An Article 65 Million Years In The Making.
An Introduction. - ("Clever Girl")
A few weeks ago a friend and I got into a small debate over the decision to continue the Jurassic Park franchise which is set to see it's forth installment Jurassic World hit cinemas next year the film premise is as follows -
Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. This new park is owned by the Masrani Corporation. Owen (Chris Pratt), a member of Jurassic World's on-site staff, conducts behavioral research on the Velociraptors. After many years, Jurassic World's attendance rates begin to decline, and a new attraction created to re-spark visitor interest gravely backfires.
The debate saw my rival questioning why big budget studios continue to make sequels, prequels and reboots to existing film series instead of investing in anything new while I took the stance that while in most case I would have agreed with her I felt that there was still a great deal of fascinating material that could come from another venture to Jurassic Park so long as the film didn't simply repeat what it had done in previous movies (okay the discussion wasn't quite so clear-cut as that makes it seem but for the purposes of an introduction to this article: that's exactly how it went).
This got me thinking about why I felt (and still feel) such a sense of optimism towards this newest instalment in a series of films that have had its share of ups and downs (I'm looking at you Jurassic Park 3!), Exactly what is it that I was hoping this new instalment would present me with.
And so here are a few items that I strongly hope will make an appearance in Jurassic World:
1. More Dinosaurs. - ("A Six-Foot Turkey")
Okay so I'll admit that this is somewhat of a massively obvious choice and Jurassic World failing to add any new interesting dinosaurs would be a ridiculously difficult mistake to make and yet with the exception of the Spinosaurus (which served solely as a water-based T-Rex replacement) and the Pteranodons (which flew off with easily the best sequence of the film) Jurassic Park 3 failed to introduce any new interesting creatures instead simply using the Velociraptors and the Spinosaurus as the films recurring threat and then only throwing in a few shots of any other dinosaurs,
while in the 1993 original film each and every single dinosaur that was introduced had its own incredible screen presence from the flocking herd of Gallimimus fleeing from the the T-Rex, the sick Triceratops, the terrifying, venom spitting Dilophosaurus, to the big guy himself the Tyrannosaurus Rex each one left an impact and I only hope that Jurassic World's do the same.
A promotional map for the film has already revealed that Ankylosaurus, Apatosaurus, Baryonyx, Dimorphodon, Edmontosaurus, Gallimimus, Metriacanthosaurus, Microceratus, Mosasaurus, Pachycephalosaurus, Pteranodon, Stegosaurus, Suchomimus, Triceratops, and Tyrannosaurus Rex will all be exhibits in Jurassic World (if you don't know what creature a few of those names belong to don't worry about it I doubt they'll all appear on screen) while the Velociraptors have also been confirmed to be returning and why wouldn't they? they're awesome!)
Apparently the films theme park will feature a lagoon location allowing for some previously unseen water based creatures that will hopefully allow the film to take the action in a new direction and introduce some memorable new monsters.
2. More Tyrannosaurus Rex. - ("Mommy's Very Angry")
There are a lot of mistakes that were made by Jurassic Park 3 (The talking Velociraptor sequence is definitely one of them) but none that I find quite so difficult to forgive as the brutal murder of the iconic Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Do I understand why you did it? sure, you were trying to prove a point: the Spinosaurus is scary! Only it wasn't, It featured its own ringtone to cheerfully declare it's presence, stood quietly in the background not attacking until its prey was ready to pay attention to it, and was easily defeated in the final confrontation - Not Scary.
The T-Rex earned the audiences respect thanks to its incredible introductory scene that displayed its full terrifying power while the Spinosaurus expects to garner the same respect and it's position of the films Apex predator by simply stealing it through murdering the big girl.
What's annoying (beyond the murdering) is that the Spinosaurs could have been as scary and impressive as the T-Rex but the film never gives the creature the time to develop and when it does have screen time the film makers decisions (such as the ringtone announcement) undermine its presence, and sure you could argue that the T-Rex that dies in JP3 was a sub-adult individual (possibly even the baby T-Rex from The Lost World Jurassic Park but that doesn't change the pathetic nature of its death
I demand that he be returned to his post of Jurassic Park's Iconic Monster, he doesn't necessarily need to be the films main threat, nor do I need to see the two titans go head-to-head one last time ending the way it should have first time around, but the big beauty does need to make a reappearance with a VENGEANCE!
