Front Row at the Movies
“Jurassic World” Takes a Bite of the Movie Franchise
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Recently you read about an American tourist getting mauled to death by a lion in a South African animal park. This was a view-a-dangerous-animal-up-close outing that turned deadly.
That’s pretty much the plot of the new “Jurassic World” movie. Come to think of it, that’s pretty much the plot of all those movies based on the late Michael Crichton’s “Jurassic Park” book.
Produced by Stephen Spielberg (“Jaws”) and directed by newbie Colin Trevorrow, “Jurassic World” is giving audiences some spine-tingling thrills at the Tropic Cinema.
Originally titled “Jurassic Park IV,” the movie takes place twenty-two years after the first one. Finally realizing the dream of Professor John Hammond, (portrayed in the earlier movies by the late Richard Attenborough), visitors to Isla Nublar can now enjoy a fully functional dinosaur theme park.
However, like those commercial seaquariams that boost attendance by featuring a scarier shark or a bigger killer whale, Jurassic World comes up with a bigger, scarier dinosaur, Indominus rex. This nightmare creature is a hybrid created from mixing the DNA of Giganotosaurus, Rugops, Majungasaurus, and Carnotaurus.
Needless to say, this new dinosaur starts eating tourists. So it’s up to a young dino trainer named Owen Grady (Chris Pratt, the hunky star of “Guardians of the Galaxy”) to stop this rampaging beast. Can he use his pack of ‘raptors to hunt the big girl down?
In the movie, when Owen hears that the Masrani Corporation is splicing DNA to build a badder dinosaur, he mutters “Not a good idea.”
But in real life paleontologist Jack Horner, a scientific advisor on the film, is trying to do just that, create a new dinosaur by using chicken DNA. Birds and dinosaurs are related and there’s lots of vestigial DNA lurking in chickens.
“We just haven’t genetically engineered a genuine dinosaur yet, but we know how to do it,” Horner says. He expects to create a real dinosaur within 5 to 10 years.
Jack Horner was the model for the character Dr. Alan Grant, played by Sam Neill in the earlier movies. However, Grant doesn’t make an appearance in “Jurassic World.” Horner is okay with that ... as long as his character didn’t get eaten by a dinosaur.
Horner claims he wouldn’t be particularly afraid of dinosaurs, if he were to succeed in making some. As for plant-eating dinos, he says, “It would be like hanging around a bunch of cows.”
Don’t try to tell Owen Grady that. Too many people get eaten in “Jurassic World.”
Does Horner mind that the movie isn’t totally accurate? “No,” he says. “There were a lot of things wrong, but it was a fictional movie. It’s not a documentary. And so I was just as happy with having some fiction thrown in there as anyone else was.”