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Jurassic World: The Real Sequel

Written by
on June 19, 2015

We are loyal fans of the first Jurassic Park, and had hopes that Jurassic World would be a rewarding installment. It didn’t disappoint. In fact, I think Jurassic World is the sequel we all originally wanted to see.

I still remember my excitement when The Lost World was first announced. The title alone flourished with eerie enigma and potential, but the actual film floundered with an identity crisis. Was this JP or Dances With Wolves?

I think Jurassic World is the sequel we all wanted to see.

Like the sequel to The Matrix, The Lost World failed to deliver what fans loved about the first in the right way. Sequels have to keep it the same, but make it new, all at the same time. The best films in my opinion to do this are Terminator 2 and the Lethal Weapon installments. They gave us everything (and everyone) we loved about the first, yet crafted a continuing story that was exciting and entertaining.

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Jurrassic World performed like a real sequel. The first film (JP) introduces us to a theme park that never opens its doors. It leaves the huge, unanswered question, “what would happen if the park had opened to the public?” Jurassic World answers this question sumptuously. It delivers the same terror we loved about the first, in the same setting, but with new story and a slightly larger beast resulting from the same “sin” that was present in the first film. What’s the sin? Not respecting man’s place in the universe. Playing God. Remember how much Malcolm debated that in the original JP?

Jurassic Park and Jurassic World are both classified as a Monster in the House films by author Blake Snyder.

Script note: Jurassic Park and Jurassic World are both classified as a Monster in the House films by author Blake Snyder. Two constant facts about every Monster in the House story are 1) a sin has been committed resulting in the monster’s power and 2) the monster(s) are terrorizing a house, island, space ship or other singular location that our hero is somehow trapped in.

What are other Monster in the House films? Alien, Jaws, Scream and many more. In Jaws the sin was a Mayor placing revenue over the safety of his town. In Alien it was a greedy corporation sending a space ship to purposely pickup an alien at the cost of the crew. Think about your favorite monster in the house film, and you’ll see there’s always a sin that was committed – even back to the Greek Minotaur. It’s part of the fascinating art of story telling.

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Not surprisingly, like the ferocious raptors in the film, critics closed in on Jurassic World. I think critics feel better about themselves when they can point out “failures” in a film. But truth be told, if we gave them 150 million, their movie wouldn’t even come close to the one they’re critiquing, but I digress.

Like the ferocious raptors in the film, critics closed in on Jurassic World.

One critic was a scientist named Darren Naish. CNN posted his thoughts on the film. His beef was that they didn’t honor what science has discovered in the last 20 years (since the release of JP). Darren cited that some dinosaurs we now know had feathers, etc. Although his thoughts are valid, and to be fair he wasn’t shredding the film completely, he suffers from something many movie goers suffer from: expecting truth in fiction. It’s something that plagues us all, whether we’re a screen writer or an audience member. Facts are sacrificed before story.

Expecting truth in fiction is something that plagues us all.

Nobody cares if real dinosaurs had feathers. They just want to eat popcorn and see what they liked about the original JP. All films derived from real events typically fall under such critique. Hollywood studios care about one thing: making money. Feathered dinosaurs don’t do that.

Jurassic World

All in all, we applaud the film. Colin Trevorrow (the director) immersed us in an edge-of-your-seat movie going experience that keeps theaters and studios in business.

Films like Jurassic World keep me excited about going to the theater.

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