Reviewed by: Samuel A. Torcasio
NOAH’S ARK—Did Noah take dinosaurs on the Ark? Answer
hazards of genetic engineering
cloning science runs amok
What does it mean to be “the husband of one wife”? Answer
Chris Pratt … Owen Grady, the Velociraptor trainer
Bryce Dallas Howard … Claire Dearing, the park operations manager
Vincent D'Onofrio … Vic Hoskins, the head of security operations for InGen
BD Wong … Dr. Henry Wu, chief geneticist and head of the team that created dinosaurs for Hammond’s Jurassic Park
Judy Greer … Karen Mitchell, Claire's sister and the mother of Zach and Gray
Omar Sy … Barry, a tamer who takes care of Owen’s Velociraptors
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China Film Co.
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“This incident was an eventuality.”
Any kid who loved dinosaurs back in 1993 will tell you what an experience it was to see the first “Jurassic Park” in a movie theater. I’ll never forget the excitement I had when my Dad took me and my brother to see that movie. We felt just as wowed as the scientists in the film, saying to ourselves, “I can’t believe it, that’s a dinosaur!” Now, 22 years later, we have “Jurassic World,” and without a doubt it is the best sequel to that original film. The premise is innovative, the acting is top notch, the dinosaurs absolutely rock, and to top it off the movie is just plain fun! I tried to avoid giving any major spoilers, but I should say there are some minor details revealed ahead.
The story idea for this film was created by Steven Spielberg and Mark Protosevich who got together privately on several occasions (without studio observance) to confer the notion of doing another installment in the “Jurassic Park” franchise. 22 years after the events of “Jurassic Park,” Isla Nublar (the island from the original film) now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. This is the first film in the “Jurassic Park” series to feature an open, fully functional dinosaur theme park. This is one of the things that makes it so cool, because we have not seen that yet. In “Jurassic Park,” the park is under construction and not yet open, and, in “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” Jurassic Park: San Diego isn’t entirely completed and lacks dinosaurs.
After 10 years of operation and visitor rates declining, in order to fulfill a corporate mandate, a new attraction is created to re-spark visitor’s interest, which ends up backfiring horribly. At the corporation’s request, the park’s geneticists create a hybrid dinosaur known as Indominus Rex to boost visitor attendance. The official Web site informs us that Indominus Rex (which means untamable king) was created from the DNA of Giganotosaurus, Rugops, Majungasaurus, and Carnotaurus. However, the film adds some twists and mystery to the makeup of this fearsome creature.
Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), the park operations manager, is hosting her nephews, Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins), who are are visiting the island when the hybrid escapes. It then becomes the responsibility of Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), a Velociraptor trainer, and Jurassic World’s security team to contain the hybrid dinosaur before she can cause more damage. Though it is not mentioned, Dr. Ian Malcom’s (Jeff Goldblum) chaos theory from the original “Jurassic Park” is definitely implied in this film; just when you thing everything is happening as usual, the unpredictable happens!
Chris Pratt does a great job as the lead protagonist. His relationship with his four raptors Blue, Charlie, Delta, and Echo is complex and not as straightforward as some may think. It is very well done though, and seeing the progression of that relationship throughout the film is another one of the aspects that makes Jurassic World such a great adventure.
Bryce Dallas Howard’s character, Claire, at the beginning, is seemingly all about statistics, numbers, and making a great product. However, she does flesh out a bit throughout the film. Howard’s and Pratt’s characters have a great chemistry, and they complement each other well. Claire’s nephews Zach and Gray, played by Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins respectively, work well together as brothers and provide an excellent performance.
Irran Khan’s Simon Masrani, the successor of John Hammond, and current owner of Jurassic World, is a very likable character who is both business minded, but also knows how to enjoy life. He provides some nice comic relief. BD Wong is back as Dr. Henry Wu, and Vincent D'Onofrio is Vic Hoskins, head of security. Neither of them disappoint. There is excellent acting in this film all across the board. And many props to director Colin Trevorrow for giving fans the sequel we have been wanting.
