Arriving earlier than planned – it had been earmarked for the end of the week – was the first trailer for Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World. Judging by the reaction we’ve been reading online, the trailer seems to have gone down really rather well too, and it put across a film that mixes in reverence to what’s gone before, with some new ideas. Those new ideas are the cause of a little division, so we figured it was worth digging into the trailer a little deeper to work out just what it told us.
Obviously, there’s a lot more still to find out, but here are some of our key discoveries thus far…
People are still sending small children to an island full of dangerous creatures
In a trailer not short of callbacks to the three Jurassic Park films to date, it seemed appropriate to kick it off by sending small children off into battl… sorry, on holiday. “If anything chases you, run”, says their mother to them. Wise advice, as Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson (not the BBC’s political editor) get sent by their parents – all on their tod – to go and watch some man-eating animals. It’s a Spielberg staple of old, of course, to frame the terror through the eyes of a child. The trailer alone will revisit this theme.
Isla Nublar has become popular
Well, we’re back on the first island we ever saw dinosaurs roam, Isla Nublar. And there have clearly been some upgrades. This time, they have people-packed cruise ships taking tourists there (no bumpy drops in a helicopter anymore), which must mean…
Welcome… to Jurassic World!
…. that the theme park business is thriving. We’ve been told beforehand that Jurassic World follows on from the previous Jurassic Park films (this is not a reboot), just acknowledging a decade or two has passed. It would have taken that amount of time to sort out the litigation from the numerous deaths in the three films to date. But no matter: John Hammond’s InGen may be no more, but a new company has come in and realised his vision. A dinosaur-packed theme park has become a reality. And note how the entrance also pays homage to the very first film. Like you needed us to point that out.
People easily forget
In the Jurassic Park films to date, we’ve seen experts get it wrong, people die, a T-Rex rampage around San Diego, and television reports of that happening. Dinosaurs, lest we forget, are very dangerous. What kind of fool would thus put their life on the line to visit a theme park full of them? Well, that lot above for a start…
It looks like a bloody good theme park
Fair game. As John Hammond always promised, no expense has been spared. The new Jurassic World looks modelled on Universal Studios, no doubt in some clever synergy-esque thing that made posh executive people happy. But also, some of the attractions have more callbacks to the original Jurassic Park. And the new attraction above too looks good fun…
CG > Practical?
We’ve been promised that Jurassic World will stick to the practical effects roots that formed the basis of Jurassic Park. After all, whilst ILM’s breakthrough work remains responsible for many thrilling moments in the original film, Stan Winston’s efforts were crucial too in realising the original dinos of Jurassic Park.
This new trailer seems more CG-centric though, and if there’s a visual grumble, there are moments where it looks it. The shot above, for instance. That said, we’re still around eight months out from release, and there’s a lot of time to refine things further.
There’s a Jaws nod
It’s a bit tricky to spot, though.
There’s some deep water
There must be, to be able to house this beast.
When a raptor jumped up after Lex in the original film, we nearly jumped out of our seat. When this one – which we suspect is a Mossasaurus – leapt up at the screen? Well, as daft as it sounds, it felt the least ‘real’ moment of the trailer for us.
Not least because few people in the crowd were wearing the raincoat things that theme parks tend to stiff you for.
Science has found a way
Ah, the amber. We remember you. The second half of the trailer stops selling the park itself, and gets down to the arranging of fit around the shan. So, accompanied by the voice of Bryce Dallas Howard’s scientist Claire, we learn that the last decade has been scientifically fruitful. That progress in genetics has been made. That the dinosaur lab has, basically, been busy. It’s not just the theme park itself that’s going to have evolved. It’s the livestock.
They must have found some more mosquitoes.
Even the eggs have barcodes now
Uh-oh: they’ve made a mutant
Here’s the bit we reckon you have to go with for Jurassic World to work. As Claire tells us, they’ve made the first genetically-modified hybrid. No longer are creatures brought back from 65 million years ago enough. Within the decade maximum (and more likely far less than that) that Jurassic World has been open, they’ve had to up the ante and made a whole new dinosaur. Children, it seems, need more than a basic dinosaur to keep them entertained already.
Presumably if the camera panned right, you’d find Ripley from Alien: Resurrection in the next tank…
Science vs Chris Pratt
Don’t worry: for every scientist, there’s a cynic, who will no doubt be proved to be right. In this case, it’s Peter Quill himself, Chris Pratt. He’s already doing some of Jeff Goldblum’s work here too, questioning the logic of making a new dinosaur. As Goldblum said in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, when Hammond told him he’s not making the same mistakes again, “no, you’re making all new ones”. Too true. Expect Chris Pratt to pick up that mantle.
If you try and contain a dangerous creature, it will make the Jurassic Park III logo on the wall of its enclosure
Scientists still ignore the warning signs
“Evacuate the island”, says Star Lord, clearly having boned up on his Jurassic Park boxset. A quick turn of the head from Claire, as John Williams’ wonderful score starts to softly play (our favourite bit of the trailer is when that music kicked in), suggests she will not be giving that order. Later in the trailer, she appears to have gone through the traditional Jurassic Park transformation though, as by then, she realises they may all be in trouble.
A sign of the times again. In the original Jurassic Park, director Steven Spielberg cut out the blood, and got a PG rating. For The Lost World: Jurassic Park, blood made its way in, and he still got a PG rating.
New director Colin Trevorrow might just be going for a half-way house here. Here, he uses a drop sparingly, and for effect. A wise plan. Trevorrow thoughout, in fact, seems well schooled in the ways of Spielberg, with the emphasis on human reactions as much as computers.
The classic Jurassic Park chase shot is back
Colin Trevorrow also seems to be drawing a fine line between paying homage to what’s gone before, and evolving the films and the story. Of course, there’s only so much we can tell from a brief trailer, but this shot suggests he loves the original Jurassic Park as much as the rest of us. We got a few nerdbumps at this bit anyway…
At some point in the film, people will realise things have gone wrong
We’d suggest around about this bit…
Children will be placed in danger by the actions of adults
A shadow. A raptor’s grunt. A young boy filling his trousers. A bit of merchandising. All we need now is a nice, shiny kitchen to run around.
And remember: this child’s parents sent him on holiday to a dinosaur-infested island without them.
Arguably the big discussion point. For it seems as though the raptors are on Star Lord’s side now (that or there’s a raptor racing thing going on). That’s genetic modification for you. The most dangeous killers from Jurassic Park are running alongside Chris Pratt. Why? No idea, and clearly we don’t have the context, so can only play guessing games. We’ll say this though: if the raptors-on-your-side idea sticks for the whole film, it does change the mechanic that’s held the films in place to date though: that humankind is fighting against mutated nature. We’ll be interested to see how that pans out.
It does look a bit like Chris Pratt’s Indiana Jones audition reel, too.
The inevitable caveat. It’s a trailer, and it’s way too early to call the film. It seems as thought Jurassic World is pitching a good balance between affection for the old films and going its own way. The trailer, furthermore, hints at one or two bold story choices, that could make or break the film. So far, though, we’re very firmly on board…