Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Jurassic World third trailer analysis

Well, the third trailer is out, and I'm actually getting hyped. Why they released the earlier trailers almost eight sodding months before the movie comes out is beyond me. Anyway, take a look. I think this is the best of the trailers so far. Think they'll make anymore?

I have to say, each trailer is actually boosting my confidence of how this movie will go. Usually it has the opposite effect on me. I'm still somewhat cautious, as this movie still has ample opportunity to suck, but it seems like the creators are pretty confident in what they've made.

You see, at this point, we know the entire basic plot of the movie. The trailers we've gotten reveal most of the key points, and now it's just a matter of filling in the gaps. Most movies don't do this if they think their script is weak. Notice how most trailers these days are extremely vague, showing only action bits and such with dramatic music. This is because they want you hooked on the action, but also because that's usually the best stuff they have.
When a trailer is vague you have to ask: What don't they want me to see?

Well, Jurassic World looks like it's got nothing to hide. It's not being secretive and trying to sucker you in with curiosity. It's completely open and proud of what it is. It's not trying to fool us into thinking it's something it's not, unlike a lot of other crappy movies with hyped trailers. Yes, I'm looking at you James Cameron, with your pet project, Avatar.

Granted, just because the trailer is honest doesn't instantly mean it will be good. But this does lead me to believe that the developers are proud of what they've got, or they have an awesome marketing team.

Some other stuff leaps out at me though. On one hand it looks like they are trying to portray the dinos more like real animals with a greater level of depth than the other movies, with the exception of the original. Owen, is apparently understanding how the raptors behave, how they think, and the fact that they are interacting without massacring everything outright leads me to be hopeful about how they'll be. It's not the exact same schtick of "smart medium dino hunting people through buildings." These ones might actually be given some individual personalities!

Two lines in particular really made me start thinking.
"Everytime we've unveiled a new attraction the attendance has spiked. Corporate felt genetic modification would up the wow factor."
"They're dinosaurs, wow enough."

Honestly, this really says a lot to me, although I may be reading too much into it, but follow me here. The second trailer I think really hurt itself by revealing info on the new super predator they made, and gave me the impression that it was made for no really good reason.
My head interpreted it like this:

Scientist: Hey everyone, we made a super scary new dinosaur!

Protagonist: Um, why did you do that?

Scientist: Iunno, seemed like fun at the time.

The line about how corporate feeling this was a good idea adds another dimenion though. Scientist gal isn't calling all of the shots. She's got investors and suited yuppies to answer too. This makes the concept of making a new dino make far more sense than before, not to mention unfeathered dinos that has made so many people so happy.
In the end, the Jurassic World park is owned by a bunch of number crunching executives like in Robocop. They invested in this park to make a crapload of money, and by heavans they're going to do what they can to get it. Why would they care about historic accuracy when they could make dinos look cool and get more attendees?

In a sense this makes the park way more realistic, or at least to a guy like me who enjoys overanalyzing stuff. But think about it. A corporation has made a fantastic asset that has universal appeal, and they plan on milking it for every cent that they can. Who cares if there is a mistake here or there in the structuring? It'll bring in the money!

Sound familiar? Like another large group that hauls in hundreds of millions of dollars every year even when they make grotesque mistakes in their creations, but is still dominated by cliques of uncaring and apathetic suits who are interested only in profit while having no real ground knowledge of the projects they're overseeing?
Where have I heard of this group before... Oh yeah, Hollywood!

I really like to think that this part of the script is a reflection of what happened during pre-production. If so, this movie is far more intelligent than I had anticipated.
I like to think it went something like this:

Writer: Okay, here's the rough draft of the script! Did lots of research, got all our ducks in a roll, so we should be good. Paleontologists heartily approve too!

Executive 1: Why do the dinosaurs have feathers?

Writer: Pardon, sir?

Executive 1: The dinosaurs, they all have feathers. Why? They look ridiculous.

Writer: Well, science has discovered that many dinosaurs had crude feathers to some degree, and it's now acknowledged fact that raptors definitely had them. Lots in fact. A huge chunk of our fanbase has been eager to see them portrayed accurately for some time.

Executive 1: But they look stupid! No one will want to watch a movie with feathery creatures. We want to scare people, not make them feel cuddly!

Writer: They can still look scary, the director has that handled.

Executive 2: Where is the new dinosaur gimmick?

Writer: Gimmick?

Executive 2: Yeah.

Writer: Um, the dinosaurs are the gimmick.

Executive 1: No, no, we need new dinosaurs on the roster. Not the same boring stuff everyone has seen already. Except for the T-rex. It is now required by law to have one in a dinosaur story.

Writer: Um, alright, I'll pencil in some lesser known species that are exotic and haven't gotten screen appearances before.

Executive 2: Nonsense! They aren't new enough!

Writer: ... I don't follow.

Executive 2: Simple! Every dinosaur, no matter how obscure or "exotic" is going to be known to some degree, and therefore boring. We have to create something totally new!

Writer: If they are all boring, then why would we bother making a movie then?

Executive 1: [Has seemingly not heard the Writer's comment] Exactly! Wait, I know! It's a lab right? They can genetically engineer their own killing machine!

Writer: I don't think that will-

Executive 2: [Puffing himself up proudly] Perfect! That's just what this movie needs! Now, what are some cool features it can have?

Writer: But the Syfy Cha-

Executive 1: Well, the T-rex is the standard for meat eating dinosaurs, right? Well, this has to be even bigger!

Executive 2: Yes! Much bigger! And smarter!

Writer: [Barely contained annoyance] Is this really necessary?

Executive 1: It's decided! The key to making this a hit is to dump the feathers and have an engineered super creature! Alright, hop to it.

Writer: [Grabs scrip with white knuckles, muttering under his breath as he goes back to his desk]

So, yeah, I can see how this is a fascinating parody or metaphor of how Hollywood itself works. I'd be quite pleased with that.

As for the beastie itself being an above average monster that enjoys killing and is super smart? Eh, I'd prefer if it weren't there, but it's not nearly as far fetched as you might think. I have in fact come across plenty of examples of animals killing for fun. Leopards, dolphins, baboons, and others, all killing other wildlife for seemingly no reason, not even bothering to eat what they killed. These are all highly intelligent animals too, so thus far the creature is falling in line with reality.

The tracking device is slightly more iffy. I don't know where it was placed, but I can well believe that it dug the thing out. I've heard of animals doing weirder things. I'm more iffy on it recognizing the transmitter for what it was. I'm not saying that it's not smart enough to use such a thing as a trap. I've heard of that happening with real animals too.

Peter Capstick in his first book, Death in the Long Grass, told how he followed a wounded leopard into a chunk of cover, following the blood trail, until some blood dropping onto him from above. The sodding thing had literally used its own blood as bait, then climbed a tree and was waiting for him. Thankfully by that point it had bled out, and Peter and his companion had only to fish him out of the branches.
See what I mean by not being so far fetched? I've also heard plenty of occasions where other wounded cats and animals fleeing, then pulling a fish-hook maneuver and flanking their pursuers, doubling back on their own trail. And seeing how most of the guys in the trailer are packing Kel-tec shotties and what looks like an HK UMP-45, they're pretty undergunned. At least Owen is packing a 45-70! :D

So... yeah, I'm pretty hopeful. I'm not spoiling myself, I'm prepared for this to be disappointing, but thus far it looks like it will at the very least be adequate. Certainly I'm banking on it being better than The Lost World or Jurassic Park 3. Guess we'll find out in a month or two! Keeping my fingers crossed!

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