Jurassic Park IV: Hopes & Fears

I feel confident in saying that the shot of the Brachiosaurus in the first Jurassic Park was my generation’s “Star Destroyer” moment. A Star Destroyer moment, for the less nerdy, is the first film that showed you something truly magical through special effects, in this case, the opening shot of Princess Leia’s Rebel ship being overwhelmed by the massive Imperial Star Destroyer. Seeing that Brachiosaurus brought to life through jaw-dropping CGI was a cinematic milestone and an introduction to the worlds of possibility that we can explore through film.

Jurassic Park is an important movie to me and my affection for it remains undiminished despite the rather lackluster sequels (T. rex parents=very cool, T.rex being killed by a freaking Spinosaurus=bullshit). The leaked details about the upcoming Jurassic Park IV have me tentatively excited; cautiously optimistic, if you will.

Reasons for Optimism

  • The description of the plot sounds like a return to what made the first Jurassic Park great. We’re back at the theme park and this time, it’s up and running in full swing. This is something I always wanted to see; how much worse can it get when the dinosaurs break free while the park is filled with tourists, instead of just previewers?
  • The trained dinosaurs also intrigue me. I think it has the potential to carry forward some of Crichton’s core concepts in that humans like to meddle with things we don’t understand. The problem was that the idea that formed the core of the first film was worked to death like a piece of used gum by the third. The idea of trying to “tame” dinosaurs has the potential for a fresh new critique of how humans interact with animals and the dangerous aspect of anthropomorphizing these creatures.
  • The T.rex is back. I love me some T.rexes and all films with T.rexes are better than films that do not have T.rexes.

Reasons for Caution

  • The description of the exhibit for seeing underwater dinosaurs (well, previously extinct marine reptiles, technically) sounds cool, but the description of it being “Sea World-like” immediately made me think of the premise for Jaws 3, which was absolutely terrible.
  • The “main antagonist” dinosaur will be something new, which has the potential to be either awesome or awful. The last time they tried to replace the T.rex as the main antagonist, we were given a Spinosaurus that was supposed to be more dangerous “because it was bigger” even though it was a fish-eater that lacked the power of a rex’s bite.

I’ll go see it either way, of course, and these leaked details have all been unconfirmed. Who knows what will change between now and 2015, assuming any of these details are even accurate to begin with? Either way, I’ll be looking forward to the next movie; it’s nice to see this movie finally get out of development hell.