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Jurassic Park 4: Mr. Pilkington’s Revenge   Leave a comment

Two thumbs up to anyone who got my Critic reference in the title of this post.  By that I mean you, John.

Ain’t it Cool says that Collider has reported that producer Frank Marshall told them that we should expect to see the fourth installment of Steven Spielberg‘s  dino-theme-park-gone-awry series, Jurassic Park, “on the screen within two years.”

I loved dinosaurs when I was a kid.  I still do!  I wanted to be a paleontologist more than anything else in the world.  I had dino pajamas, toys, a “fossil” collection (mostly rocks I thought looked like bones) and when Jurassic Park came out in 1993, eight year old me was bursting at the seams waiting to see it.  I remember my dad taking me to the theater and just screaming my head off when the velociraptors showed up and started eating people.

Jurassic Park holds a very special place in my heart.  The effects were mind-blowing and revolutionary, the soundtrack still gives me a tingle up my spine, the video game freaking ruled and damn it I just love me some action star Jeff Goldblum.  It truly made me believe that dino-clones were going to happen and I was going to get my very own stegosaurus. When that happens his name will be Spike.

That being said, in my opinion Jurassic Park would be served better by a reboot than a sequel.  Don’t shoot! Hear me out!  Because a reboot done right could lead us one step closer to real life dino-pets!

And anyway, did anyone even see JP3?

First off, Jurassic Park is great, but the sequels are tired.  Lost World is a bland by the numbers rehash of the first film and the third movie is even more so.  In both, a group of scientists/ big game hunters/ Tea Leoni make a trip to the site of first movie (or a nearby island that also has dino-clones on it, or whatever) under some pretense of seeing the dinosaurs close up.  Something goes wrong, even though it could have been prevented if everyone had thought their plan out more from the get go, and the characters are get stuck in the middle of a dino feeding frenzy.  All the important characters make it out ok, and the bad guys/ characters no one cares about are all eaten.

Lost World ends with the dino-clones becoming public knowledge and island turning into a nature preserve.  With that in mind, what excuse could they have for a yet another under-prepared trip to the island? Or would it be a new group of scientist trying to clone dinosaurs whose experiments also end up taking a turn for the worse?  There has to be a point where the supposed experts start taking proper precautions when dealing with the dino-clones as to not result in yet another disaster.  Otherwise I am going to root for the T-Rex and thank him for eating all the stupid people cluttering up the human gene pool.

My hero!

Second, the depiction of dinosaurs in the first film, which serve as the most iconic images of those species, are now known to be woefully incorrect.  The best example of this are the velociraptors, which became the breakout stars of the series.  The film depicts them like so: 

Six feet tall, leather skinned and according to the third movie “They were smart. They were smarter than dolphins or whales. They were even smarter than primates!”  In one scene they turn out to be intelligent enough to be reasoned with during a hostage exchange!  This is the image them that exploded into popular culture.

But in real life they were more like this: 

Birds.  Turkey sized birds.  Not quite the beast they are depicted as being in the films.  I understand that a turkey monster is not very scary, but its not like they couldn’t choose from the list of  countless other dinosaurs that would pose a viable threat to humans.  Along with the misrepresented raptors, the T-Rex is now also now known to have been a feathered species, and lets not forget the Dilophosaurus where they just started making shit up.

Yeah, this never happened.

Now that’s more like it! Aww, sort of a cute little fella…

Not that the film makers are under any obligation to correct those errors, but considering that a love of the subject matter is what lead to these films being made in the first place (at least I hope that is was the reason.  Well, other than to make money) I feel like they would want to.  A successful reboot could do away with two decades of misinformation and bring everyone up to speed on what has been learned about these long-lost species since the first film came out.  It could get a whole new generation of people excited about dinosaurs again.  Or make them afraid of birds.  Both good options!

Third, the original Jurassic Park made one of the biggest story telling mistakes that has ever happened in film.  Halfway through the movie Samuel L. Jackson fights a group of raptors and dies OFF SCREEN.  Yeah, he walks off to do something, and the next time we see him he is just an arm.  Could you imagine trying to do that in a movie now?  Teasing the possibility of Sam Jackson fighting raptors and never delivering.  The series needs to be rebooted just so that they can cast Jackson in the same role and do justice to what must have been a truly epic battle.

“And the raptors will know that I AM THE LORD!”

The only acceptable sequel to this series would be about Jackson’s character, who would have survived the raptor attack and is now a one-armed dino-hunter secretly living on the island.  Yeah, I’d watch that movie.

Last, going back to the science, in the past 20 years it has been discovered that DNA would never last long enough to be used to clone a dinosaur.  Attempts to extract DNA from soft tissue discovered in the bones of a T-Rex were not successful as Jack Horner, real life acclaimed paleontologist and inspiration for the Dr.Grant character in Jurassic Park, explained during a TedTalk.  On the subject of recovering DNA from dead insects he said “If you actually had a piece of amber and it had an insect in it, and you drilled into it and you got something out of that insect and you cloned it and you did that over and over again you’d have room full of mosquitoes… And probably a whole bunch of trees…

However, even if cloning is not an option, hope of recreating a dinosaur in the lab is still alive!  The process is called Atavism Activation, where gene treatment is used to reactivate traits in animals that have been lost to evolution.  Advancement sparked in the budding scientific field when it was discovered that chicken embryos would sometimes grow teeth similar to their dino-ancestors.  Although the science is in its early stages now, theoretically reactivating out of use DNA in birds could lead to recreation of extinct species.

We would be going from this:

To this:

A reboot, citing atavism activation rather than cloning, would raise interest in the new science and could lead us one step closer to having pet dinosaurs!

Those are my thoughts on the subject, what do you think? Reboot, sequel or let the series go extinct? Tell me in the comments!

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