3. References To John Hammond. - ("We Spared No Expense")
Legendary actor Richard Attenborough sadly passed away recently and as in his role of John Hammond the man introduced us to Jurassic Park with the immortal line 'Welcome To Jurassic Park' it would only be fitting for the film to pay some small homage to the man that began it all, be it a throwaway line or a statue or memorial located somewhere in the park.
4. References To Previous Installments - ("It's fine if you wanna put your name on something but STOP putting it on other people's headstones")
I'm not asking for Avengers level connectivity but some small mention of the history of the series would be welcome, it may be in the form of mentioning previous characters, the two islands (Isla Sorna and Isla Nublar), or the companies involved (InGen), even if Jurassic World just features the same style big gate that was so impact in the original just for the sake of world building, connecting the movies together and adding depth to the movies.
5. The Correct Balance Of Science Fiction, Adventure And Character Development.
Not an easy line to walk, the first film managed to pull it off perfectly while the second instalment The Lost World: Jurassic Park explored the adventure element more prominently increasing the scale of everything (More Dinosaurs, More Action, Bigger Climax) but this came at the cost of the incredibly good character development of the original (with only Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum)'s trio Malcolm who was established pretty well by the first instalment, his girlfriend Sarah Harding and his daughter Kelly receiving any real development at all). While Jurassic Park 3....was not a good movie failing to manage any of these three key aspect particularly well (I would go as far to say the JP3 was awful but following the success of the first and second instalments being simply good was never going to be enough).
Jurassic World needs to set up its world through Science Fiction, have something go horribly wrong to create Adventure, and needs to develop its characters well enough that we want to see them survive, the original Jurassic Park featured only 5 deaths but each one of those was memorable because we cared about or at least had a strong understanding of the characters so those deaths left a lasting impact.
6. Interesting Habitats. - ("It's A Veggiesaurus")
Naturally Jurassic Park's creatures are only as believable as the world that they dwell in, as the environment helps to create an atmosphere of realism by suggesting an Ecosystem that the dinosaurs follow like they did when they were the dominant species of the planet and like today's living creatures do. So it is important that adequate attention is paid to the animals environment while adding touches that would be featured in an amusement park such Jurassic World including Observation Decks, Information Posts and Photography Spots to add a human element into the equation.
7. An Open And Fully Operational Jurassic Park. - ("We Have All The Problems Of A Major Theme Park And A Major Zoo")
This might be the main source of my hope for this project, the idea of seeing Hammond's dream realized, a fully functioning Dinosaur Theme Park.
It's strange considering that the Jurassic Park film series is about a Dinosaur themed Theme-Park and yet we haven't once seen the park up and running, the first instalment saw the park go to hell before it actually opened while The Lost World: JP and JP3 featured romps through the jungle, and so Jurassic World will show us exactly what Jurassic Park was conceived to be, from the exhibits, the rides, the merchandise and the tour we will finally see what would have happened if life hadn't insisted in finding a way.
Conclusions. - ("Life Finds A Way")
So just why is it that i have such hopes for Jurassic World?
Perhaps it is because much like the fictional theme park itself my hopes are pure fantasy, my imagination running wild and no matter just how good the film is it will inevitably fail to live up to my expectations
Or maybe it is because Jurassic Park represents one of the greatest, most influential movie moments in my life and the idea of continuing that legacy is incredibly welcome (even after the misstep that was Jurassic Park 3) in hopes of recreating the sense of awe that I felt all those years ago seeing that gigantic Brachiosaurus for the first time
There are very few Dinosaur based blockbusters and even fewer successful ones (honestly I can only think of The Jurassic Park Series and King Kong) so it is not exactly an overused concept there is still a great deal of potential and with the ever watchable Chris Pratt (Guardians Of Galaxy) in the lead role at least I can be sure the films characters will be entertaining enough and if the rest of the movie is able to build on the strengths of the series's previous installments while avoiding simply retreading old ground (as all good sequels should!) then Jurassic World has the possibility of being one of the best installments to an already pretty amazing franchise.
And there you have it boys and girls my hopes for Jurassic World, Is there anything in particular you are hoping to see when it hit theaters next year? Are you looking forward to it or slightly apprehensive about the continuation of the series? Leave a comment discussing your views and opinions below to let me know.