‘Jurassic Park’ (‘Jurassic Park’, 1993) was one of the biggest blockbusters of the explosion of the blockbuster, also one of the great fantastic movies. Steven Spielberg’s adaptation managed to keep the spirit of the novel by Michael Crichton while still being a terrifying and exciting adventure full of some of the best set pieces executed by the director, since, with cutting-edge technology, achieved the impossible.
Finally, dinosaurs were credibly appearing on the big screen and audiences responded en masse, breaking the box office record set by ‘ET The Extraterrestrial’ (‘ET The Extraterrestrial’, 1982) as the highest grossing film in the world, and it was not eclipsed until the unprecedented hurricane of ‘ Titanic ‘(1997).
In addition, the film won three Oscars, so Universal Pictures was quick to launch sequels that turned the brand into a franchise, of which, 25 years later, we are still seeing new installments. The premiere of ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ (‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’, 2018) is a good time to review the great saga of dinosaurs and contemplate it with perspective.
‘Jurassic Park’ (Jurassic Park, 1993)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Reparto: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Ariana Richards.
What makes the ‘Jurassic Park’ original is so remembered is its ability to merge the heir adventure of Kevin Connor with a certain air of science fiction and terror. Much of that merit is linked to the ability to amaze with its majestic representation of dinosaurs full of detail for the first time. Originally, Spielberg was going to do stop-motion panoramas of the dinosaurs, but fueled by the success of James Cameron With computer generated effects in ‘Terminator 2’ (1992) he gave way to CGI.
The visual effects supervisor Dennis Muren He suggested creating the dinosaurs digitally and the gamble was so risky that it has gone down in history as the first time creatures of this size were generated digitally. The moment when Alan (Sam Neill) y Ellie (Laura Dern) look at the animals in surprise with fear, ecstasy and Stendhal reflect the reactions of the public in the film sagas. It was something impressive. Seen in perspective, perhaps no other pixel monster in the cinema has ever created that feeling for us again.
Then there is the aspect of terror. Some had forgotten that Spielberg was one of the best horror directors of history. Films like ‘The Devil on Wheels’ (Duel, 1972) and ‘Jaws’ (Jaws, 1975) made him who he is today. The appearance of the T. Rex is a great piece of horror and suspense, holding the time next to the terrified faces of the children. Or any scene with the velociraptors turns into pure tension. It is, in short, worthy of all the success it experienced, although none of its sequels would come close to it.
Criticism in Espinof: Science-fiction- ‘Jurassic Park’, by Steven Spielberg
El mundo perdido: Jurassic Park (The Lost World: Jurassic Park, 1997)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Reparto: Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore, Vince Vaughn, Pete Postlethwaite, Arliss Howard.
Spielberg returned to direct the first sequel, and although it is considered one of his minor films, it is actually not nearly as terrible as it is remembered. In fact, the dark photograph of Janusz Kaminski It is much richer than that of Dean Cundey in the original, and boosts its horror elements to the max. Another of his greatest successes is giving the leading role to Dr. Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), which, given the actor’s usual secondary position, increasingly appreciated, makes her earn points over time.
Hammond reveals that he has sent Malcolm’s girlfriend to an alternate island, where dinosaurs were raised before being sent to Isla Nublar, with Ian’s consequent mission to convince / rescue her. Obviously, everything goes awry. Something that reveals the great little credibility problem of the sequels, the infinite capacity of Hammond and the like to repeat the same mistake over and over again. On ‘The lost World‘It works by the hair, but deep down, the excuse is the least of it. The big problem is that the same scheme will be repeated over and over again in the series.
It plays against the fact that the ability to amaze of the first, in 1997, was no longer possible. The visual effects had already come a long way, we were used to it, so it was less impressive. In addition, these advances caused Spielberg to force the machine by showing various dinosaurs in larger shots and at times, the trick was more noticeable than in the first. However, it was shown that Spielberg mastered the art of not showing them as in his ‘Shark’, like the magnificent scene of the grass that does not show who is eating the hunters.
There are a good handful of great sequences such as the ravine, the attack of the velociraptors to an installation, quite close to the traditional terror that alternate with the almost childlike joy that the moments of the San Diego coda give off: a T. rex on the loose in the big city provides a mini kaiju with spirit Harryhausen, taking his serious sci-fi hybrid to the realm of pure monster movie. There were and still are people who have problems with that.
Criticism in Espinof: ‘The lost world: Jurassic Park II’, what could be and was not
‘Jurassic Park III’ (Jurassic Park III, 2001)
Address: Joe Johnston.
