Animation movies

Have the dinosaur movies reached an end point? – The Hollywood Reporter

“Bigger. Why do they always have to go bigger? Dr. Ian Malcolm’s (Jeff Golblum) question about Jurassic World Dominion’s new carnivorous antagonist, Giganotosarus, could be applied to Jurassic film series as a whole. It could even be attributed to the vast majority of franchise movies today, which is all about constantly trying to top the previous entry amidst ever-changing audience expectations, a balancing game between nostalgia and new .

How long can this game last? Eventually, the sustainability of a franchise, especially ones originally founded on relatively simple premises, must reach a breaking point.

Jurassic World Dominionwhich sees Colin Trevorrow return to the director’s chair after that of JA Bayona Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, is certainly larger. From its execution, cast of characters from two generations and number of subplots, Domination is the biggest Jurassic movie ever. (It’s also doing big at the box office this weekend.) Of course, bigger doesn’t always mean better, as critics have suggested, the franchise’s lowest. If you’re expecting another critical panning here, well, you’re reading the wrong writer. I’m not particularly interested in “better than” or “worse than” conversations at the moment. But for now, I will say that I enjoyed it Dominationin part because it’s such a clear testament to the strengths and weaknesses of the blockbuster film industry.

Jurassic World Dominion
Courtesy of Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment

Why make it bigger? Because we’ve been calling for it, and we’ve done it since Darth Vader revealed Luke Skywalker’s parentage in 1980. That decision has had consequences – from The cursed temple (1984) to The black Knight (2008) — in an attempt to reach the heights of The Empire Strikes Back. Some have succeeded, others have failed miserably. Despite this, we send a message with our fandom, our social media chatter, and most importantly, our wallets, that we want bigger – longer runtimes, more characters, more settings, and higher stakes. .

At the same time, audiences crave familiarity, to remember how they felt watching that first entry. This creates a balancing act. Overly familiar sequels struggle to justify their existence, but a sequel that feels too far removed from the original is often seen as something that shouldn’t be canon. We have seen the “too” familiar argument with jurassic world (2015) and the force awakens (2015), and the “excessively” off-brand with The Last Jedi (2017) and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018). And we’ve seen attempts to tip the needle the other way and balance the new and the old, with The Rise of Skywalker (2019) and Jurassic World Dominionfilms that have frustrated many fans.

Expectations become harder to manage the longer a franchise lasts. We’ve seen this happen time and time again with terminator, Fast and FuriousThe Wizarding World and Transformers.Even the steadfast MCU has faced its share of post-End of Game (2019) growing pains, as Marvel defies public expectations with projects such as Eternals.

Undoubtedly, one of the main reasons Top Gun: Maverick has proven to be such a success since its launch on Memorial Day weekend is that it is not Top Gun 5. We haven’t been inundated with sequels, spin-offs, anime series, and network reboots in the years since. Superior gun (1986). Yes, there’s the stellar cinema of Joseph Kosinski at stake, and the undeniable power of our latest movie star, Tom Cruise, who also managed to rejuvenate the Impossible mission series. But maverick doesn’t have to defy expectations or break the wheel of a Superior gun film. Instead, it revels in its own nostalgia while feeling fresh, allowing it to surpass the original without deconstructing the franchise.

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Tom Cruise plays Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

When it comes to jurassic park suites, only the first jurassic world received mostly positive reviews, and even those were somewhat reluctant, helped by the fact that it had been 14 years since Jurassic Park 3 (2001) and this new leader, Chris Pratt, was the star. Of all the sequences, jurassic world had the most in common with Spielberg’s original, but outside of a fresh coat of paint and a subplot involving military interest in trained raptors, it advanced the franchise the least. It was a movie that aimed to wow audiences by getting bigger and reminding viewers why they fell in love with jurassic park (1993) first.

But it was also a film that also served as a warning: there is no going back. The thrill of seeing dinosaurs like we did in 1993 can’t be replicated, and it’s called jurassic park Where jurassic world, the idea of ​​dinos let loose in a theme park alone can’t sustain a franchise. Instead, Trevorrow advanced the rather intriguing theory that if humans can clone dinosaurs, they can also clone other living things, introduce new species, new weapons, new drugs and food sources, and eventually change the ecology of the world.

