Jurassic Park in Review: Jurassic World Part V

With the quests safe (for the most part), Pratt and Hoskins argue about what to do with the I.Rex, with Hoskins saying it’s an “Ingen situation now”. It’s a bit unclear what the hierarchy of Ingen is in the film; is it just the security and genetics now (hence Hoskin’s working with Dr. Wu) in Masarani’s company instead of the actual company that runs the park? In any case, it’s the latest in the series to portray the company as pretty much no good since Hammond was forced out. The Lost World of course had Ludow….

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and Grant speculated that Ingen was doing some clandestine cloning in Jurassic Park III to explain the Spinosaurus’s presence on Isla Sorna. The books however (and comics that formed a now non-canon sequel to the film), kept Biosyn (Dodgson’s company that hired Nedry) as the villains, although they also made it very clear that Ingen itself was no angel.

Owen reluctantly lets Hoskins use the Raptors to track and kill the I.Rex, leading to the “movie poster” moment..

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On a side note, attempts to tame/train the Raptors aren’t that new in Jurassic Park fiction. It was pretty much the whole point of the 90’s “Raptor” comic series published by Topps in the 90’s.

Unfortunately for our heroes though, I.Rex has got some Raptor DNA which allows him to assert dominance over the Raptors, causing them to turn on Owen and the others, including his buddy Barry, to run for their lives, in another scene somewhat reminiscent of ALIENS, this time with the added bit with body cams similar to the chaos witnessed in the APC in the film. So we get a little bit of Raptors vs. Humans actions, much like in the other films.

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Barry manages to survive by hiding in a hollowed tree log, making this the second time in the series that logs have been kind of helpful. Image result for Jurassic Lost world tree log Sarah harding

Raptor Charlie however, is our first Raptor casulty, with Owen managing to assert some recognition before her death.

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Claire has her own problems with the remaining three Raptors, who start to chase her truck back to the main Park area.

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We get a funny moment with Vivian and Lowery, with the control room being evacuated with Lowery taking a heroic choice to stay behind and help Owen, Claire and the boys out, and then moves to kiss Vivian in a chivalric gesture; however, she turns him down, saying she already has a boyfriend and the two have a bit of an awkward moment.

 

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Back at the Ingen lab, we learn that Hoskins has been working with Wu on the I.Rex as a side project, mainly intended for military use,  something he also wanted to use the Raptors for. Not only has he been using multiple Dinosaurs-T-rex and the Raptors of course, as well as the old frog DNA (hinting that perhaps maybe I-rex can reproduce?) but also cuttlefish and snakes, explaining it’s weird abilities to camouflage. Another sort of link to ALIENs here it seems, as we had a company who wanted to exploit them for military use too. At least all Ludow wanted in Lost World was to make a new park…..

 

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However, Hoskins soon becomes Raptor chow, allowing our heroes to escape.

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Thankfully, Owen is able to reassert control over the Raptors and turn them against the I-rex, in a moment pretty much the antithesis to Jurassic Park’s ending.

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Also, we get a Dilophosaurus cameo! The somewhat scientifically inaccurate “Spitter” appears for the first time since the first movie, although only in holographic form to distract the Raptors. (Word is we might get these guys in the fifth film though).

 

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Although it’s a bit of losing battle, with Delta getting flame-broiled by a nearby grill while Echo becomes an I-rex chew toy, leaving only Blue. Thankfully, Zach says they need more teeth and Claire figures out a way to help-free the Queen of the Dinosaurs, the T-rex “Rexy.” Of course Claire is running in high-heels, a frequent criticism of the movie, and of course Rexy’s ability to be distracted by flares is something that goes back to the first film.

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Kind of love the little meta-message here as Rexy smashes through the Spinosaurus skeleton, not only avenging her Isla Sorna kin killed in the third film (kind of) but also sort of maybe a joke about how the director wasn’t too pleased with III (Which used the Spinosaur skeleton as it’s logo). Gotta wonder if the skeleton actually is the Sorna Spino, or if there’s some in this new park.

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We of course then get the big fight scene, much longer than the Spino vs. Rex battle in the last film. A lot more property destruction, too.

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Just when I-rex seems to be getting the upper claw, Blue charges in to save the day. If you listen to the music, you can hear a small reprise of the The Lost World:Jurassic Park theme, a nice touch by Michael Giannocho, who seems to have a gift for incorporating John Williams themes into his work-his soundtrack for “Rogue One” made some pretty cool re-uses of the old Imperial motif from “Star Wars” as well as the “Dun-dun-dun-DUN!” music for the Death Star, themes not heard in the franchise for years, as well as making some new music which certainly felt Star Wars (Jyn’s theme and the Imperial suite). If Williams passes before Episode 9’s score is complete, I think he’d make a great successor.

