In 1993, we were still kids in digital technology, genetic engineering, and paleontology. We played at Super Mario and dreamed of the terrible lizards painted by Zdenek Burian. Jurassic Park – Michael Crichton’s novel and then Steven Spielberg’s film – redistributed the cards. With cloning and synthetic imaging, anything became possible, and dinosaurs resurrected on screen 65 million years after their extinction. The triumph of the film spawned two sequels exploiting the vein without genius, but with skill.
The inextinguishable dinomania has engendered one reboot, Jurassic World (2015), doomed to auction, story of astonishing the bystander in fiction and the spectator in the room. Ever larger, ever more sensational, a new amusement park has opened its doors: 20,000 visitors a day, 14 species of dinosaurs, eight herbivores, six carnivores. The project turns, of course, to catastrophe, attributable to human hubris. The sequel depicts a volcanic eruption on Dinosaur Island. Cattle are evacuated. In the United States, survivors are being auctioned off.
Third part of the second franchise, Jurassic World: The Next World opts for dystopia. Dinosaurs have recaptured the earth. There are them everywhere. They cause traffic accidents, gnaw on lobster lockers, ransack a dove. They do extra work for antispeciesists: Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), a former psycho-director of Jurassic World, frees a baby triceratops from a clandestine farm. Her partner, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), who is severely testosterone-ridden, gallops in the Sierra Nevada with parasaurolophus and lives in peace with his tamed bicycle chiropractors. The couple lives in a hut at the bottom of the woods. Maisie, their adopted daughter, from cloning, is abducted by smugglers and a baby raptor. Claire and Owen go after the thugs.
Their pursuit leads them to Malta. There they find Barry (Omar Sy), a former raptor tamer turned CIA agent, sneaking between a monstrous dinosaur fair, the equivalent of the Troll Market in Hellboy. Terrible fights and crazy chases shake this episode.
Meanwhile, giant grasshoppers (the size of a dachshund…) are devouring American wheat crops. Paleobotanist Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) is investigating this scourge. She reconnects with paleontologist Alan Grant (Sam Neill), her partner in the former Jurassic Park. They fly to the headquarters of Bosyn Dynamics in the Dolomites. In the genetically engineered giant, they find an old acquaintance: Ian Malcolm (the excellent Jeff Goldblum), a chaos theorist, lost sight of since 1993, whose irrefutable pessimism is based on mathematical equations – “C ‘ it’s always dark before the final darkness, ”he smiles, a saying to meditate on in these times. The iconic figures of the parka and du World are brought together for what promises to be a sparkling final bouquet. Unfortunately
The third part of Jurassic World it goes without a script: it proceeds by accumulation, stacking in any way the plots, the characters, the creatures of the Mesozoic. The heroes run from country to country and from Charybdis to Scylla. Dinosaurs sprang up from all corners, hungrier than each other: ferocious velociraptors, therizinosaurus with hypertrophied claws, amphibious caenagnathidae full of feathers and hatred, the good old T-rex of families, and last but not least, the gigantosaurus, “the largest predator the earth has ever carried.”
There is even, hidden in the ancient amber mine, a Permian dimetrodon, some 120 million years older than the Jurassic fauna! Why are they all so aggressive? Admittedly, with its 16-meter wingspan, the quetzalcoatlus is the largest bird to have ever haunted the air, but does it justify attacking a twin-engine cargo plane, opening the shell of its beak as if was it aluminum foil?
The soulless technocrat who leads Bosyn suffers the punishment of traitors, released in the first Jurassic Park: the collared dilophosaurus spits its lethal venom in his face. The good news is that the T-rex and therizinosaurus are joining forces to eliminate the ignoble gigantosaurus during a night scene overflowing with crazy pixels and roars that make the chairs tremble. So is that what cinema has become?
On the bipedal side, everything ends well. No more grasshoppers, no more mad scientists. Couples are redoing each other. The ending credits offer some even more beautiful evangelical images than that of the lamb sleeping with the lion, namely the parasaurolophus galloping with the mustang, the mosasaur pacting with the whale, the triceratops trotting with the elephant…
Jurassic World: Jurassic World: Dominion, by Colin Trevorrow (USA, Malta, 2022), with Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, Omar Sy, 2:26
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