Why the "Jurassic World" Trailer Did Everything For Me

Editor's Note: As a counterweight to my bitter, cynical post on the brand new Jurassic World trailer, here's Lord Gremlin's take, coming from someone who actually got excited.

Written by: Lord Gremlin

Few films are as important to me as Jurassic Park. Kids in the late 1970’s had Star Wars and kids in the 1990s had Jurassic Park.  That first film was a true paradigm shift for the industry as far as special effects are concerned, and it also managed to totally wow a whole generation of movie goers. To this day, I still consider it one of the finest action/adventure films ever made and its legacy is still felt even after the 20 some odd years since its release.

Most fans are lukewarm on The Lost World: Jurassic Park and most fan still are in the same boat about Jurassic Park III being a giant pile of Brachiosaurus shit. I myself still find The Lost World: Jurassic Park to be a worthy follow up despite some very grating script hiccups and I could write a thesis on how much I hate Jurassic Park III, but considering I have more pressing matters to write about, I will spare you that particularly vitriol filled tirade for now.

Rumors of a 4th film had been floating around for years. They even passed around an idea about creating human/dino hybrids for the next installment and I (along with the entire fandom) flipped my shit at how totally ASS that sounded. Luckily, they dropped that idea and went for a more practical and believable approach.

Newcomer Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) was tasked with revitalizing the franchise properly with screenwriters Amanda Silver, Rick Jaffa and Derek Connolly. This was the first good sign that we may actually get a good sequel. Trevorrow has expressed what comes across as true admiration for the original film in interviews and he also seems to really want to deliver something good here. While the cynic may say “Well no shit a director of a big budget film is gonna have good things to say!” I choose to take his word for it because he comes off as damned sincere.

The writing team of Jaffa and Silver is another notch on the “hell yes!” belt because they’ve delivered two of the most solid high concept blockbusters of recent years with “Rise and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. So creatively, Universal and Senior Spielbergo went with quality people who not only have an appreciation for the franchise, but can also deliver smart blockbuster fare.

Now let’s get to the trailer, shall we?

Well, I loved it.  Not to get all fanboy, but the trailer did exactly what I wanted it to do: It got me excited. On the surface the plot looks more of the same: Scientists play God. Shit hit’s the fan. People run away and getting eaten by hungry dinosaurs. That blasted cynic would say “lame! Give us something new!” And I would say “Hey! Give it a chance! It looks like they are giving us something new!”

As we all know by now the park is indeed open. And by the looks of things it’s doing a crapload of business. According to Trevorrow, the park has been open and operating for a whole 10 years. This right here is an interest plot point. Based off of this info and visuals from the trailer, we are going to get an extension of some of the themes and the morality play from the first film. What would a functioning theme park filled with real dinosaurs be like in today’s world? After 10 years, what would the public reaction be like? Trevorrow himself had some interesting words to say on the matter:

“This film picks up twenty-two years after Jurassic Park. When Derek [Connolly] and I sat down to find the movie, we looked at the past two decades and talked about what we’ve seen. Two things came to the surface. [source]

One was that money has been the gasoline in the engine of our biggest mistakes. If there are billions to be made, no one can resist them, even if they know things could end horribly.

The other was that our relationship with technology has become so woven into our daily lives, we’ve become numb to the scientific miracles around us. We take so much for granted.

Those two ideas felt like they could work together. What if, despite previous disasters, they built a new biological preserve where you could see dinosaurs walk the earth…and what if people were already kind of over it? We imagined a teenager texting his girlfriend with his back to a T-Rex behind protective glass. For us, that image captured the way much of the audience feels about the movies themselves. “We’ve seen CG dinosaurs. What else you got?” Next year, you’ll see the answer.”
See? I told the guy had some solid ground to work on!

If executed well, seeing the park functioning as it was intended to could be the best way for Trevorrow and his crew to recapture some of that magic the first film had. I’m not under any illusions “Jurassic World” will make me a 4 year again and give me that same euphoric feeling the first film gave me. How could it? Magic like that is a very, very rare thing in films but if JW could manage to just stir up some of those old tingly feelings of giddy excitement, I will consider it a job well done. Some of the shots from the trailer looked to have that magic to them (that River Ride anyone? That Gyro-thingy riding alongside long-necked dinos! Hello!) so we’ll see if the film can sustain that vibe come June 12th.

Another thing that had me stoked is the inclusion of an aquatic dinosaur, in particular the Mosasaur. It’s like they looked into my brain and picked out an image specifically for me, just to make me happy. If they use that badass looking dude to his full potential in the film, we are looking at one scary ass new dinosaur.

The trailer also indicates that the franchise is getting back to its science fiction roots with the inclusion of a new big bad to the franchise-a mysterious hybrid. The real kicker comes at the end of the trailer though, when we see a pack of what look to be “trained” Raptors running alongside Chris Pratt’s character as he rides a motorcycle. The buzz about hybrids and friendly Raptors sent fans into a panty twisting tizzy, and honestly I can see why. I wasn’t all that thrilled about it myself until Mr. Trevorrow put me at ease with these words:

“There’s no such thing as good or bad dinosaurs. There are predators and prey. The T-Rex in Jurassic Park took human lives, and saved them. No one interpreted her as good or bad. This film is about our relationship with animals, how we react to the threat they pose to our dominance on earth as a species. We hunt them, we cage them in zoos, we admire them from afar and we try to assert control over them.

Chris Pratt’s character is doing behavioral research on the raptors. They aren’t trained, they can’t do tricks. He’s just trying to figure out the limits of the relationship between these highly intelligent creatures and human beings. If people don’t think there’s potential in those ideas, maybe they won’t like this movie. But I ask them to give it a chance.”

This makes all the sense in the world to me. While setting the film on an island, (yet again) with cocky scientists playing God (yet again) feels overly familiar on the surface, it’s what the creators do with that set-up that will make the film stand apart and not feel like a lazy retread. If the script puts forth the same strong idea’s and themes with the same confidence and finesse of the first film, I don’t see the familiarity being a problem what-so-diddly-ever. And that my friends, is what the film needs the most to succeed-a robust story. Sure, we know how it plays out, what the message is and all that but I’m of the opinion that no matter what a movie’s story is, samey or not, it’s all in the execution.

So as you can guess, I am very much looking forward to Jurassic World. I think the film has massive potential to be the sequel we deserved way back when Jurassic Park III came out and spit in all of our eyes. The writing team is strong, the director has passion and potential (Check out Safety Not Guaranteed, it’s bitchin’) and the cast is solid as well. So I will sit here for the next 6 months or so, patiently waiting to visit my favorite fictional theme park again, and I hope (and feel) that the wait may very well be worth it.
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About The Damn Beast

Pre-op trans-minotaur, sci-fi/fantasy/horror author, metal singer, videogame journalist, pop culture blogger. I also lift heavy things and put them down again repeatedly to occupy more space.
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