Thursday 26 April 2018

5 reasons why we fear Jurassic World is going to be a stinker

Mososaur - Jurassic World
Mososaur - Jurassic World
Chris Pratt in Jurassic World
Steven Spielberg on the set of Jurassic Park with a mechanical dinosaur
Chris Pratt in Jurassic World
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

It has been 22 years since Jurassic Park blew audiences away by bringing dinosaurs convincingly and terrifyingly to life on the big screen for the first time in movie history.

Spielberg's adventure classic still stands the test of time and all three films thus far have grossed more than $2 billion worldwide.

More than a decade after the last instalment Jurassic World is poised to revive the franchise with a new cast, new director, and the cream of modern filmmaking technology at its disposal - it could be, should be, amazing.

However, there are a few reasons why it could also prove be the ultimate turkey. It's guaranteed to break the box office.  But will it be any good?  Let's hope Universal prove our fears (outlined below) unfounded with a bumper crop of positive reviews as the film releases for previews on Thursday! 

It languished in development hell for 13 years

Chris Pratt in Jurassic World

Made it!

Spielberg already had an idea for a fourth film as he wrapped the third and in 2002 it was announced it would release in summer 2005.  However, the project endured multiple writer changes, script rewrites, and director changes. 

The final director, Colin Trevorrow, was initially unhappy with the script, telling The New York Times the he "didn't understand what it was about" and so he looked to another treatment.

Stars of the first film - Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, and the late Richard Attenborough - had all confirmed they would return for the fourth film but Trevorrow didn't want to "shoehorn them into the story for my own sentimental reasons".

Nine years after the film was initially slated for release it's finally here.  Spielberg, who was heavily involved in the making of the final film despite never being on set, reportedly wanted to take it slow and get it right so let's hope it rises from the ashes like a Phoenix as opposed to an overcooked turkey...

The press screening is late

chris pratt jurassic world.jpg
Chris Pratt in Jurassic World

EVen Chris Pratt looks concerned

The film is being screened for reviewers in the afternoon prior to general release.  In the world of movies this generally signifies an absolute stinker for which the only hope of recouping a few bucks is to delay the scathing reviews. 

Word of mouth is everything and if you can't open your mouth (or brandish your pen) to warn the public until the film is actually released then it may just have a chance of survival, at least for opening weekend. Instead of reading actual reviews, the public are instead blinded by clever marketing and hype. 

Of course, sometimes a film is best left to the judgement of the people, particularly big box office, popcorn fare like Jurassic World. Maybe it's the Robbie Williams of movies - highly entertaining, enjoyable, and endearing yet somewhat lacking in the nuts and bolts credentials which generally impress the average critic.

Then again, Jurassic Park managed to do both.  It's a high bar.

The super dinosaur

Dg original t rex.jpg
Original Jurassic Park T-Rex

The original T-Rex from Jurassic Park - scary no?

The notion of making everything bigger and better in sequels is sometimes misguided.  Surely real dinosaurs were terrifying enough without having to create a genetically modified hybrid super dinosaur which is central to Jurassic World? 

Yes, it's a movie with dramatic licence, but what is most terrifying about the whole premise of Jurassic Park etc is the notion that these creatures actually walked the earth and the question of how we would interact (or not) if they did so again.  A genetically modified hybrid super dinosaur?  Sure why not add aliens to Indiana Jones?  Oh.  We all know how that went down...


Dg dino.jpg
Mososaur - Jurassic World

While we're beating the realism stick, let's consider the CGI. The special effects in the trailer are worryingly rubbish (see mososaur munching on shark above), which is to be expected since trailers rarely feature finished footage. 

However, what is clear from the entire trailer is that CGI features heavily throughout the film which, if it really is the case, is disappointing - unless they pull a Rise of the Planet of the Apes. 

Trevorrow did say there would be anamatronics in Jurassic World, but how many is unclear.  There was just 14 minutes of dinosaur visual effects in Jurassic Park - Stan Winston, who created the exoskeleton in The Terminator, built live-action dinosaur robots which were blended with the scant CGI to stunning effect.

Jurassic World will release in 2D, 3D and IMAX.  Let's not get started on 3D...

The absence of Malcolm

Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park

We have no qualms about the cast of Jurassic World (Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, the return of BD Wong), aside from the fact it appears to lack anyone who will bring the kind quirk and charisma that Jeff Goldblum brought to the original as Dr. Ian Malcolm.

Back in 2011 Ariana Richards, who played Lex, told Interview magazine that between scenes she was sitting in a helicopter with Joey Mazzello and Jeff Goldblum, who was reading his script.

"I was struck by the fact that he wasn't studying it like most people I'd been around that were actors, who'd study quietly, kind of unobtrusively," she said.  "He was speed-reading them out loud!"  Which is exactly the kind of chaotic randomness Goldbum brought to the big screen.  He will be missed.

Jurassic World opens in cinemas nationwide on 11th June in 2D, 3D and IMAX.  Cert 12A (ROI)/ 12A (NI), 124 minutes

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