Jurassic Apathy


Jurassic Park was a good movie. All of what followed disappointed though. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom does not buck the trend. Christian Tesfaye awards 5 out of 10 stars.

It is strange how things get tired so fast. When Jurassic Park was released in 1993, it became the highest grossing movie of its time. And, although the film was never a masterpiece – not even close – Steven Spielberg had coloured it with his signature touch of curiosity, thrill-mongering, brilliant set pieces, and wonderful cinematography. It was the guilty pleasure any cinephile can afford without losing the sense of subtlety.

The film also had a great concept, adapted from the science-fiction adventure novel of the same name by Michael Crichton. It was a story of the ultimate zoo – with live dinosaurs up for display. A team of genetic scientists had found dinosaur DNA trapped in mosquitos that were themselves trapped in amber. They cloned them, built a vast park and allowed people to visit until everything goes awry thanks to a Tyrannosaurus rex.

Just four years later came the sequel, The Lost World: Jurassic Park. It did not have anything more to offer. The leads had changed, as well as how characters were killed off. The dialogue was different as well as the first act. But the concept and the theme were the same. This did not change with another sequel, Jurassic Park III. It was yet again the same movie, with a few pieces moved around.

When Universal Pictures announced another sequel in 2015, I did not think the indifference that greeted the last two movies would have been lifted. But the film opened to remarkable box office numbers, earning 1.6 billion dollars at the end of its run in theaters. It did not turn out to be a run of the mill blockbuster movie – the sort that grosses at three times as much as it took to make but still falls short of the one billion dollar mark.

This was yet another sequel that did not offer anything new. But, I guess, for a new generation the dinosaurs were unique – a departure from the superheroes they had become accustomed to.

Another sequel has just been released, and even from its trailers, it was obvious it was going to be a reaffirmation of the fact that the Jurassic universe has been explored to an inch of its life, not that it had much to offer to begin with.

Three years have passed since the Jurassic World theme park was trashed. It turns out that it was an island with an active volcano, which has recently begun to erupt. The United States government, saying that the creation of the dinosaurs was unnatural and that the volcano is God’s way of correcting the imbalance, decides not to interfere.

Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), a former manager at the park is not giving up on them though. She recruits her ex-boyfriend, Owen (Chris Pratt), on a mission that has been given by one of the scientists, Sir Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell), that cloned the first dinosaurs. They succeed in getting 10 species off the island before it is covered with lava.

But there is also bad news. The handler of Lockwood’s estate, Eli (Rafe Spall), wants to sell the dinosaurs on the black-market, most likely to buyers that would like to put them to use for combat.

Colin Trevorrow did not return to direct. It was J.A. Bayona this time around. He does not disappoint in giving us a predicable, mediocre movie that is digestible with a popcorn. He does not break any rules. It was a sort of film where the script was written, everyone liked it, shot it and went home. It does not seem like anyone had ambitions for it to excite or perplex – the filmmakers just tried to awesomely digitally rendition dinosaurs, which they hoped would suffice.

The film will have a sequel in three years time, and I could not be excited less. It will also not be the only gigantic monster orgy we will get to see though. We will have King Kong Vs Godzilla in 2020. But that just sounds too exciting to miss.


Published on Jun 16,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 946]



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