[Cinema Sunday] ‘Jurassic World’ – Return of Dinosaurs

Jurrasic World

 

Watch your six! Raptors got a new alpha! – Owen Grady

Since the first discoveries of fossils and remains years ago, dinosaurs have fascinated people. With the advent of movies and television, they were brought to life in new ways. In 1993, Jurassic Park was released to wide enthusiasm from critics and the general public. Now, in a few weeks, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is going to bring the next step in the story.

All of it goes back to two things, first and foremost: the original Michael Crichton novel and the first movie. These are what spawned interest and invigorated people. With the advent of advances in movie-making (CGI for example), what was once done with models and puppets is now achieved with imagination and computers.

Chris Pratt (left) on set with Colin (right)

Many is the time a director is brought onto a project having no prior knowledge of the subject matter. Such was the case with Colin Trevorrow. When he was first being considered for directing by Kathleen Kennedy and her husband Frank Marshall, Colin stated, “if I direct this screenplay, it’s going to be a bad movie. I’m gonna do a bad job, because I just don’t get it.”

To many that would be considered a bad thing. When directing the next chapter in a world-building series like Jurassic Park, or the Marvel Cinematic Universe, DC Expanded Universe, or Star Wars, fans generally want someone in the chair who knows what they as fans want.

But with Colin, his not knowing what was expected in terms of plot was a benefit instead of a detriment. It meant that there was a creative freedom attached, allowing him to look at the idea of a world where dinosaurs are real due to gene-splicing and science, and put his stamp on it, make it his own.

One example of making it his own is most certainly within the script. Written by Trevorrow and Derek Connolly, this takes a new idea and fuses it within the narrative. A successful park built upon John Hammond’s vision. Disney World with dinos. And like any park or resort, it has a profit to turn and shareholders to keep happy. And how can such a place keep making money? By using the available genetic material and merging it with DNA from other animals.

This leads to creating more than just the average creatures of prehistoric legend. It also can lead to making things that should not have ever existed before. Monsters of science, all in the name of more money.

But that is only part of the movie. The other element is human characters, people who are affected by these wonders of the modern age.

Enter the lead cast: Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. As the two principal figures of the plot, they need to be more then simply onenote parts.

Chris Pratt is Owen Grady, lead wrangler of the park’s raptor pack. Think of Owen like a scoutmaster for fierce yet tiny predators. He is their alpha. And while his background is quickly setup (former Navy personnel, brought in to the park’s staff), things are about to go sideways for him right away. Along the way, not only does Owen survive the terrors that will come, love finds its way too.

Thus enters Bryce Dallas Howard. As Claire Dearing, operations manager for Jurassic World, she is a woman in charge and used to things running like clockwork. Take a pinch of chaos, throw that in the machinery of her world and then all manner of heck breaks out. Forced into working with Owen to ensure their own survival and that of her nephews (played by Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson), Claire too finds love and comes out the other side of the experience while jobless, richer in spirit and life.

Another part of what goes into making movies like this is the amount of hours put into it and the special effects. For the special effects in Jurassic World, bringing all the mammoth beasts to life, it was a combination of green screen technology, human doubles for certain scenes wearing prop headgear, and some old-fashioned imagination and creativity.

To give a sense of what went into making Jurassic World a reality, please enjoy this delightful ‘behind the scenes’ making of the movie documentary.

As with any major motion picture, how it performs both financially and critically ensures future works. Opening weekend in North America saw an intake of $208.8 million, while internationally, an even higher achievement of $524.4 million.

By far the best review came from Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian, who awarded it four out of five stars and said:

Jurassic World doesn’t have an equivalent of Samuel L Jackson’s chain-smoking employee Arnold from the first film, or indeed anything like its all-but-subliminal reference to J Robert Oppenheimer. But this is still a terrifically enjoyable and exciting summer spectacular: savvy, funny, ridiculous in just the right way, with some smart imaginative twists on the idea of how dinosaurs could be repositioned in a consumer marketplace where they are almost commonplace, and how the military might take a sinister interest in weaponising these scary beasts.

All of this success has culminated in a huge positive…audiences are getting a sequel. On June 22, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom will release more dino-madness upon people, with Chris and Bryce returning as Owen and Claire. And this time, the stakes have increased in a whole new way.

Dinosaurs are as much a part of childhood as they are of adult life. These great beasts from ancient history have always been a source of discovery and wonder for the world. And the Jurassic films have helped bring that wonder a little closer to us all. Make time in the evening to do something fun and family related. Something like watching Jurassic World and all the previous Jurassic movies to gear up for the sequel. And make sure to have fun while doing so. Because no matter how old one gets, nothing says fun like dinosaurs.