"Jurassic Park" is one of my top 10 favorite movies of all time. I remember seeing it when I was but a wee 7-year-old, and my mind was blown.
"Jurassic Park" was intense, fascinating, exciting and just so darn cool. Seeing those dinosaurs (that still look more real than what I saw in "Jurassic World," but more on that later) was an incredible experience. In my little boy heart, all I wanted in life was for someone to make dinosaurs so I could be part of what I saw in this movie.
The 1993 film still holds up remarkably well. For my generation, it's a classic.
So it's understandable that there were many people who were excited when "Jurassic World" was announced. Twenty-two years later, we would return to the park we first visited as children, dinosaurs would be seen and people would be eaten. A cause for celebration, right?
While the thought of returning to the place I had come to know and love intrigued me, I felt that we were messing with something sacred — something special — just for the all holy Hollywood dollar. "Jurassic Park" is a classic, why chance tarnishing what that movie established — especially when there have already been two sequels?
"Jurassic World," on its own, as a separate entity from "Jurassic Park," is a fun ride. I often felt that I was on an attraction at Universal Studios, and I loved that feeling. There were interesting twists and some intriguing ideas. The characters were overall pretty weak (but mostly likable) and the story was thin, but I found myself really enjoying being a part of John Hammond's original vision for the park. Seeing the park again was magical for the 7-year-old boy heart inside me.
But a line keeps coming to mind from "Jurassic Park" when Dr. Ian Malcolm says, "Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should.”
“Jurassic World” (or at least the first half of it) begs the question, "What are we doing? What do we want out of these movies? How do we want to be entertained?" The premise of the film is that in order for the functioning park (Jurassic World) to be profitable, they have to create new, bigger, badder, meaner, faster dinosaurs.
Isn't that exactly what we're demanding out of the movie marketplace?
"Jurassic World" is about exactly this: Just because we can do something doesn't necessarily mean that we should. When the kids step into the overgrown jungle that was once the original visitors center, did you not just feel the deepest sense of nostalgia? Of a longing to be there? But there's a reason they portrayed it as overgrown and decomposing: Things aren't like that anymore.
As hard as that is to face, that's the reality we are in. Another groundbreaking movie like the first "Jurassic Park" may never be made again, and "Jurassic World" just takes us forward to the world as it is today, whether we want to go there or not. We sell, sell, sell and milk every last property for every last dollar that it's worth until we start to resent it. What we once clamored for is now the norm.
What once was sacred is now nothing special. Chris Pratt riding around with dinosaurs should impress me, but now it's just what we expect.
Jason Bell is a graduate of the University of Utah and works as a telecom manager based out of Salt Lake City. He enjoys teaching and consulting, as well as spending time with his wife, family and friends. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org