 

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Blue’s help manages them to push the I.rex towards the Mosasaur pool, where the ancient reptile delivers the final blow, bringing the unnatural Dinosaur to a watery end, dragging it beneath the waves.

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The next part is a bit silly, with Rexy and Blue seemingly having developed a mutual respect and letting each other depart in peace (as well as Blue saying goodbye to Owen as well). While Raptors in the JP universe are supposed to be super-smart of course, I’m not sure the Rex would really have this kind of “You’re ok in my book” kind of respect.

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Of course there’s also the door open for a sequel-Wu has escaped, with a bunch of embryos, which are probably much better preserved than the possible original sequel ‘hint’ JP had, the aerosol can that ended up hidden in mud (which nothing ever came of, apart from one of the video games). It could mean we could be seeing more I.Rexes, or even other crazy Frankenstein Dinosaurs, in the sequel. Ian Malcolm is also returning for Jurassic World II, it’d be interesting to see him face off against Wu after their tense moment in the Hatchery in the original.

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Zach, Cody, and the others are all being evacuated still, so we get a sort of happy ending for the good guys, although of course the Park is once again totally messed up. We then get a great scene of Rexy-once again free-giving a big roar over the soon-to-be abandoned by humans island.

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Jurassic World, similar to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, pretty much revives the somewhat creatively troubled franchise by more or less going back to the original concept of a Dinosaur park, but with the more original element of the Park actually having been open to the public for quite some time despite the first three movies making it clear that maybe that’s not a great idea. It’s got likeable leads and is the first to really take advantage of the possibilities of Dinosaur cloning to make something else than replicas of the original animals. Pratt is of course a likeable lead, and as I mentioned earlier breaks free from the “scientist” roles of the previous films. Although it certainly uses many visual nods to the original films and some of the sequels, it also feels more fresh; partially by elevating the scale of things-while the first three films were pretty much more isolated groups of survivors (With some exceptions in TLW-The mercenaries and the population of San Diego) here the stakes are a bit higher as there’s a lot more people on the Island (and I’m pretty sure this has the highest body count of the series, with both teams set to take out the I-rex mostly killed, as well as Hoskins, Masarani, Zara and possibly some of the vistors during the Pteranodon attack). Overall, a sucessful revival of the series.

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Jurassic Park in Review: Jurassic World Part IV

Zack and Grey manage to get one of the old Jeeps in the Visitor center working (Giving us a look at a part of the center not shown in the ’93 film) and head back to the main park. There’s a nice nod to night-vision goggles in the first one, as well as the Raptor mural in the Park’s cafe/gift shop.Image result for The Irex claire visitor s center

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Claire and Owen on the other hand, arrive a few minutes later and hide from the I-rex, in a scene reminiscent to a degree of the Kitchen scene in the original.

Masarani, after hearing Hoskin’s plan to use the Raptors to get the I-rex-decides to save the day on his own by taking down the I rex with his copter. However the I-rex quickly compromises a nearby Pteranodon aviary, causing the flying reptiles to panic and make the situation several times worst-with Masarani’s helicopter creating an even bigger hole-and killing him.

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What follows is perhaps the most crowded humans-in-peril scene in the whole franchise (although the San Diego sequence from TLW comes close) as the Pteranodons overrun the Park’s visitor area.

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One of the best parts? A cameo by Jimmy Buffet at his own resturant, Margaritaville-with of course, Margaritas in his hand. I’d leave the shaker of salt behind, Jimmy.

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What follows is one of the more controversial-and I’m pretty sure the only female-death in the series, as Zara is picked up by a Pteranodon, dropped into the Mosasaur aquarium, is picked at by the Pteranodons and then both Pteranodon and Zara are swallowed by the Mosasaur. Although not particularly gory in any way, it is somewhat chaotic and violent.

 

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Although everybody else gets reunited rather quickly, Owen gets attacked by a Dimorphodon-pretty much a Pterosaur which is particularly less “beaky” and more “Ferocious carnivore” in it’s appearance.

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Claire manages to get a pretty badass moment by shooting the beast of Owen, and the two kiss.

 

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You know, in a series where there are three couples-Alan and Ellie, Ian and Sarah, and the Kirby’s-I’m pretty sure this is the first ever kiss in the series. Then again, this is pretty much a fresh romance, while the others were pretty established already.

