The Jurassic World trailer hit the cinema a couple of days early - and my guess is that's down to Disney confirming that the first footage from Star Wars Episode VII also arrives on Friday. Which is going to be a bad day to be any other movie franchise.
So the promo for the long-gestating fourth film in the series is finally here. Mooted as long ago as 2001, the project changed directors and storylines several times before settling in indie filmmaker Colin Trevorow (Safety Not Guaranteed) as their guide for a whole new tour of the park.
22 years have passed and the MasraniCorporation has set up a park following the grand vision of John Hammond. Jurassic World is open, the tourists are there and they have attractions humanity has never seen before. Which spurs them on to create a new, genetically modified species. Things go badly then.
Here's the trailer.
Let me firstly say that I love Jurassic Park. As a dino nut and a mere 10 years of age when it came out, I was pretty much the perfect audience and it was the first film I remember dragging my family to multiple times. 22 years on, and these are a few of the issues I have with Jurassic World.
Is This the Same Film?
For some reason, many reboots feel the need to refer back to the original film - perhaps in abject terror of doing anything original. Even impressive recent efforts like Rise of the Planet of the Apes were guilty of this, making for sometime leaden references that really add nothing but a moment of fan service.
The same goes for Jurassic World. While these moments might just be there to give fans a bit of a thrill, even in a trailer they feel shoehorned in. Bryce Dallas-Howards characters is especially guilty, as she starts out aping the Hammond character (things are fine, seriously!) before becoming Laura Dern - right down to the top she's wearing, the flare-carrying and the disjointed shouting of 'Run'!
Yes it's there for fun, but do your own thing please!
Are These Effects 65 Million Years Old?
I understand that releasing footage for a major effects driven film more than 6 months ahead of release means things have to be rushed, and that the trailer likely represents a work in progress but... seriously?!
This looks like a minor transition scene in a Syfy original movie and makes me forever grateful that we don't get a look at the new dino-thing in this trailer. Big moments containing multiple dinos have that Plasticine feel that's all over Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy and there's a lack of weight to what's on offer here.
The production has made it clear there will be prosthetic effects from Legacy Effects (formerly Stan Winston Studios) but there's little evidence of that here, and none of the subtlety that was forced on Spielberg back in 93 due to the nascent nature of computer generated imagery.
Is Chris Pratt Taking the Piss?
Like all of the rest of the world, I'm a fan of Chris Pratt and the incredible 2014 he's been having but his character here is horse manure. Eveything single thing he says is totally serious and po-faced, a whispered hard-man line that not only sounds narratively redundant but also sounds like its right on the edge of parody.
Not that I expect nothing but sarcasm and quips from the actor (though that would be ok) but he just feels a bit miscast and I worry that the character might have nothing else to say, while wearing various outfits which have clearly been crafted to make him seem hard. Perhaps the legacy of Star Lord might weigh a little heavily against 'dino-trainer' Owen.
And does he have domesticated Velociraptors? Is this a Robot Chicken sketch?!
The list of issues continues in my mind,including the fact that things worked out really badly the last time someone tried to make a park? But it's likely premature to make any more judgments right now. My main issue is that Jurassic Park was always more of a sci-fi film, a story about the incredible possibilities of science and what might happen if two entirely different worlds collided. With masses of CG it risks becoming another action blockbuster, while the addition of a made up dinosaur could create a villain that's just one more movie monster.
Time will tell.
Jurassic World is in cinemas from the 12th of June 2015.