made her, and that it was dumb. I felt sorry for her. Clearly she was confused, unhappy and created with a double dose of ancient killer instinct. That was, I think, how the filmmakers wanted me to feel. I was hoping she'd talk to the raptors, which would be so cool, and make use of the best new information from JP3. Well, she does talk to them, when they're supposed to be hunting her. She's like, what are you trying to kill me for? Kill those humans? And they're like, yeah, okay. It was very cool! It's a shame she had to die, but she really did have to die. I console myself with the knowledge that she was unhappy.
2. The raptors:
The most dangerous dinosaur, of course, but only in The Lost World
were they total jerks (killing people because they felt like it, never even having been contained by them). Well, now they're protagonists. They can, in fact, be total sweethearts. I was properly sad when one got blown up when she wasn't even posing a real threat. In fact she was realising that Owen was her friend and she didn't want to kill him. You can create a relationship with a raptor based on mutual respect, so long as you know her from birth.
There's one guy that you know, within about four seconds of meeting him, is going be killed by a raptor in the end. Never disrespect the raptors, and never never never let them out on purpose!!!
There's also a lovely bit of homage to the first movie during the climax, with the four protagonists and a raptor or two, but what happens next is rather different.
3. The t-rex:
Boy, did they make me wait! We got a glimpse of her eating her goat, and looking a bit peeved about being in captivity, I thought. I hoped they were saving her up for something big, and they were, and it wasn't short of homage to her first appearance. Oh my gosh, they got me. I really thought they might let her be killed by the i-rex! They did all they could to make me fall for it, and it worked. Of course they wouldn't do such a terrible thing. The final shot of her was awesome. She's queen of the island once more.
So much more respect given to the species than in JP3 (my main objection - let's have one t-rex appearance and then a bigger dinosaur kills it [which they since decided was a weak-jawed fish-eater anyway]). I bloody love that tyrannosaur!
I do think the dinosaurs looked a hell of a lot more convincing back in 1993. CGI doesn't really get better all! Now I'm getting this via Jake, but apparently people are saying it was supposed to be a different t-rex, and telling us it was the same one was just a last-minute marketing gimmick. Er, no.
If they were using real dinosaurs, I'd agree she didn't look quite the same. But it's the CGI! They use the most up-to-date technology, which as far as I can see means a greater range of movement and such things, but an overall less convincing effect. Whether you agree with that or not, of course the dinosaurs - including the t-rex - were going to look different. She's obviously the same character, though. The goat, the flare, the other stuff they do with her... who'd try to pull it off with a different character?!
Yeah, I liked the movie.