 

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Meanwhile at control, Vic has pretty much taken control of everything and with Masarani gone, nothing’s really stopping him from using Owen’s Raptors to take on the Indominus. He also brings his own armed men to the island, and we get an amusing shot of one of them shooting down a Dimorphodon trying to get off the island (There’s actually a background story-I believe from the website-that stated it was Hoskin’s men who took care of the escaped Pteranodons at the end of “Jurassic Park III” so this is kind of fitting.

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Next: Raptors (literally) unleashed!

 

Jurassic Park In Review: Jurassic World Part III

Hoskins and Owen’s partner,  Barry, observe the Raptors being muzzled. The heads are pretty large-not at all like Raptors in real life of course, (although a bit of their relatives might’ve been a bit on this scale). Hoskins shares a pretty disturbing anecdote about a wolf. After the Code 19 breaks out-Hoskins covertly makes a phone call….

We then get a bit of character development for Zach and Grey on another JP monorail, as Grey reveals he’s quite aware that their parents are divorcing. While Tim and Lex had a similar predicament in JP, it’s never really brought up in the film apart from Hammond’s amber miner (It is brought up in the books quite a few times though). We also get a nice nod to Jurassic Park’s Gallimimus scene-it’s even shot at the same valley in Hawaii the original one. Gotta wondering what they’re flocking from-the Jeep?-as the stampede in the original was trying to run from the T-rex, as Grant noted.

 

Meanwhile, we get a scene that’s pretty much unlike anything we’ve seen in a JP film, although elements of JP’s mercenaries came a bit close-with an armed group, the ACU (asset containment Unit) sent to tackle the I.Rex. What follows is a scene that feels like it’s a bit out of ALIENS or PREDATOR, with the team outclassed and mostly killed by the multi-talented predator, who claws out it’s tracking beacon and uses camo to get the drop on the group.

There’s even heartbeat monitors, as Owen-now returned to the control room and quite angry-looks on, and marvels that they’re using non-lethal equipment to try to take it down (in a similar fashion, the confiscation of their ammo did give the marines somewhat of  a disadvantage in ALIENS, although if they did use it there would’ve been acid blood everywhere and the reactor would’ve blown far earlier probably….)

Owen quickly chats with Masarani and Claire-Claire’s trying to control the situation, but Masarani is somewhat open to Owen’s suggestions about what to do-evacuate the island, shut things down and use lethal weaponry to take down the I.Rex. It sort of contrasts interestingly with Park’s Hammond, who took a while to finally admit the Park was a mess (“I have decided not to endorse your park.” “So have I”)

Meanwhile, Zach and Grey get on the Gyrosphere ride, the last ones to go out before the Park begins to shut down. It’s interesting that the Gyrospheres seem to be largely independent, and not on a rail like the JP cars; so no recall control like those had.

Masarani confronts Wu, and here we see the character start to take a more villanous role. Gotta love his amber-colored tea as well.

Funny thing is, Irrfan Khan had played a role also disagreeing with a scientist about certain reptile-related experiments in 2012’s Amazing Spider-Man. But he comes off a lot better here.

Wu tries to throw the blame back on Masareni for asking him to build a bigger, better Dinosaur, but he’s having none of it, and is willing to shut down the park, even saying “Hammond isn’t around to protect you this time”-he’s putting the people first, but is willing to let the Park go to save lives.

Funny thing is, Wu’s retort to this is somewhat of a catch-all explanation for why the Dinosaurs in the franchise aren’t exactly historically accurate:

“You are acting like we are engaged in some kind of mad science. But we are doing what we have done from the beginning. Nothing in Jurassic World in natural. We have always filled gaps in the genome with the DNA of other animals. And, if their genetic code was pure, many of them would look quite different. But you didn’t ask for reality. You asked for more teeth.”

After that little philsophy, it’s time for gratuitous celebrity cameo! In this case it’s Jimmy Fallon, former SNL cast member and current Tonight Show host, talking about the basics of the Gyrosphere. Jimmy of course has his own Universal Theme park ride now, oddly enough.

Here we get a look at the various herbivores of the Park, including the Triceratops, which we really only saw before as sick in JP, and with only fleeting glimpses in TLW and JPIII.

Wondering off the beaten track, the kids soon come face to face with the I.Rex, which also gets involved in a fight with Ankylosaurus (a popular Dinosaur, but one that was only briefly glimpses in JPIII as well.) Apart from the Dino vs. Dino battle-something we’ve seen in the series before-and we’ll see again before the film bows out-but not really with Carnivore vs. Herbivore-the scene with the Gyro ball being attacked sort of evokes the peril Tim and Lex faced in the Jeep in the original, although this time without Grant and Malcolm around to save them (Or Genarro as a temporary snack).

