The dinosaurs are coming to disc – worth your dosh?
released 19 OCTOBER 2015 | 12 | Blu- ray/ DVD/ Download
Director Colin Trevorrow
Cast Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins
The fourth film in the long - dormant dino franchise has a signature image: a bored teenage boy in the theme park’s viewing gallery on the phone to his girlfriend while a Tyrannosaurus rex hollers in the background.
It’s 22 years on from the opening of the original Jurassic Park, and John Hammond’s lab- birthed dinosaurs have lost much of their gawp value. “These days, kids look at a Stegosaurus like an elephant from the city zoo,” explains stiff- collared operations manager Claire Dearing ( Bryce Dallas Howard). So the pressure is on to give people an extra incentive to book their ticket to Isla Nublar. The answer: the Indominus rex, a laboratory- concocted dino cooked up to be bigger, nastier and hungrier than even its Tyrannosaurus cousin – a greatest hits DNA package of all the park’s deadliest attractions.
There’s a pleasingly meta parallel between the theme park’s need to give its visitors a new centrepiece after 22 years and the franchise’s need to offer up something fresh and vital after 14 years’ absence. Jurassic Park wowed the world in 1993, but by Jurassic Park III, CG- ed dinosaurs were greeted with more of a collective shrug than a jaw- drop. Universal then was faced with exactly the same dilemma as the owners of ( a now renamed) Jurassic World.
So while the previous Jurassic Parks were proper dino- ensembles, there’s little room for any other species ( bar the marquee- friendly Raptors) in this new movie.
It’s a questionable move. The appeal of the original Jurassic Park was that it breathed life into creatures that genuinely once roamed the planet, giving us a vivid evocation of our prehistoric past. But as soon as you create your own hybrid dinosaur you might as well be making Godzilla. Even the script seems to blast itself when Jake Johnson’s old- time Jurassic Park fanboy Lowery says, “That first park was legit! They didn’t need these genetic hybrids, you just need dinosaurs, real dinosaurs!”
Writer/ director Colin Trevorrow seems similarly starry- eyed about that first movie. There are numerous little kisses to Spielberg’s 1993 original, from Lowery’s Jurassic Park T- shirt to the return of Dr Henry Wu. Spielberg is on executive producer duties, and it must have been quite a feeling to be told, in a roundabout way, how great you are every time you view the dailies.
Sadly, Trevorrow doesn’t quite have his hero’s knack with luminous characterisation. When Joss Whedon dived in after a clip of Dearing’s first meeting with Chris Pratt’s Raptor- whisperer Owen Grady was released online, calling it “’ 70s- era sexist. She’s a stiff, he’s a life- force,” he hit the bullseye. While the second- tier characters have colour and
There are numerous little kisses to Spielberg’s original
freshness ( Johnson has a sweet double- act with Lauren Lapkus as fellow employee Vivian Krill), Trevorrow has trouble fleshing out his two leads beyond a thumbnailsized stereotype. Owen tells Claire off for screaming and scolds her for wearing high heels; she doesn’t know how to talk to her own nephews and calls dinosaurs “assets”. It’s a shame that the movie doesn’t let Chris Pratt be, well, Chris Pratt a bit more. If this had been Peter Quill against the dinosaurs, and Bryce Dallas Howard had been allowed a little of the survivor spirit of Laura Dern’s character in the original film, maybe it would have helped Jurassic World’s leads not seem like such dusty anachronisms.
So where do they go from here? An army of Indominus rexes? A killer Diplodocus? As enjoyable as Jurassic World is, we’ve had our fun with gene- spliced dino mutants – let’s get back to basics next time round, eh?
Extras Thankfully, you get plenty of Chris Pratt bang for your buck in the bonuses. He and Trevorrow interview each other for the nine- minute “Chris And Colin Take On The World”, where Pratt talks about the 2009 home video of him joking about being offered Jurassic Park IV ( catch the whole thing on YouTube). Elsewhere, you get a couple of standard Making Ofs ( 29 minutes/ 10 minutes), a Pratt- fronted tour of the movie’s Innovation Centre, and six minutes’ worth of inessential deleted scenes – including one where Claire has to smear dinosaur shit all over herself. There’s no commentary though – boo! Steve O’Brien
The Incredibles/ Tomorrowland director Brad Bird provided the voice of the Jurassic World monorail announcer.
As belches go it was a cracker.
Fogle and Humble knew this was an episode of Animal Park like no other.