I was listening to the most recent episode of Fatman on Batman last night where they were talking about how great Jurassic World was. Kevin Smith made the point that the last 20 minutes were summer blockbuster perfection, and I have to say I 100% agree. Not a perfect movie, but the final battle, with the flare, and the final death blow; perfect.
When a movie does something truly well and right, I get this innate feeling of completion. Almost like a wish has been fulfilled. (Maybe I should do another blog post about moments in movies where I had this “Yessss!! thank you!!” moment.) I think it works best when it plays into some type of nostalgia or underlying understanding of the source material or backstory.
The fatman on batman episode did make me start to wonder where the sequel can go for a story. The Jurassic World story made sense as a sequel to the original Jurassic Park only because so much time had passed. There was no way after the death and destruction of the first park that anyone would finance, build, and then visit a dinosaur park any time soon. On the other hand after 5 or 10 years have passed, and the memories of the death and destruction have started to fade, someone would see the potential income inherent in these dinosaurs, and would let their hubris lead them to build an even bigger and better park.
So how do you do a sequel to this movie, now that the mistakes of the first park have been revisited, but this time with thousands of bystanders and tons of media coverage added to the mix. You can’t have another movie with another new theme park cause it is not realistic that in this cinematic world a new park would open so soon, plus doing that limits you to telling the same story that you did last time.
What are the other options? Well you could have “Return to Jurassic World” where a group of people have to return to Isla Nublar, but that is basically the set up for the 2nd and 3rd Jurassic Park movies. Could it still work? Maybe. I still think that those two movies were ok movies. Not amazing, but not dog shit like some people seem to remember them. I especially like this scene from the third movie.
There are a host of reasons they could want to return to the island, but it is difficult to come up with one that lets you root for the people who go back while still putting them in danger. They could go back to round up and capture all the dinos to use in another park somewhere else, but that doesn’t make me want to root for whoever would be going to do that. They could go back to the island to try and reopen the park, but that isn’t very compelling to me. Maybe there are thrill seekers who sneak onto the island, but fuck those people if they do that. Who cares if they die.
Maybe a better option would be having people go to the island for something more humanitarian. They could be going back to save the dinos because of some mcguffin. Or maybe there is something on the island tangentially related to the dinos like they found the cure for cancer in the cells of the i-Rex. All of that seems a little contrived if you ask me plus it kind of ruins the ending of this most recent movie where you get the impression that the Dinos have retaken the island, or more accurately reclaimed their past and natural position in the world.
Another option is to have the setting be somewhere else. Maybe one of the dinos makes it to Costa Rica and the movie is about a hunting party trying to find it. That sounds kind of lame now that I typed that out plus it is similar to the last third of Jurassic Park 2 when the T-Rex gets lose in San Diego which I think pretty much everyone thought was dumb as hell.
I think Jurassic World kind of naturally sets up a movie with a military industrial complex backdrop. Ingen sells the government or some independent contractor on the usefulness of Dinos as front line soldiers, the ultimate killing machines. They set up a large complex where they create the dinos and train them for use in the field. The methods would probably be much more draconian than what Chris Pratt was doing in Jurassic World with his stupid clicker and lame ass respect for nature.
The real question is who, aside from the dinosaurs, do you root for in this movie? Maybe you could have a dino equivalent of peta try and free the animals, but .. meh. Also every Jurassic Park movie features a kid or two constantly in mortal danger. So how… shit I just thought of something.
Ok, so you have a facility out in the desert or underground or under the ground of a desert, look, it is some place somewhat remote. So you have this complex with a mix of scientists, and military people, maybe some civilian contractors. Well they would also presumably have off site barracks close by, and maybe even living quarters for the families not far away either. So there are kids of the workers at this facility, maybe some of the parents are the sympathetic types like chris pratt was, where they are part of this machine, but are somehow above what is going on.
So the kids don’t know what is going on at the base since it is a huge secret, but they sneak their way on using something they steal from their parents. Then someone else, maybe through some type of north korean hacking or espionage from a rouge state or competing blackwater type entity sets off a chain reaction where everyone on the base is at danger and the kids are the ones everyone tries to save.
I kind of like this idea actually.
Maybe part of the movie could start with them rounding up… no better yet, have some people (peta, thrill seekers, inGen, whoever) go to the island and try and find the dinosaurs from Jurassic World and find almost all the dinos are missing. Then you cut to the main story where the secret military base is gearing up with the final stages of testing. They have bred Raptors as infantry. Maybe a triceratops or ankelsaurus as … I have no idea. Well aside from the raptors and maybe the iRex or other carnivores, what dinos do they need or really want?
Maybe they took a bunch of the non carnivores for research and experimentation purposes. See if their control methods work on a triceratops first and then once perfected use them on the more valuable Raptors. Maybe use the treatment and experimentation of the herbivore animals as a way of casting the people running this program as being bad guys worthy of derision. I guess you could also give the idea of using some of the dinos like a stegosaurus as an alternative to using gas powered vehicles. Like somehow it would be more efficient in certain terrains and would give a better public image in terms of a carbon foot print. I think that is a reach, but maybe that is how you would layer it. Have the bad guys give that as the public face for the project and underneath on closer examination you find out about the experimentation and maybe even cross breeding where they try to make even more hybrid animals.
Maybe all of that is too complex and the sequel should have more to do with a theme park again. Jurassic World II – Wild Water Adventure.