 

They do manage to get out and escape, doing a cliff jump somewhat similar to the antics in the Pterandon dome from JPIII.

Claire and Owen, in the meantime, set out of the park to track their wayward nephews-and witness the devastation the I-rex has created. In one of the film’s most emotional scenes-and one, I presume, that uses practical effects-Owen and Claire sooth a dying Apatosaur.

 

Claire also ties her dress a bit at the waist, giving her a somewhat more Ellie Sattler look, which I’m pretty sure is deliberate.

 

 

Speaking of JP nostalgia, here’s a whopper-the boys discover the remains of the original Visitor’s center from the Park. It’s not really explained why when they built the new Park they just let the remains of the old Park simply rot and experience overgrowth, instead of dismantling it. Also for some reason I thought the Visitor’s center was at the south of the Island, and not the North. Oh well, slight continuity hiccup.

Next: Things get worse….

Jurassic Park in Review: Jurassic World Part II

 

The kind of control you’re attempting simply is…it’s not possible. If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it’s that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, uh…well, there it is.-Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park

It’s at this point we get our first proper look at the film’s Dinosaurs-and of course, we begin with the Raptors-but we find out that these Raptors are at least partially tamed! named  Blue, Echo, delta, and Charlie-military parlance-with Owen himself being the “Alpha”. And of course we get one of the film’s most memorable shots-one used in a lot of marketing for the film. Owen is a somewhat different type of main character than the series has had up to this point, more closely resembling secondary characters like Muldoon, Nick Van Owen or Roland Tembo, who seem to have a genuine realization that these things are animals and not just some theme park attraction. The leads of the first three films were either scientists, or people way out of their comfort zone (The Kirbys in III).

Owen’s taming of the Raptors is overseen by Hoskins, supposedly working with Ingen’s security division but also interested in the military applications of the Raptors-something explored in the short-lived Jurassic Park comics published around the time of the first film, but never really in the films. It’s certainly been used in a variety of other Dinosaur fiction, that’s for sure (and original concepts for “World” for some reason played with the idea of Dinosaur human hybrids to be used by the military!)

 

Played by Vincent D’ Onofrio, he’s pretty much the film’s main human antagonist-something he’s known for in many films and TV series, although he did play a heroic-if troubled-character in Law and Order: Criminal Intent for about a decade (He was replaced, funnily enough, by Jeff Goldblum as lead)

There’s a bit of a scene where one of the ‘new guys’, Leon, falls into the pen by accident and Owen has to quickly rescue him from the Raptors (as they haven’t really imprinted on other humans I’m guessing). There’s sort of a statement that seems to imply that there’s already been some worker deaths at this park due to the Raptors, but it’s kind of brushed aside a bit, which is kind of weird considering how a worker death is what pretty much started the inspection of the original park in the first place.

 

Next we get a quick look at some more of the Jurassic World attractions-A Dinosaur petting zoo, which although supervised and populated by herbivores, still seems a bit weird and not so kind to the animals themselves. I think the expression and actions of the Apatosaurus (as well as it’s movements) kind of sells why this isn’t the best idea. Plus you’ve got the Triceratops with potentially sharp horns and I really hope those small guys are mini Gallimus and not Compsonathus 😉

Next we have the T-rex Kingdom, which shows that they’re still feeding her goats to bring her out, and her enclosure being isolated by a (hopefully shatter-proof) viewing area disguised as a tree. We also get an example of someone being ‘bored’ by the Dinosaurs, as Claire said earlier-in this case, Zach, whose giving his mother an update by cellphone.

Disappointed that Claire isn’t really meeting with her nephews, Karen calls her and we get a bit of a bit of a slightly saccharine talk by the two sisters, which kind of feels a bit like the ‘family bonding’ moments of Lost World and III…

Soon we’re given a bit of a chat between Owen and Claire…it’s clear of course there’s some chemistry here, but Owen’s a bit turned off by Claire being sort of overly businessish and detached (in particular he’s a bit offended that he refers to the Dinosaurs as ‘assets’) and she seems a bit turned off by his frank manner.

Next, we’re given a look at the Mosasaur exhibit-and of course another one of the film’s iconic shots, as well as a subtle homage to producer Spielberg’s “Jaws” as the Mosasaur emerges and eats a shark. While Mosasaurs aren’t quite as popular as other prehistoric reptiles it seems-Plesiosaurs (The often long-necked guys some believe are alive today as the Loch Ness monster) or the Icthyosaurs (Basically, reptile dolphins)

It should be noted that, like the Pteranodons, Mosasaurs are not Dinosaurs. While there are likely some Dinosaurs adapted to marine environments (Like JP3’s nemesis the Spinosaurus) Mosasaurs-and indeed, Plesiosaurs and Icthyosaurs-are not Dinosaurs. They’re actually more closely related to Modern lizards, mostly the Komodo dragon. Not too shabby.