Without giving too much away, let me just say that I and many others were thrilled with the dinosaurs in the film. Go see this movie, and experience some great dinosaur action. In this particular installment in the franchise, there is not a whole lot about Evolutionary theory. There is some additional discussion about Evolution in some of the promotional materials, but regarding the movie itself not much is said. Now don’t get me wrong, there is some talk as well as implications, but nowhere near the amount of scientific explanations as in the first film. It seems they are simply building on that foundation.
There is one shot of a bird’s foot in which it is clearly being insinuated that birds evolved from dinosaurs. But, all in all, there is definitely more dinosaur interaction here, and less talk. Either way though, it’s important for parents to keep in mind the fascination that kids (and even adults) have with dinosaurs, and that these mighty creatures can be a great teaching tool. They can, sadly, be be used to promote a Darwinian Evolutionary worldview, but they can also be used to promote a Biblical worldview. Parents should not shy from teaching their children contrasting worldviews, because, as they grow up, they will interact with the secular view point about dinosaurs.
God’s Word is sufficient to give them a ready answer for the world (1 Peter 3:15). Job 40 describes a formidable land animal called the Behemoth. This Biblical description seems to match that of large sauropods such as Diplodocus or Apatosaurus. God describes the creature with the following words,
“Behold, Behemoth, which I made as I made you; he eats grass like an ox. Behold, his strength in his loins, and his power in the muscles of his belly. He makes his tail stiff like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are knit together. His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like bars of iron. He is the first of the works of God; let him who made him bring near his sword! For the mountains yield food for him where all the wild beasts play. Under the lotus plants he lies, in the shelter of the reeds and in the marsh. For his shade the lotus trees cover him; the willows of the brook surround him. Behold, if the river is turbulent he is not frightened; he is confident though Jordan rushes against his mouth. Can one take him by his eyes, or pierce his nose with a snare?” (Job 40:15-24).
Before the study of dinosaurs exploded and became really popular, many identified this creature as the elephant or hippopotamus (in fact some still do). However, these animals do not seem to fit the description, especially that of the tail. The Bible has more to say on the issue of dinosaurs, and there are many Creation ministries that have excellent resources on this issue. If your children are old enough to handle the violence in this film, it can be a great aid to biblical teaching on these mighty reptiles of the past.
Are dinosaurs mentioned in the BIBLE? Answer
WHY did God create dinosaurs? Answer
Another plus of this film, is that contained within it are messages with conservative values that work well with a Christian worldview. First, it is most definitely pro-family and has an encouraging message about brotherhood. As Zack and Gray are exploring Jurassic World, they are also dealing with the sad reality of a potential divorce between their parents. Zack, the older brother, attempts to cheer Gray up by telling him that if their parents get divorced that means they will get two of everything from now on. Zack replies by saying, “I don’t want two of everything.” It’s indeed true that divorce takes a hard toll on kids, and as much as kids like stuff, they would rather see their parents together; they would rather see two people who had at one time loved each other continue in that love.
I thought that this was a rather bold and inspiring statement in a culture where divorce is rampant, and commitment in really any kind of relationship is not taken as seriously as it should be. We also see the bond of brotherhood between these two. There is tension between them, they fight as brothers do. But, there is also brotherly love. In a scene amidst intense action, fear, and uncertainty regarding the outcome of the events on the island Zack assures Gray, “We will always be brothers, and come back to one another.”
Even though the older Zack at times wrongly picks on Gray, at heart he loves and cares for his brother. This brings me back to my relationship with my own brothers, as well as many other close family members. It also causes one to think of his brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, we may fight, and we quibble. But if we are truly united by the unbreakable bond of the love of our Lord and Savior, a love that was demonstrated by His shed blood on the cross, we will always forgive each other’s wrongs and never forsake one another. No wonder, the apostle John gave such a stern warning that false brothers and sisters do not have this true love when he said,
“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20).
There is also within this film a message about the materialism and consumerism so rampant in our culture. All throughout the Jurassic World theme park, you see a wide variety of vendors and shops, including the world famous coffee spot Starbucks. Zack is often seen on his cell phone, even as a Tyrannosaurus Rex appears right before his eyes. At the beginning, Indominus Rex is viewed completely as a product. This is evident when we learn that the new hybrid dinosaur is sponsored by Verizon Wireless.
