I can’t really remember a time when Jurassic Park wasn’t my favorite film. To me, it represents absolutely everything I love about movies. It’s a total spectacle, dazzling us with something we’ve never seen before and creating a feeling of magic that has never worn off even 20 years later. It’s absolutely thrilling, packed to the brim with scenes that still make me hold my breath all these years later. And yet it’s a remarkably well written movie where practically every character is memorable and has a purpose. It’s action adventure filmmaking at its finest.
As a kid, I somewhat enjoyed the sequels, although even I could recognize that they paled in comparison to what I initially fell in love with. With Jurassic Park 3, as much as I mock it now for being a really dumb sequel, I actually had a lot of fun with it at the time, so when it was over, I figured we’d get a fourth installment relatively soon.
In fact, I have a vivid memory of seeing a report on the local news that Spielberg was working on Jurassic Park 4, and I never forgot that. Over the next decade, much like Ghostbusters 3, news about a new Jurassic Park kept popping up over and over, and yet the movie kept getting pushed back or cancelled. At one point, things seemed to be coming along, and then the movie was shelved and it was revealed the plan was for it to be about dinosaurs that are bred for use in the military. Huh.
So when Jurassic World was announced, all logic pointed to the fact that it really was happening this time, yet I refused to believe it. I didn’t want to get my hopes up only for another disappointment. In the back of my head, I kept thinking the movie would get cancelled again.
Yet here we are, less than 24 hours before the film’s premiere, and it’s really hard to believe. Never in my life have I felt more like a kid again than in these last hours of excitement before a brand new freaking Jurassic Park.
This is the last time I can ever talk about the new movie without having seen it, so I thought I’d just voice some of my thoughts, predictions, hopes and fears.
1. Not too much action
It might sound odd to be asking for less action, but one of the things I love about the first Jurassic Park is how patient and restrained it is. We get to spend time getting to know these characters and the island for quite a while before the action starts, and we don’t get our first major dinosaur setpiece for a full hour.
Yet in the most recent sequel, Jurassic Park 3, we were getting dinosaur action practically right away.
With Jurassic World, I want it to be a fair amount of time before anything even goes wrong. Partially this is because it’s always been a dream of mine to imagine what a real Jurassic Park would be like, and in this movie, we’re finally going to get it. So I want the film to spend a good amount of time just showing us around the park as it’s fully operational. I want to see the attractions, the rides, the lines, and every aspect of how this park functions as a practical experience.
Only then, after we’ve fully fleshed out the park and all of these characters, should the shit start to hit the fan.
2. Don’t overdo the nostalgia
I’m sure the movie is going to tap really heavily into our sense of nostalgia about the original movie, and I’m pumped for that. But the thing is, I don’t want this to just turn into 2 hours of “Hey, remember how good Jurassic Park was?” I want this movie to be good as a new, original creation, not just as something that makes us remember a better film.
So any references or homages to the original should be nice and subtle, but we don’t just need recreations of similar sequences. What we need is something brand new, because we’ve been waiting all these years for a brand new adventure into Jurassic Park. Not the same shit we’ve seen three times.
3. Reference Alan Grant or Ian Malcolm
At this point, it seems like a Jeff Goldblum or Sam Neill cameo is kind of a long shot, but I would at least want the movie to make some reference to them in some way. Partially this would just be as a tribute to what came before, but also because I’m interested in where these characters ended up, and I think it would be a bit odd for them to be totally absent.
Wouldn’t Dr. Grant and Dr. Malcolm be campaigning against the opening of Jurassic World? Even if we just get a quick, offhand reference to some scientists who have spoken out against the park, that would be enough.
4. Make the T-Rex awesome again
You know what was bullshit about Jurassic Park 3? It wanted to introduce the Spinosaurus and make it badass, which is perfectly fine, but by having it beat the T-Rex so easily, it basically tossed the most beloved dinosaur “character” aside like a complete joke.
I don’t want Jurassic World to do that again, making us focus entirely on the D-Rex but not letting the T-Rex get any love. Maybe the original T-Rex could actually show up and be the one to take out the new hybrid dinosaur, kind of like it coming in at the end of the first movie? That would be fucking awesome!
5. Don’t set up any more movies
I’ve mentioned this before, but a serious concern I have about Jurassic World is the fact that that Universal is already talking about the sequels to the movie. If the film really gives us the feeling that a whole series is being set up, that could seriously hurt the storytelling. I want this to feel like a good companion to the first film with a complete story. If we get some sort of shitty open-ended conclusion, I’m gonna be pissed.
6. Be about something
The first Jurassic Park was just as memorable for its discussions about humans playing god as it was for the dinosaur action. Some of the best scenes in the movie are just Dr. Hammond and Dr. Malcolm verbally sparring, and the movie really has something to say beyond all the special effects.
What the hell did The Lost World and Jurassic Park 3 have to say? I want Jurassic World to be about something. Even if it’s just reiterating the same thing the first movie was about, this shouldn’t just feel like a dumb popcorn spectacular. Jurassic Park was always more than that.
And that’s all I can think of for now. Oh god, it’s really hard to believe this is actually happening. I will of course be updating tomorrow night directly after I’ve seen the film, assuming I am capable of typing at that point.