I doubt James Bond would be able to use these particular lizards as a stepping stone.

 

Getting back to Owen and Claire, he’s now looking at the paddock, but he’s very skeptical about the motives behind the creation of the I Rex (with good reason), especially that there doesn’t see to be much cooperation between the Park’s PR and the lab…with I.rex being apparently a T-rex with added ‘classified’ DNA augments.

Owen quickly notices some claw marks on the wall, and the I-rex isn’t showing up in any cameras-possibly meaning she’s escaped, causing Claire to panic big time. Thinking it’s safe at least *in* the paddock since she’s out, Owen and a few workers try to figure out what’s going on, while Claire panics to control, saying “They have an asset out of containment”-although Lowery assures her that Rex is still in the cage. “Clever girl” indeed-she used the claws to trick them into thinking she’s escaped, to lure them in and perhaps find a way out (as well as some snacks). It kind of feels like a moment in a horror movie-particularly a creature feature such as ALIEN, where they think they’re safe, but oops! Surprise! The original Jurassic Park I think sort of has a few of those moments too; especially when the Raptors break through the glass after Lex fixed the Park’s security systems.

 

The I.Rex makes short work of the other two workers, but Owen is able to quickly escape when one of them opens the door. Although the control room attempts to close it, I Rex gets enough of herself out to force it open and escape-and now of course, it’s going to be a lot of “Running and screaming”. Also, unlike the human-caused breakout in JP (or the human stupidity breakout in TLW), this Dinosaur used it’s smarts to escape.

Owen manages to escape by masking his scent-it’s obvious this isn’t like the series T-rex who can’t see you if you stand still. It also shows off an interesting quadruped stance-something the T-rex of course can’t really do well with those small arms.

Gotta say, I really like the design of the Indominous-it looks like it could be an actual dinosaur (It’s abilities and intelligence though are another matter entirely).

 

It certainly looks more realistic than what the toys have cooked up:

 

  

It’s head, in particular, with it’s two horns and back, seems somewhat reminiscent of the Carnotaurus, a Dinosaur which appeared in the TLW novel and like the Indominous, had chameleon abilities. These guys also of course showed up in Disney’s “Dinosaur” film as the bad guys. Although like with the T-rex, I-Rex got it beat in the arms department.

Next article, the film’s action and chaos ramp up as attempts to capture the I-rex end in spectacular failure and somehow manage to make things even worse. Also, a trip to the old style Visitor’s center….

 

Jurassic Park in Review: Jurassic World Part I

In 2013, perhaps emboldened by the recent Disney sale of Star Wars and the promise of new films, Universal Studios began to work on briging back one of their big franchises: Jurassic Park. Although the last two films had been set on people getting stuck on the “factory floor” island Isla Sorna. However, the new film “Jurassic World” would return to the concept that started it all, and on the original island.

Despite the inciddents in the original trilogy, at some point Ingen-after the passing of John Hammond-came under the control of Masareti, who like Hammond, is well-meaning but a bit naive about things. Using what’s left of the original park’s Dinosaurs, he succesfully rebuilds the park (although on the other end of the island, apparentally, leaving the old Visitor’s center abandoned and decaying)….and manages to run it sucessfully…for a time.

The concept of a Jurassic Park that actually was completed and functions was also the idea behind the simulation Operation Genesis, which came out in the early 00’s, during the height of the Sims/tycoon genre of games.

 

 

Paying a visit over the holiday season are the the sons of the Mitchell family, who are being sent to the island with the mother’s sister, Claire Dearing (Operations manager of the Park), to watch over them. Similar to the first film with Tim and Lex, this is actually in part to help them cope with their parent’s divorce.

The film begins with a creature quickly hatching from an egg, alongside another egg, looking somewhat like the Raptor hatchling from the first film….but this thing isn’t a Raptor….well, sort of.

We then cut to a scary-looking foot, but one that turns out to be simply that of a bird; once again selling the Dinosaur/bird connection first established in the original film.

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….and then an unusual setting for a Jurassic Park film-a snowy house. It’s around Christmas, and we meet the two kids of the film, Zach and Gray.  They’re sort of similar to Tim and Lex thematically-their parents are getting a divorce, so they’re being sent to the island over Christmas vacation, with the mom (Played by Judy Greer, who played a  divorcee in Ant-Man later that same summer) jokingly telling the kids to ‘run’ if something chases them. Now that’s some advice that’s going to come in handy…and of course they’ll be in the care of her sister/their aunt, Claire, who it turns out pretty much runs the day-to-day operations of the island-also reflecting in part, Hammond’s relationship with Tim and Lex in the first film.

