Latest instalment in franchise aims to represent the entire world with a diverse cast.
The fearsome dinosaurs from 1993 classic Jurassic Park are back for their fourth outing this week—and they’re genetically-modified and computer-animated to be more terrifying than ever.
Co-produced by Steven Spielberg, who directed the first two films, Jurassic World takes us back to the island theme park where scientists have revived T-Rex and Company for paying customers. Only this time, in a bid to rejuvenate the park’s dwindling fortunes, they have created a new hybrid Dino that is particularly huge. And intelligent. And lethal.
So when the monster escapes from its pen, things go rapidly downhill, plunging the park into chaos. In addition to Chris Pratt as chief dinosaur-keeper and Bryce Dallas Howard as the park’s overzealous marketing chief, the cast includes a multi-ethnic array of actors typical of Hollywood mega-productions these days.
“Jurassic Park is not an American film, it’s a film that belongs to the whole world and I thought it was important that when we reintroduce this film, to have people that represent the whole world,” said director Colin Trevorrow. He was referring to Indian actor Irrfan Khan, Frenchman Omar Sy and Chinese-American B.D. Wong. The latter is the only one who appeared in the original, whose stars Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum have all been replaced by a new cast for the first Jurassic film since 2001’s Jurassic Park III.
The movie, with an estimated budget of $150-180 million—and a sequel for which is already in the works—is due out around much of the world this week, including the United States on Friday.
Spielberg’s original 1993 blockbuster used a combination of stop-motion filming with dinosaur models and primitive computer generated technology, which was unprecedented at the time. But Jurassic fans will get their money’s worth with the new movie: the computer-generated imagery (CGI) effects are spectacular with flying and swimming Dinos constantly snapping at the heels of their prey.
“We used many different techniques during the film, and animatronics was one when we needed the actors to be up close with the animals,” said the director.
Animatronics creates robots with a latex skin, making the creatures look alive and able to be controlled remotely by computers. The movie is essentially great entertainment, and nothing more.
“I don’t think it’s a message movie and I’m certainly not here to preach,” said Trevorrow, while adding: “There’s something in the film about our greed and our desire for profit. The Indominus Rex, to me, is very much that desire, that need to be satisfied. The customers want something bigger and badder and louder.” This trend is also embodied by Claire, the theme park’s young marketing boss who is so obsessed that she neglects the safety of her two nephews who come to visit her for the first time in years.
“The quest for profit has compromised her own humanity,” said actress Howard, the daughter of actor-turned-director Ron Howard. But she added: “As the story evolves, so does she. She goes out to the jungle and her white clothes are ripped up, she gets bruised and she’s sweaty but she doesn’t take off her heels.
“By the end of the film, the fact she’s courageously sprinting in those shoes to me represents her strength, her power, and the side of her that is a true warrior.”