Chaos theory states that most belated sequels aren't great... But "Jurassic World" is just as awesome, exciting and terrifying as you'd hope. And though the movie doesn't open in theaters until June 12, MTV News sneaked a peek at the movie at an early screening, and was immediately transported back to childhood.
A childhood terrorized by hungry dinosaurs, sure -- but childhood nonetheless. Without getting into anything other than VERY mild spoilers, here's everything dino-mite about in "Jurassic World."
It's like "The Lost World," but better.Universal
What vague memories I have of the second "Jurassic Park" movie are an increased military presence, more focus on intrigue and a generally scarier movie than the already pretty scary first one. Except it never gelled together, the characters weren't great, and it ended with a goofy T. Rex attack on San Diego.
In a weird way, "Jurassic World" hits a lot of those same notes -- but gets it all right, minus the awesomeness that is Jeff Goldblum, of course.
It's like "Godzilla," but better.Universal
Don't get me wrong, last year's "Godzilla" was a fun time at the movie theater. But -- and skirting spoilers here -- the monster fights from Toho have nothing on the dino fights on Isla Nublar. They are, in a word, epic... And the end of the movie will, guaranteed, lead to spontaneous cheering.
Do you like gender stereotypes? Too bad.Universal
Recently, director Colin Trevorrow responded to directer Joss Whedon's comments about the first scene (which, for transparency's sake, debuted here on MTV News) from the movie, which played into pretty typical gender roles when it came to Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard's characters. He lamented that the scene was out of context, and would make much more sense in the span of the movie.
It totally does. Howard starts in one place as a buttoned up exec, and then very quickly begins to own the movie. Where Pratt has been put front and center on the marketing, it's really Howard's arc, and how she plays directly against action movie stereotypes that drives the plot.
There will certainly be a lot of debate about how successful it is in the long run, because #theinternet, but it's a bold move for a movie, and plays out really, really well.
...But Chris Pratt is also awesome.Universal
If you didn't think he was a hunky and hilarious action hero after "Guardians of the Galaxy," you will here. Owen Grady is a classic character pretty much from his first intro. He's got the steely gaze, mixed with Pratt's iconic guffaw and he's magnetic in every single scene. Even if the movie ends up being about Howard, Pratt crushes it, too.
And his costume is up there with Han Solo and Indiana Jones in iconography. If there were awards for costuming, this should win all of them.
Oh, there are awards for costuming? Multiple awards? Cool. Never mind.
Jake Johnson nails every line he delivers.Universal
The stealth hero of the movie, Jake Johnson plays a tech working at the park, and somehow every single line he delivers absolutely lands. He's not in the movie a ton, but the audience I saw it with died pretty much every time he opened his mouth. Plus there's a moment during the third act that ties back into that whole "gender stereotypes" thing, and it's probably the best comic set piece in the movie.
Oh my god the Indominus Rex is terrifying.Universal
The new dino on the block is expressly bred to be terrifying, and luckily for movie-going audiences, absolutely is. Part of the joy of the movie is very slowly discovering what it is, and what it can do -- so we won't spoil it here. Suffice to say, every time you think you've learned the lengths this man-made dinosaur can go to, it goes further... And just gets scarier as it goes.
You'll believe a dinosaur can make you feel.Universal
Indominus aside, this is the first "Jurassic" movie that will also make you totally, emotionally invested in individual dinosaurs, as well. A huge theme in the movie is the connection between animals and humans... Which makes sense, because IRL one's reaction to dinosaurs is often more of a gut, emotional thing than just scientific curiosity.
In essence (and again, skirting spoilers): those that connect with the dinosaurs survive; those who don't, don't. For the audience, and to Trevorrow's credit, it's the same thing: the movie lives or dies on your emotional connection to the dinosaurs. For me, at least, it completely, swimmingly worked.
The Easter eggs are awesome.Universal
"Jurassic World" is one of those rare, belated sequels that pays homage to the original without slavishly adhering to it. Yet, there's a TON of Easter eggs for fans of the original, including some that play major points in the plot -- and at least two that don't even show up until the climax.
It works because you don't need to know the original movie at all to enjoy the new one -- but if you have seen "Jurassic Park," the "World" experience is that much richer.
Speaking of the world...Universal
There's a bunch of dangling plot threads left open at the end of "Jurassic World." Don't get me wrong, it 99 percent takes place on Isla Nublar, and ties up the main character arcs extremely well. But it also fleshes out the world of the "Jurassic" movies in a huge way, and sets up some exciting, less island-based directions for any potential future entries in the series.
Like I said up top, this is the follow up "Lost World" should have been (and wasn't)... Though there's no way it would have made sense without the real-world time between "JP" and "JW." But with that in mind, the "World" is now wide open, and I can't wait to see where the series goes next.