Many have wondered why this movie needed to have a hybrid, when there are so many real dinosaurs to choose from? But the film very craftily plays on this very point. You just have to see it to understand; they knew what they were doing. Just as real life dinosaurs within the world of the movie do not impress everyone like they used to, neither does a movie about dinosaurs impress people in the real world like it used to. While there is still a sense of awe, the workers and the visitors have become used to the idea of living dinosaurs; they are now common place. Everything is controlled and nice and neat, until the I-Rex begins its havoc. There is a definite distinction in this film between the I-Rex and the real dinosaurs, and you will have to see the film to fully discover that.
But, one thing to say here about the I-Rex is how ruthless it is. Never before, has there been such a ruthless dinosaur in a “Jurassic Park” film. Yes, they have been vicious, but not like this. The I-Rex is a loner, and it kills everything that stands in its path. It reminded me much of Satan, who “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
There are surely insights to draw from this movie, it is filled with action, and, on top of it all, this film is just plain old fun. There was not a moment I was bored, and the story runs fairly smoothly. It also had a great musical score.
What exactly the villains in this film are up to seems a bit hard to discern. However, I think that was a clever move, and the questions left unanswered kind of play into the overall feel of the film. We are not sure exactly what’s going on, but we do know that something is up, and we definitely know that there is a huge terrifying dinosaur on the loose that needs to be stopped.
I cannot rate this film quite as high as the original “Jurassic Park,” but it is a worthy installment in this franchise, and again it is, in my opinion, by far the best sequel. It is also worth noting, that in an era of reboots, I am glad that this was not a reboot, but rather a solid and unique sequel. They will probably make more sequels, but this movie stands on its own. If this were to be the last in the franchise, I would be satisfied.
Folks will flock to this movie because it is about dinosaurs. These “thunder lizards” fascinate us. Why is that? At one point in the film Khan’s character Masrani shares that dinosaurs remind us that we are small, and what a profound insight that is. God has put not just dinosaurs, but other large creatures on this Earth to humble us. This was God’s whole point in bringing up Behemoth to Job, if God was sovereign over Behemoth was He also not sovereign over the affairs in Job’s life.
Masrani also says to Claire that “the key to a happy life is to accept you are never actually in control.” The writers may not have intended this, but can we give a hearty, Amen? As much as we would like to control our little individual worlds, at the end of the day, complete sovereignty belongs to God and God alone. Only by trusting Him as our creator, can we have that true happiness, because we know that He is good and that His plan for us is also good (Romans 8:28).
What else can we learn from Dinosaurs? These mighty creatures that have fallen are a shadow of the past. Dinosaurs, as well as other amazing extinct creatures, such as the saber tooth tiger and the Wooly Mammoth are a reminder of the greatness of the world that God had created, a world that was ultimately corrupted by sin and death. There are still many wonderful creatures on the planet today, but, nonetheless, the world is not what it once was. Dinosaurs, far from disproving the Bible, actually prove that its message is true and that creation was seriously affected by the fall of Genesis 3. Creation is groaning for the day that it will be restored (Romans 8:19-22).
Fossil remains remind us that God has indeed brought judgment upon this world, and that it is heading toward a day of final judgment. Each of us, on that day, will have to give an account before God. But in the midst of this message of judgment, there is a message of hope. The world has not ended yet, and the message of salvation through Jesus Christ is still being extended to all who will believe. One day, God will restore this creation and His children will reign with Him forever. This world is perishing, but believers have the hope of dwelling in new heavens and a new Earth (2 Peter 3:13). Will there be dinosaurs there? Well, the Bible does not specify exactly what kind of animals will be there, but I certainly hope so! Whatever is there though, we know it will definitely be grand.
Visit our Dinosaur Web site where you’ll discover a mountain of knowledge and amazing discoveries. How do dinosaurs fit into the Bible? You’ll find the answer to this and many more of your questions. Play games, browse and learn. Includes many helps for teachers and parents.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.