I have anxiously been awaiting a fourth installment into the Jurassic Park franchise for some time now (about 10 years). Whenever it was announced that there was going to be a new movie due out next summer I was very excited. Then I saw the trailer for Jurassic World and was even more ecstatic, if you haven't seen it, take a couple minutes to check it out.
Pretty awesome, right? Well, even if you were one of the few who didn't think so, I thought it was amazing and I'll definitely make sure that my butt is in the theater seat to watch some glorious dino-action go down.
But I want to take a minute to discuss my expectations and/or the things that intrigue me about this film most. This is after all, a predecessor to a poorly received sequel and threequel.
Of course the The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III were not as good as Jurassic Park the original, I never said that so don't misquote me. But, I think there was definitely a fun level of entertainment (for me) while watching this film, but I've always been a dinosaur-aficionado and was always slightly more forgiving of these films than others for that reason.
But with what Colin Trevorrow, the director of Jurassic World, has brought us, it has shown us that we are getting something unlike anything we've seen before. So that's kind of what I want to start off talking about.
Welcome to Jurassic...World? - Exploring a New Dynamic
The sheer fact that we are going into this movie with the knowledge that Jurassic Park...I mean Jurassic World, has been open for a full decade already tells us that this is a much different Jurassic Park movie than we've received in the past. Before we've seen protagonists who were intrigued by a proposition of a lifetime, obligated to go for the sake of others, or coerced into going to a neighboring island in total ignorance of the real intentions of others.
But with Jurassic World, there are millions upon millions a year who will have been in attendance, a full decade without any (known) incidents. All these people are coming to be entertained by the massive animals that inhabit the island in a seemingly controlled environment. They've got the Gyrosphere, which will allow tourists to embark on a somewhat free-roam exploration of the more docile dinosaurs and their territories.
They've also been given an opportunity of a lifetime to see a real-life mesosaurus feed on the dead carcass of a a great white shark.
These are all awesome features for our oblivious tourists who were only looking for a fun vacation to spend with there family. They have no idea of the true danger that they're about to encounter and by all means, why should they have any idea at all if the park has been successfully opened for ten years. What could possibly go wrong?
The Main Protagonist is a Jurassic World Employee
What's interesting to note first, is how serious Pratt's character is.
For those of you who may not know of Chris Pratt, he's a hilarious actor as you can see in movies like Guardians of the Galaxy and The Lego Movie. Something about him just is naturally funny (I haven't seen Zero Dark Thirty yet so I can't comment on his character there). With Chris Pratt being as huge of an actor in Hollywood as he is right now, it's nice to see that even though he seems to be in a starring franchise film every year, he's not playing the same type of role, he's exploring who he is as an actor and that's always worthy of an applause from someone like myself.
But moving along, this is the first movie in the Jurassic Park franchise to have the main protagonist be an actual employee of the park. In the past we've seen the main characters come in with an outsider's perspective on things even if Dr. Ian Malcom and Dr. Alan Grant were both previous victims of the horrors that plagued the islands of Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna, they're knowledge of the park was not as vast as what Chris Pratt's character, Owen, may have.
His knowledge of the park goes so deep that he even has developed a sort of understanding of velociraptors and their dangerous nature. I'm sure Owen will be aware of the danger, he places himself in when dealing with them as well. So that's another huge dynamic shift in the tone of this movie as we begin to look at all the dinosaurs more as animals, rather than monsters.
Colin Trevorrow even touched on this matter a little bit when he stated:
“Owen’s relationship with the raptors is complicated. They aren't friends. These animals are nasty and dangerous and they'll bite your head off if you make the wrong move. But there are men and women out there today who have forged tenuous connections with dangerous predators. That's interesting territory to me." ~Colin Trevorrow
It's intriguing to us too, Mr. Trevorrow.st genetically modified hybrid
Probably the biggest dynamic shift for any Jurassic Park movie to be done...ever. I remember hearing about this and wincing a little bit, and to be honest, I still do some. The fact that this movie's main dino is going to be a fictionalized creation is a tad nerve-racking for me. But when I begin to think about the mindset of the scientists at InGen and how prideful they are, it's not surprising at all to me that they would try something this fool-hardy, the director also touched on this subject as well (must have been aware of all my curiosities).
"There is no shortage of awesome [real] dinosaurs. We could have populated this entire story with new species that haven’t been in any of these movies. But this new creation is what gave me a reason to tell another Jurassic Park story. We have the most awe-inspiring creatures to ever walk the Earth right in front of us, but for some reason that’s not enough. We’re always hungry for the next thing, and those who profit from it are always looking to feed that hunger. The focus groups want something bigger than a T-Rex. And that’s what they get." ~Colin Trevorrow
This is so true, to some extent anyways. People are never satisfied, when we realize that we have the capabilities to make something bigger and "better" than they push their limits as far as they can until the very thing they are trying to make bigger is run into the ground.
But the flip-side of that argument is that, why would people be unsatisfied going to Jurassic World and seeing dinosaurs when they've been perfectly fine going to zoos for the past century?
But I see his point and I am relieved that so much earnest thought has been put into this portion of the film. I'm just glad that the dinosaurs never ended up caring machine guns like was previously rumored.
It's too bad though, that none of the Jurassic World engineers ever listened to the opinion Dr. Malcolm and his chaos theory. It's almost like the conflicting ideologies and mindsets of Dr. Malcom and Dr. Hammond are still very much at war with each other.
"We have learnt more in the past year from genetics, than a century of digging up bones! A whole new frontier has opened up! We have our first genetically modified hybrid!" ~Bryce Dallas Howard as 'Claire'
"Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should." ~Jeff Goldbloom as Dr. Ian Malcom
These two quotes are from entirely different movies, but you see my point in how much the instinct to discover cannont be suppressed despite any and all warnings.
Placing More Focus on the Fear
The biggest thing that Jurassic Park did that the others didn't, which I feel is huge aspect to keep in every Jurassic Park movie, is to add that sense of fear to the film. We were promised a movie next year that would be a truly frightening film. I hope that they live up to their word. I don't want just the parts that make you jump when the dinosaur pops out, I want them to build that anticipation. The best way to build anticipation in a scene is to make it go on as long as you can till the movie-goer feels that time has exceeded the "jump-scare" and just as he begins to feel relaxed, that's when you unleash the horror.
This is a film about man-eating dinosaurs and hybrid monsters. We should go into this movie expecting our eyes to widen, our hearts to race, and our butts to be placed on the edge of our seats or perhaps being held onto tightly by our spouse or significant other.
So will Jurassic World stand out in a good way in a franchise that's not been so well received (minus the first movie)? I think it may, in fact, be well worth the wait. It's got great actors, a director who has a passion for the story, and a plot that is more ambitious than we previously imagined.
Feel free to comment below and vote in the poll. Personally, I'd like to hear what aspects of Jurassic World excite you the most and what aspects of the previous films you'd like to see return.