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Sam Neill as Dr. Alan Grant in jurassic park

Even Spielberg realized he couldn’t top what he did in the first, so he changed direction and delivered a pulpy adventure story with the bones of King Kong (1933) and The lost World (1960) in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, which was only loosely based on Michael Crichton’s sequel novel. And Joe Johnston’s Jurassic Park 3 has become a fast-paced survival story that trades likable characters for fast-paced action. The line crossing the whole Jurassic The sequels are that they are B-monster movies with cross-genre elements and a bit of a fuss about the dangers of nature tampering, which are the kind of stories Crichton excelled at. There’s a reason every adaptation of his work outside of the first jurassic park and HBO Westworldare decidedly B series. It is cooked in the source.

Trevorrow, who took over the franchise and co-wrote each of the jurassic world entries, was dogged by the idea that he was just continuing the 1993 film. Yet, I don’t believe he was. I believe that Trevorrow, quite consciously and not without a sense of humor, remained very conscious that for the franchise to continue it had to test how far it could push the concept of dinosaurs existing alongside humans in the world modern. Therefore, fallen kingdom played the trump cards of Bayona and started out as a disaster movie before moving the action off-island and becoming a gothic horror story that mixed resident Evil with dinosaur crisis, and featured a cloned girl, Maisie (Isabella Sermon), being hunted by a genetically engineered monster in an old mansion. The conclusion of this film, which saw dinosaurs let loose into the world, promised humans living with dinosaurs.

But like Domination shows in its opening dinosaurs living among humans, eating them, and destroying cars is a neat edit, but it’s not a narrative we haven’t seen in countless kaiju films. In place, Domination, seemingly to many people’s dismay, becomes genetic research company BioSyn’s attempt to control both the food and health industries, with dinosaurs being one way to achieve this. BioSyn owner Lewis Dodgeson (Campbell Scott) and scientist Dr. Henry Wu (BD Wong) tie the film to the first, but their interests go beyond dinosaurs and theme parks, and instead lie in the future of the life on this planet. The fact that this movie was shot during COVID-19 adds an extra layer to its environmental leanings and what we’re willing to sacrifice to believe we’re in control of nature.

Domination also features the worst locust action since The Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), a sequel that also tried to go bigger but was canceled upon release. Notably, Martin Scorsese prefers it to Friedkin’s original, which is reason enough to at least reconsider any critically maligned sequel to a classic, if that appeals to anyone. In all seriousness, the result of jurassic world: Dominion is a franchise entry that looks less like Spielberg and more like Crichton’s Bibliography, a purse of elements of The Andromeda Strain, Westworld, congo, Prey and jurassic park.

Domination defies what some hoped to see. It’s completely understandable that we expect to see new and old characters teaming up to deal with the dinosaurs attacking people all over the world. But Ian Malcolm, Alan Grant (Sam Neil), Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), Maisie Lockwood, Kayla Watts (DeWanda Wise) and Ramsay Cole (Mamoudou Athie) don ‘t come together until the final act. The result is a stranger, messier, and more interesting third act. Despite a handful of reminders, it is not jurassic park. That seems to be the point. The franchise evolved and became something else in order to perpetuate itself. Is this then a signal to end it? Should Hollywood give up for now and be unearthed again by a future generation?

I’m sure a number of you are nodding yes. I understand. However, I will counter. I think the only reason to continue a franchise that has lasted so many years is to let it become something else. This is a franchise in which, at one point, was going to include Jurassic Park 4 featuring rockets attached to raptors sent to war zones. It’s a franchise that once offered to have a group of mercenaries who were dino-human hybrids. These ideas are extreme leaps from the beginning of the 1993 film, and yet the jurassic world The trilogy laid the groundwork where these two scenarios are still ridiculous, but plausible in the world that has been established. I say bring him.

jurassic park is undeniably a masterpiece, but if there is a future for this franchise, we have to accept that no subsequent film can attempt to match it. For some, that means calling it the franchise’s hour of death. But as Spielberg, Johnston, Bayona, and Trevorrow all showed with their sequels, it can also just mean letting go, going wild, and getting bigger. Maybe there’s a masterpiece on the other side of this, or maybe there’s just more monster B movies like the genre that inspired Crichton and Spielberg in the first place. . It’s a better legacy than most franchises can hope for.