Monday, 15 July 2013

Update - Jurassic Park IV


You may remember this, my impassioned post on Jurassic Park IV:

Well, here's an update full of feelings:

Relating to the film itself, there's no point in typing 'potential' or 'probable' anymore; they're intent on it for a 2015 release.

So what do we know?

They dropped a human-dino hybrid idea, which included armed 'Raptors...Thank goodness.

And, it seems they're setting it back on Isla Nublar (the island from the first film). And it would be attractive to see what happened after the hurricane. But to be honest, I'd rather they explore some of the other 'Las Cinco Muertes' chain (of which Isla Sorna - Site B - was a part). It was heavily implied in The Lost World: Jurassic Park that all five of them were populated with prehistoric life. (Nick translates the Capitan as they approach Isla Sorna: "He won't stay anywhere near these islands...They call these islands 'Las Cinco Muertes'...The Five Deaths.")
   Exploration of the other islands can lead easily to the marine creatures that they've been wanting to bring into the mix. All well and good, but we've yet to hear of a story...Which is still a big concern. Looking at the two sequels, the stories involve a rescue in some shape or form. In general terms, Malcolm says it best; "'Ooh', 'aah'...That's how it always starts; then there's running...And screaming...!"

So I'm very much hoping that it takes a different slant for IV. It's been 20 years since 'the Isla Nublar incident' (Jurassic Park). People all over the world will be well aware of prehistoric life living today. People would be eager to see the animals, even illegally. In fact, that's how Jurassic Park III starts. But do you think they'd be only ones?
   This is where my idea would come in; this is a world where Dinosaurs are alive...Not by nature, but by human...By science. This is the very core of the trilogy; humans playing God and trying to control nature. By Mother Nature's reckoning; it isn't possible.

Anyway, the point of this post; if I had a chance to create my own Jurassic Park story (well, officially), I'd create something that expands on the beliefs created from the beginning. The views that whether or not the dinosaurs should even be alive...And also whether or not it's fair to refer to them as 'real Dinosaurs'. (Dr. Grant stated in Jurassic Park III; "Dinosaurs lived 65 million years ago; what is left of them is fossilized in the rocks and it is in the rock that real scientists make real discoveries. Now, what John Hammond and InGen did at Jurassic Park is create genetically engineered theme-park monsters..." Making it clear that he distinguishes the two.)
   So the story I'd have for the fourth instalment would centre around activists; with Dinos living today for so long, people would form groups banded by their ethics. And the majority are so dead-cert that Dinosaurs should not be around today, who believe so much that man has tampered with Mother Nature enough, that they train themselves into a militia force and makes journeys to Las Cinco Muertes (and Isla Nublar) to destroy the animals.
   As a plus note; in the two sequels, several similar things occur, such as; tough guys with automatic weapons and long-range rifles and such...And they either run away and/or fire wildly into the air as soon as the big carnivore appears (I'd have them actually take time to use them properly, no matter how full of crap their pants become). So as the characters main objectives in both sequels involve some sort of a rescue (and all three end up with desperate attempts to get off the islands), this is where my idea(s) differentiate; what sort of people would willingly set foot on the island(s), knowing full-well the dangers and potential deaths?
   As well as the 'Mother Nature' extremists, I would also place another group on the island(s) too; an anti-activist group who believe that humans playing God is all wrong, but they respect life with empathy (they recognize them as creatures with feelings, etc) and ensure that the extremists do not harm them....Their main concern is to ensure that humans will not be able to do this again.

Personally I believe that both sides will have seriously valid points and no true hero and villain can be pin-pointed. In media we have come across many cases of 'lazy writing' in regards to this; where a character is established as the antagonist of the piece and their case is an interesting point of view, but at the end of the day, it clashes with the protagonists' point of view so therefore the antagonist is wrong and must be defeated. The 'lazy writing' means that only the protagonists' POV is correct and acceptable. The antagonist is merely shrugged off.

An idea I have with these two activist groups would mean that they are on equal footing; nobody is right or wrong...Both POVs are valid and are worthy to debate. (Of course both sides believe they are right and the other is wrong!) Whether the scientists or Dinosaurs should be targeted is something I like to think of as a 'pet and owner' debate; if the pet is a dangerous animal (and does something horrific), is it the owner's fault or should the pet be held responsible...?

Now of course, just debating it alone wouldn't make for very thrilling viewing; but add some cause and effect and consequences into effect for the characters and the fact that Dinosaurs don't care, then you'll have a film...Hopefully! At this point I'm thinking along the lines of Yojimbo/A Fistful of Dollars; two conflicting sides and a third party right smack in the middle, who may decide to play them against each other, or set some things up to make them see the others' points of view...Maybe. (Perhaps an example of a potential scene could be; an injured carnivore could be laying helpless and an extremist is about to put it down, but the anti-extremist member holds them at gun-point...Mexican stand-off; both would have to make a decision that goes against their entire cause and reasoning for being there in the first place).

As for the Dinosaurs themselves; I would take them further too. I would give some explanation into the how the creatures have differed slightly (especially the Velociraptors). Mainly, I would give a basic insight that when they were initially created, the crossed genetics with frogs (and perhaps other amphibians and even reptiles & birds) would explain why they were 'inaccurate' (best example; Dilophosaurus) compared with actual Dinosaurs. And that over time, through living years and generations on their own, more of their original Dino characteristics/genes have become more prominant (explaining the sudden 'Raptor feathers starting to sprout in Jurassic Park III, for instance). Plus it could explain how certain Dinos were able to do things far beyond what their prehistoric counterparts could have done (the flexibility of the Stegosaurus' tails, the sizes of some therapods and the 'super-strength' that the Spinosaurus has gained). With this in mind, the Dinosaurs in IV could become the most accurately represented versions yet!

Let's take a moment to go along with the prehistoric marine life they're keen on introducing. I think it'd be interesting if these creatures escaped the confines of Las Cinco Muertes (obviously InGen would have encaged them) and got out into the open Pacific Ocean, interacting (or contaminating, as some may see) with present day marine life.

Whilst we're on Dinosaurs; I have one big gripe (if any) with the existing films and that is Dino-interaction...Not interaction with people, but amongst themselves. I can more-or-less count the number of moments on my two hands where at least two Dinosaurs will directly interact with each other: Brachiosaurs singing, T. Rex chasing down the Gallimimus flock (and eating one), 'Raptors in the kitchen (when  the second one appears), T. Rex vs. the two 'Raptors, T. Rex family (little moments), 'Raptors fighting each other (for a few seconds), T. Rex vs. Spinosaurus (which, despite being the most memorable, was far too quick in my opinion), one moment of contact in the Hadrosaur stampede and the Velociraptor communication peppered throughout.
   Now yes, arguably you need people for reference and audience engagement, but I would personally find it fascinating to devote a few minutes - even entire sequences - to the Dinos themselves. Mainly because the easiest thing to do is portray them as monsters. However, giving them things to do amongst themselves would subtley show them more as creatures; feeling, thinking, living animals. Plus, as an added bonus, the audience would be aware of things about the Dinos that the human characters wouldn't be aware of...It could create some interesting feelings for (or against) the Dinosaurs...Even so far as seeing them as the third party; the ones innocently caught between the crossfire.

Apologies if I drone on for your liking, but it's a love! So of course I'll want Jurassic Park IV
 to be as reasonable as possible and not just another fourth movie cash-in!


No comments:

Post a Comment