Reparto: Sam Neill, William H. Macy, Téa Leoni, Alessandro Nivola, Trevor Morgan.
Spielberg handed the clapperboard to the director Joe Johnston, which was already a candidate to do ‘The lost World‘before Spielberg made up his mind. The director of ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ (Captain America: The First Avenger, 2011) embraced the series B capacity of the franchise and achieved a good box office. This time Neill returned instead of Goldblum, on a rescue mission to Isla Sorna. The original surprise factor is completely diluted and the first patches of the saga appear.
A T. rex is no longer enough, so a new dinosaur is needed: bigger, meaner, smarter. The Spinosaurus leaves the king a small thing and serves as the main antagonist throughout the film. Johnston tries to merge the elements of horror and monsters with the old-fashioned adventure, which is what he likes and despite not having the grandiose character of the previous ones, it is solid and very entertaining with only 90 minutes. Detail of enhance genetic experimentss is an idea we will see later.
Critique of Espinof: Science Fiction – ‘Jurassic Park III’, by Joe Johnston
‘Jurassic World’ (2015)
Director: Colin Trevorrow.
Reparto: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Nick Robinson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins.
The franchise remained dormant for more than a decade, but it would not be for lack of trying. Universal continued to develop scripts for a new ‘Jurassic Park‘but none of them came to fruition until 2015.’Jurassic World‘It sold us a continuation but, essentially, it was a clean slate with new characters and a new story, but within the same universe as the rest of the franchise. Rebuilding on the basis of Spielberg’s original, it becomes the first sequel to return to Isla Nublar.
Colin Trevorrow began his trilogy with a recycled idea of ’Jurassic Park‘, but posing it as something new and incorporating the old trick of creating a new, more dangerous dinosaur, to attract theme park lovers. Playing on the “we’ve seen it all” premise, it offers a good helping of the same elements from the first movie, but with fabric softener. Except for the velociraptor charmer of Chris Pratt, It didn’t offer anything fresh, so he follows the script of the original step by step with the alibi of nostalgia as an ally of his own weaknesses.
Owen Grady is a dinosaur trainer with a big heart and Bryce Dallas Howard a scientist who runs in heels. They like them, so much so that they are more protagonists than the dinosaurs. But the bad thing is that with the charisma of both the script does not manage to get the most out of them. It’s all about settling with more dinosaurs, more unsupported digital effects animatronic and fewer elements of horror. A full-fledged facelift that achieved a worldwide box office of $ 1.6 billion.
Criticism in Espinof: ‘Jurassic World’, fun without a trace of brilliance
‘Jurassic World: el reino caído’ (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, 2018)
Address: JA Bayona.
Reparto: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, James Cromwell, Rafe Spall, Toby Jones.
As they are now trying to create mini-franchises, trilogies and universes, the success of the first has led us to this sequel to the previous one, which decides to retake the steps of ‘The lost World‘at close quarters. Almost the same beginning, with Grady following to the island the female character who goes after a ruse of the corporation on duty. There, everything has less terror and more action, with a replica of the scene of the van with one of the antidinosaur plastic bubbles. You also have the same hunter archetype from the first and second, without any novel contribution, nor any shame in including it.
And finally, also a plot cut when leaving the island that in ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom‘leads to a half that lasts a little longer, moving the outcome in a mansion, with a second act that oscillates between a boring trip and a long time without dinosaurs and the introduction of a meaner, more deadly bug called Indominus rex, with the typical background of “punishment for playing god” with the genetics that here is increased by the lack of depth in the message and the Gothic setting, almost like a castle of Frankenstein.
Juan Antonio Bayona does a good job with a rather poor script by Trevorrow, but the whole set is perceived as a transitional work, somewhat stretched to include the epilogue that is the most interesting for what comes in the third, whose idea creates the illusion of that this is something better than it is. Of course, the justification that gives rise to this new approach is so extremely idiotic that it is becoming a laughable habit for its screenwriter to normalize the absurd as valid narrative logic.
If we ignore some turns of putting a hand to the eyes, characters as irritating as the hacker, or the girl who appeared in the plot because there has to be a girl to have a “Spielberg atmosphere”, it is not a much worse delivery than the others. It is neither the scariest nor the most spectacular, but at least it has a solid visual display to compensate, once again, for the frustrating grief of seeing how they care more about their protagonists looking good on camera and looking good than exploding. his comic abilities.
Criticism in Espinof: ‘Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom’ is the best sequel of the saga