The Press Fire to Play gang of Gaz, Si and Steve decided to venture outside away from the gaming to go to the flicks. So in what could be, might not be or definetly will be until Si gets his money back aka definetly going for another three times, we present to you…PFTP at the Movies!
When I first saw the trailer to Jurassic World I was totally hyped. To remind us all that time is going rather too quickly, the last film in the franchise was released 14 years previous to this one to ever decreasing returns and JP3 along with JP2 seemed to follow the pattern of the first film – there’s always the threat they’re going to make a park full of dinosaurs, yet they never do.
So when the trailer was released which shows a Jurassic World in full flow, packed full of families, hipsters and perhaps a few retro gaming fanatics, it showed a cutting loose of the constraints and a massive evolutionary jump in the franchise. Our hero pursuing an unknown threat with Raptors in tow did hint that perhaps this film might be too loose with story mechanics already established but the grandeur more than made up for it – along with the one sheet posters showing the many favourable comments of the movie.
Sadly, intelligent Raptors was the least of our worries. Jurassic Park 4 isn’t a bad film but sadly it isn’t great. I know, I know, all trailers make films look great but there seemed a freshness to this initially. A fully open theme park packed full of tourists with dino’s on the rampage should have been the stuff of legend. Civilians stranded in the middle of nowhere, wondering how and where they’re going to escape – but you didn’t really see any of that. You did see a lot of people being shepherd into a facility to protect them which mirrored the story – it appeared everything was contained, when it should have been out and out carnage. By the time the dino’s reach the people they’ve actually been rampaging over the Island for a while in a ‘stop-start’ nature and so it never really gets going. By then we’ve been greeted to a particular story element that was a remnant of previous silly attempts to re-boot the franchise – army Dino’s!
Yep, in previous drafts JP IV centred upon creating a breed of intelligent dinosaurs that could be used for war but sadly this particular strand distracts from the main film and when any momentum in the story is made, we had asides with a war mongering character more reminiscent of a ‘TV villain of the week’ who wants to use them for war. Real dumb character.
What’s particularly sad about this strand is that seemingly focusing on dinosaurs isn’t enough anymore and so in the pursuit of satisfying the general public, they have to think of new ones. Personally I feel there is tremendous scope for having a few with only a handful of dinosaurs, after all, most are deadly and with great story telling and directing it’s a huge vault of material which has only been picked away from the surface, but I digress! Perhaps this was a social commentary on the unwavering pursuit of entertained paid customers(?) but sadly it just fizzled out.
The sense of spectacle in the film was great and the way they made the main character communicate with the Raptors was believable (at first anyway as despite there being an understanding, they do go to kill him), but it seemed like they tried to cram a lot in the film and borrowed from other films such as Predator, Aliens and at times ET such was the emotion they tried to give to the dinosaurs when they met a gruesome end.
In conclusion, I really wanted to like this film but perhaps my expectations were too high, the pacing was on/off and as soon as any momentum was applied it would come crashing to a halt…to only attempt to start up again. At times it was superb and others it had you scratching your head and the many Michael Bay style comedy asides was x10 too many. I do feel though that a re-edit of the film would reap dividends as there is a lot to like about the film but it contains one too many story strands with the dinosaurs being used for military use. Whilst other more believable strands along with a (literal) biting social commentary were seemingly abandoned.
The story was bold and the film could have been bolder, but as with a lot of recent summer blockbusters it just crams in so much that it stars to feel a bit OTT. I do look forward to re-apraising it but perhaps due to the relative low-cost in producing special effects with CGI, it seems like you’ve been hit over the head many times with action set piece after set piece that you have no real desire to see it again. Consequently whilst it started off admirably, what’s left is pretty juvenile. I’ll end on a positive…kudos to Michael Giacchino for doing a good soundtrack, punctuated many times by that classic score.