I’m never a huge fan of remakes, re-imaginings or new additions to franchises. When I found out that Sam Raimi was remaking Poltergeist, I was virtually beside myself. When I watched the funky new take on of Fright Night, I was tearing my hair out.
When it comes to Jurassic Park (1993), I was 2 years old when it had (what I imagine to be) a glorious cinema release, I wasn’t even conscious of self, let alone of Spielberg. I feel like I have some claim over it as I remember my gut wrenching fear as Tim and Lex hid from the raptors. I remember holding my breath, as if maybe the dinosaurs could hear me, and I faintly remember wetting myself as the biggest raptor clacked it’s 6 inch retractable claw on the kitchen tiles. I also remember feeling genuine happiness watching Dr. Grant connect with children, and I laughed at Dr. Ian Malcolm’s crazy laugh (I sometimes watch the 10 hour loop on YouTube in a dark room on my own). I recoiled at the idiocy of the scientists and was wowed by the fake technology of it all. It is safe to say, I was quite happy for it to be ‘slapped on my lunchbox’ – I was sold.
I don’t remember hearing about The Lost World (J2 for short). I think my brothers might have given me the passing comment of: “It’s shit.” I believe the first time I saw J2 it was when Channel 5 had just come into its own and started showing B grade movies in between episodes of Martial Law and Alias. I was pretty disappointed, a budding young film critic at the tender age of, let’s say 10, I found myself taking the piss out of every scene. What had they done? Why had they done it? It was the same movie, but just not as good. In the same vein as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, it is the same as the first but with slight differences. As for J3, I don’t think I need to say anything really? It’s the same premise as the first one, just as bad as the second one but has flying dinosaurs and swimming dinosaurs instead – oh, and one with it’s own polyphonic ringtone.
All of the Jurassic World trailers have been released, and I can’t predict what this film will be like, and I would love to give it the benefit of the doubt. However, I have some initial concerns I’d like to share. In no particular order, here goes:
Concern #1) The belittling of the raptor: “It’s not about control. It’s a relationship based on respect.” – Official global trailer.
What in the name of God is this? Someone has managed to do a Caesar Millan on these girls (assuming they are all still female) and turn them into trained subordinates. Good wittle waptors! So remember how I was saying earlier that the raptors are what made J1? The raptors were infinitely scarier than the T-Rex because sometimes smaller is scarier, sometimes smart is scary. Sometimes having a highly intelligent female raptor, that looks like ‘a giant turkey’ and can coordinate a planned attack…from the SIDES, is fucking terrifying. I’m concerned that Spielberg has done another Crystal Skull here and really squatted over his own legacy. John Hammond was obsessed with control, with his electric fences and his rigorous gender restrictions, it all fell apart. As Ellie points out: “You never had control! That’s the illusion!” So, maybe there is no desire to control them in Jurassic World and therefore, Owen (Chris Pratt) has some kind of lame Deep Blue Sea-ish understanding of these lab built dinosaurs. I’m not buying it but it’s being sold to me all the same.The last crop of test tube raptors were: “Systematically testing the fences for weaknesses.” These ones have lost all desire to kill and want to help out around the park. The new and improved Velociraptor pack are supposedly going to help, Owen catch the Diabolus Rex because of their shared mutual respect.
Concern #2) The Diabolus Rex narrative is going to be just like Deep Blue Sea (1999): “You just went and made a new dinosaur? Probably not a good idea.” – Superbowl spot trailer.
I have already drawn a comparison to Owen’s character and Carter from DBS as they both have an ‘understanding’ of their monsters, and they both have morals. Unlike their female scientist superiors. There are some shocking similarities between the language and imagery used in the JW trailers and DBS it is making me extremely worried. I love a good bit of DBS, who doesn’t? Any film that shows LL Cool J arguing with a parrot and leaving his souffle legacy gets my vote. But that was in 99 when films could be that bad, and still be very very good. And they didn’t hook it onto the back of the Jaws franchise, they just Jawsploitationed it up, which I will always be thankful for. Samuel L Jackson cried: “Tell me I didn’t see that, they recognize that gun!” in DBS, while the JW trailer cries out: “Her tracking implant, she clawed it out. She remembered where they put it in!”
While the Diabolus Rex isn’t biting the security cameras like the giant sharks do in DBS, it does look to be freeing an aviary full of Pterodactyls and rawing in their faces. Just another way that these sharky/dinosaury/genetically tampered with creatures like to incite mayhem and anarchy.
The comparisons don’t stop there. I found that Dr. Susan McCallister from DBS and Claire Dearing from JW have their similarities. Aside from both wearing white lab coats and creating gargantuan monsters, they both have the moral obligation to face their creatures. As we all know (if you haven’t seen DBS I feel really sorry for you) Dr. Susan suffers for her art and meets her grisly demise in an act of sacrifice, as she gets gobbled up by her own shark, it does look as though Claire may have to do the same.
Maybe I’m just looking for things now, but doesn’t that look a little bit familiar? My guess is that, Claire is going to get gobbled up too! If it turns out to be in an act of sacrifice for the greater good, then you all owe me a pint and a big sticker saying, ‘I told you so.’
Concern #3) Scientific tampering has made the Diabolus Rex a cliché. “What happened to the sibling?” – Official global trailer.
There may well be some originality or some blinding plot twist about Diabolus that the trailers don’t show. However, what they are showing us so far is that the Diabolus is just a very big raptor with no shock factor. Where is the ‘wow’ in a highly intelligent animal these days? The biggest raptor in J1: “Took over the pride and killed all but three.” She was also a: “Clever girl.” In JW the Diabolus ate her sibling, and is so clever she hunts for sport. The official global trailer shows that the Diabolus sets a trap using her tracking device, it reminded me of J3 when the raptors set a trap for their eggs back.
The raptors were smart in J1, they could open doors. They were a bit of a joke in J2 because they got an ass whooping from a kid. The raptors in J3 have an advanced way of communicating. The T-Rex has always been a big bumbling idiot. So what is new with JW? Nothing.
Concern #4) There will be no Mr. DNA
I don’t think I need to explain myself on this.
I think it’s safe to say I am concerned about Jurassic World. I will watch it all the same but I fear it will never live up to Jurassic Park. Here is one more gif of a T-Rex yawning at all the repetitiveness.
Related posts that get the ‘fist of approval’ :
Raptor Dash – some interesting insights into JW, written and presented in a nicer way.
Agent Clever – the arch nemesis of my post but definitely worth a read.
I wanna have a blog like yours.