'Jurassic' journey, part 4: Kids see the darnedest things
It’s been 25 years since “Jurassic Park” launched one of Hollywood’s most enduring franchises. Now, before “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” arrives in June, we’re taking a look back at the events of the first four films.
“Jurassic World,” which is set 22 years after the events of “Jurassic Park,” imagines a scenario where even the biggest creatures in history have to compete for the attention of kids who are oversaturated by pop culture.
When brothers Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray Mitchell (Ty Simpkins) head to Isla Nublar for a weekend with their aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), they’re expecting a VIP tour of Jurassic World, a new, bigger and supposedly better theme park built on the original site of Jurassic Park.
But when a super-powered, genetically engineered dinosaur called indominus rex escapes its pen, the park goes into high alert, putting the visitors in mortal danger.
Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), a Navy veteran and velociraptor trainer, intercedes on their behalf, helping Claire and the boys to temporary safety. But an escalating series of catastrophes, set off by the indominus’ violent rampage, forces the entire island to shut down.
Grady reluctantly enlists his velociraptors to square off against the beast in a showdown between two of the fiercest predators the world has ever seen.
Dinos as a metaphor: Directed by Colin Trevorrow, the film takes considerable inspiration from Steven Spielberg’s original, and from Spielberg’s entire filmography (see below). But Trevorrow puts his own stamp on the installment by turning the wonder and excitement of dinosaurs into a commentary on the overwhelmed sensibilities of today’s kids.
Did you know? The concept of sharks being used as dinosaur fodder was Trevorrow’s idea and was inspired by Spielberg’s “Jaws” (1975). Trevorrow was initially worried that Spielberg might see the idea as criticism on “Jaws.” But the legendary director, a “Jurassic World” producer, was very much amused by the idea and made sure it was included in the film.