Since this is a fully-fledged Jurassic Park, it has it’s own ferry from the mainland, instead of the helicopter from the first film. Gray states that there were “eight species” when the Park first opened, which might be a slight reference to the number of different Dinosaurs seen in the original Jurassic Park film (although off by one). The film never really explains what happened to the Dinosaurs of the original park, with the exception of the Tyrannosaur who the directors and writers confirm is the same as the original, and even given a name (off-screen) “Rexy.” I’m guessing these are mostly new Dinosaurs, as it’s stated that they’re all female, which means that Wu might’ve gone back to the drawing board and gotten rid of the frog DNA (or used something else) that caused the mutation. Except for Rexy, but presumabely she’s the only one of her kind on the island.

Isla Sorna is also not brought up at all, despite being the setting of the last two films (although there a few nods, here and there, to the other sequels).

 

Here we also meet Zara, Aunt Claire’s sort of secretary, who clearly doesn’t want to deal with these kids. She’s also at the core of one of the film’s more controversial moments, later on.

And of course we get the ‘gate’, supposed to be the same one, but rebuilt, relocated, and placed on a monorail track.

And we get our first real look at the Park’s main center, which seems to have gotten some design tips from Disney and Universal’s own parks-a bunch of fancy restaurants-including a Margaritaville!(more on that later) and booths.

 

Soon, we’re introduced to Claire, our heroine, although she initially comes off as a bit cold and unlikable, at first. She’s giving some stockholders a bit of a private tour of the Hammond creation lab, JW’s genetics chamber (It’s presumed that, unlike the original park, that most of the Dinos here are bred on the island-it seems like a much larger operation than JP’s small hatchery anyway).

 

Speaking of said hatchery, we meet Jurassic World’s only familiar (non-Dinosaur) face-Dr.Henry Wu.

Wu of course was the chief geneticist in the original movie, who cast doubts on Ian Malcolm’s reasoning about the Dinosaurs being able to breed.  Despite his being wrong-and being involved with the troubled first park-he’s been re-hired, and is breeding a new ‘designed’ Dinosaur, Indominous Rex, since people are apparently getting bored of the same ol’ Dinos (JW’s apparently been open for around a decade according to some of the supplemental stuff for the movie, but I gotta echo what Owen says later on: “They’re Dinosaurs. Wow enough”). Of course Wu does have his own motives for creating this ‘new’ Dinosaur.

Next we get the innovation center, a new Visitor’s center but far more high-tech, with holographic dinosaurs and touchscreens instead of bones.  It also sees the return of Mr. DNA, the cartoon mascot from JP’s short film on creating the dinosaurs (and also mascot of pretty much every tutorial in a Jurassic Park video game).

Claire visits her nephews in the center, but it’s obvious she’s completely out of touch.

We next meet the Park’s control room, with Lowery and Vivian, who function largely as the film’s comic relief (and they’re certainly more likable than the original control room crew from JP, especially Nedry), while also functioning as a bit of meta-commentary on the film itself. Lowery in particular, is frustrated that the park is a bit too commercial-an accusation levied at the first film’s product tie-ins, especially the cafe scene (A criticism-well, at least of that scene as there’s no denying JP is a major universal cash cow-that I debunked a bit in my JP review a few months back). He’s also a fan of the original park, which Claire finds in bad taste because of the deaths involved-and wears a JP T-shirt. He figures since the I. Rex is sponsored by Verizon Wireless, next thing is that they’re going to let the corporations name some new Dinosaurs, like “Pepsisaurus”. He also refers to the Dinos and mess on his desk (Well, that’s one thing he shares with Nedry) as a ‘living system to keep the system from collapsing into anarchy’-which seems like something Malcolm would say.

Which is fitting, since he’s reading Malcolm’s book (It’s unclear whether this is the one Eric was referring too in the last film).

We also learn that despite being a tighter operation than the original (which was still being developed anyway and never opened) Jurassic World’s got it’s ocassional glitches. Instead of the electrical fences of the original park (as well as bits of Isla Sorna), The Dinosaurs are implanted with ‘invisible fence’ implants, which unfortunately get shorted out when certain Dinosaurs butt heads-literally, as we learn with the Pachycephalosaurus. (It seems that with the Raptors, Mosasaurus, Rex and I. Rex, they’re not taking too many changes, and we clearly see both fences, concrete or unbreakable glass surrounding them.).

Next we see Simon Masarani, Ingen’s current head, and like Hammond, doesn’t really care as much about the bottom line as much as people having fun. He also comes off as slightly less naive about the dangers of a Dino park. This scene-set to pretty much the same music as the old copter scene from the original (What I like to call the Park’s “Adventure” theme) also confirms that Hammond died, and apparently didn’t completely go from Capitalist to Naturalist entirely as Malcolm stated in The Lost World, as he asked Masarani to pretty much rebuild his “dream”. Kind of reminds me of his old qoute….

 

You’re right, you’re absolutely right. Hiring Nedry was a mistake, that’s obvious. We’re over-dependent on automation, I can see that now. Now, the next time everything’s correctable. Creation is an act of sheer will. Next time it’ll be flawless!”

I guess he didn’t take Malcolm or Ellie’s advice to heart-especially this from Malcolm:

If you want to leave your name on something, fine. But stop putting it on other people’s headstones.

Masarani flies over to the I.Rex’s Paddock, and takes a look at the new Dinosaur. To quote JP once again…ou stare at him…and he just stares right back. (Although I’m pretty sure I.Rex here is a she).

Although he hasn’t seen too much of what she can do, Masarani is somewhat alarmed by a few signs of problems with the Dinosaur-it’s thermal vision, the near-loss of a worker, it’s cannibalism of it’s sibling, and cracked glass. Like the Raptors in the first film, this thing knocks it’s locked up and it’s testing for weaknesses. It wants out. Masarani figures it’s time to bring in more of an expert to make sure the paddock is super safe. Enter: Owen Grady, the film’s hero.

 

 

 

Jurassic Park in Review-JP III Part V

Grant and Eric lament the loss of Billy. There’s a neat sort of speech Grant gives…

Dr. Grant: I have a theory that there are two kinds of boys. There are those that want to be astronomers, and those that want to be astronauts. The astronomer, or the paleontologist, gets to study these amazing things from a place of complete safety.
Erik: But then you never get to go into space.
Dr. Grant: Exactly. That’s the difference between imagining and seeing: to be able to touch them. And that’s… that’s all that Billy wanted….

We then get an ‘awe’ shot of a field of grazing Dinosaurs. While it’s a nice moment and all, the CG here kind of looks fairly plastic, at least to me. While the Brachiosaurs are more colorful than their JP counterparts, they just don’t seem quite as matched to the foreground as those were.

Eventually, the group find their cellphone again-in dino-dung that’s presumably all that’s left of Nash. There’s sort of an amusing moment here with a Ceratosaur, a horned Dinosaur that’s been in a few Dino movies before, such as One Milllion BC, who’s about to approach our heroes but leaves because of the foul odor.

 

Apparentally it was originally intended to be a Carnotaurus-Dinosaurs which featured in the Lost World novel (and had chameleon abilities) but Disney’s Dinosaur film kind of got ahead of that. So they settled for this one-horned guy instead.

 

Grant attempts to contact Ellie, but her kid would rather watch Barney instead-the first time the Purple dinosaur appears in the series, although Spielberg thought of a joke cameo as far as the first film. It’s hard to imagine now, but at the time there was a slight controversy that kids who were used to Barney would get all upset by Jurassic Park, or something like that.

 

 

Of course, the Spinosaurus uses this moment to attack, leaving Grant to only cry “The River…site B!” to Ellie as he nearly drowns.

 

It’s actually an ok-if short-action scene, and the fact that it’s shot in the dark actually helps the Spinosaurus animatronics/CG, much like it did for the Tyrannosaur in the last two films. Like the aviary scene before it, this scene is actually something that was included in the original novel, and intended for a possible inclusion in the first film, as seen in concept art-although with a far less durable raft.

Grant manages to scare the Spinosaurus off with a flare gun. Sam Neill sure is handy with the flares!

 

 

The T-rex notices the flare

After a brief ‘family’ moment where it’s assumed Paul is dead for a minute, we move on to another scene of the characters walking toward the coast before they meet yet another obstacle-The Raptor pack wants their eggs back. The group obliges, although they’ll probably still eat them because well, they’re Raptors and they weren’t trained by Chris Pratt 🙂

 

Grant however, pulls out a dues ex machina-the 3D printed Raptor flute that Billy gave to them, and he somehow improvises a Raptor call. While this isn’t too out of character for Grant-he was mimicking Brachiosaur calls in the original (although they of course were benign) it still seems somewhat goofy. Also, you’d figure if the Raptors are “smarter than primates” they would figure out that they’re being played.

 

raptorflute.png

Nevertheless, Grant’s music pays off, as the Raptors rush off to the rescue of their fake Raptor-in-need.

Grant and the group then arrive at the beach, where the military is waiting to rescue them. They could’ve come in handy a few minutes ago; and actually military vs. the Raptors could’ve made for an interesting scene….but we’ll have to wait until the next film for that. Speaking of which, while all the other films have had pretty epic finales, that certainly wasn’t one of them. A thrilling Raptor chase, but saved by the T-rex? Epic. T-rex loose in San Diego? A bit silly, yes, but epic. The Raptors/T-rex/Indominus Rex/Mosasaur battle at the end of Jurassic World? Incredibly epic. The characters handing Raptors the eggs while Grant uses a goofy flute? umm…..

Maybe they should’ve ended with the Spinosaurus boat thing, maybe? Anyway, in any case, this feels really abrupt. Oh, and it turns out Billy’s alive too (with Grant’s hat), somehow managing to limp his way across an island full of deadly predators (and possibly getting to the coast before they did?). It also sounds like the Kirbys might get back together thanks to their traumatic experience….and Grant notes that now Pteranodons have escaped the island, although he kind of brushes it off. It’s intended to be a bit of a homage to JP’s “Grant looking at the birds” ending, but it kind of misses the point of it a bit. Maybe Ingen scooped up these guys and put them in the new aviary when they decided to give Jurassic Park another shot with Jurassic World.

So that’s Jurassic Park III, the least of the films, and the most obviously rushed. Still, it’s got some good moments here and there.

 

Jp In Review: Jurassic Park III part IV

Grant, rescued from the Raptors by Eric, then tells the kid that his parents are looking for him, and Eric is a little starstruck about one of his favorite paleontologists, although he notes that Grant’s enthusiasm for the creatures has died down a bit since they’ve tried to eat him in the past. There’s also a scene that in a way, evokes the poop scene from JP-although in this case it’s T-rex pee that Eric has collected to scare off the predators (“You don’t want to know” he says) except for of course, the Spinosaurus.

Speaking of Predators, the compys from TLW have a bit of a fun cameo here.

 

Grant is also curious about how Eric felt about Malcolm’s book, and Eric responds that Malcolm’s kind of “high on himself” and talked too much about chaos (Maybe a slight jab at TLW there, although Ian seemed pretty down on himself in that film, and doesn’t speak a lot about chaos) which Grant agrees on. Makes me wonder if the book is the one people are reading in Jurassic World; “God creates Dinosaurs”.

 

We do get a good look at another new Dinosaur, the Ankylosaurus, plus a bit of ‘family bonding’ stuff with Amanda and Tim that’s kind of boring, mainly just showing that they’re kind of ‘getting back together’.

 

The two groups then head out from their respective sanctuary, and are reunited by the ringing of Paul’s cellphone. There’s kind of a new ‘theme’ that plays here, that isn’t really memorable as the other themes from the series, or Jurassic World’s. It sounds more like a sort of “family film” kind of theme, which is sort of apt, but it doesn’t really capture any of the awe or primal adventure of the other themes, at least in my opinion.

Said ringing is actually coming from the Spinosaurus-who ate the cellphone along with two of the “mercs” when the plane crashed. We get a very brief chase scene in which the Spinosaurus crashes through a fence, but not able to get through a nearby building, presumably an observatory for the Aviary. The exterior of the building doesn’t quite look real; probably a matte painting or CGI, another failing I think of this film’s special effects.

Grant discovers the reason the Raptors are after them-Billy took some eggs, but now they’re stuck with them in case the Raptors want them back. He’s kind of furious at Billy (Who wanted to use the eggs to perhaps help fund the dig, because obviously the Kirby’s arent going to do it!), saying “Some of the worst things ever done have been done with the best intentions”

Next we come to the Aviary, and it’s a very good, atmospheric scene that gives us something we haven’t seen before in the films. The Pteranodon emerging from the mist is a particularly cool shot, and there’s actually a real sense of danger and some brutality in this scene, where Billy is briefly captured and nearly fed to the hatchlings, and the others have to avoid the sweeping, pecking predators.

Gotta wonder who this belongs to though, as the Pteranodons were pretty much sealed in this aviary it seems. A mercenary from TLW perhaps? One of the Dino-saur guys somehow? Old Ingen worker who was unlucky?

 

Billy uses the battered “Dino-saur” paraglider to good use here, although he ends up getting ensnared by the Pteranodon. One of my favorite shots of the film, is the look a Pterosaur gives Grant and Paul. “Just walk away”….

Next, the finale of the film, with one “awe” scene, some more Ellie, a showdown with the Spinosaur and an abrupt ending….