The news that Steven Spielberg was considering rebooting the Jurassic Park franchise has spread like wildfire. Plot rumours were ignited and a mutual groan came from those disappointed with the third instalment. Whilst rumours have abounded about a possible fourth film for years now, one centring on the idea that genetically modified human / dinosaur warriors had been created in the Alps to deal with an outbreak of dinosaurs (we kid you not), we found ourselves wondering… is a fourth trip to Jurassic Park really what we need?
Okay. So there’s plenty of evidence that suggests that another instalment is long over-due. The great success of the first three films is perhaps the biggest asset in the case for the fourth, after all. Jurassic Park was something that today’s cinema regularly lacks; it was original. Although derived from Michael Crichton’s gripping novel (which, coincidently, we can’t recommend enough), it bought everything you could expect from a Spielberg film. There were frights, there were effects and there were memorable shots (the trembling water being one much borrowed since). To see a film of such grandeur reappear in cinemas would be nothing short of applause-worthy, right?
Before we get too carried away let’s remind ourselves of the case against, and boy, there’s some heavy-hitters. First up are the original sequels. The Lost World was, admittedly, a half-decent film. Although we felt the inclusion of Ian Malcolm’s busybody daughter was a bit unnecessary, the tension mounted as the Rex’s sought their offspring and the survivors were picked off one by one in the corn field. Yes it may have borrowed heavily from Jurassic Park’s plethora of scares but it did it well. JP 3, on the otherhand… well it tried – and very nearly succeeded had it not been for the distinct feeling we were definitely now just watching a rehash of everything that had come before. Sam Neill was back as Doctor Alan Grant – he himself even giving off the feeling of being roped in not by his own accord. Another kid found themselves in peril in prehistoric jungles and, whilst it was an enjoyable romp, we just got the distinct feeling we’d seen it all before. How could a fourth overcome the woes of the third?
Perhaps third instalments are sometimes just hit with the unlucky stick, Spiderman 3, for want of a better example, bought us emo Spiderman; the world cringed as Toby Maguire danced his way through the film’s over-crammed script. The franchise however survived and is being rebooted – whether Andrew Garfield will don his tap dancing shoes is yet to be confirmed. Should we call for a complete overhaul with the Jurassic Park series? Do we really want to see new faces besmirch 1993’s classic? No, of course we don’t. The current stint of remakes are making our head whirl and to see Jurassic Park attach itself to the growing list (beneath the likes of Footloose and The Thing) would make the original lose some of its charm.
If we’re not quite ready for a JP remake, perhaps then a continuation may be the best course of action… or not. We’re not sure where the story can really go from here. The park itself is supposedly gone to ruin, Island B has been discovered, T Rex has already terrorised Manhattan and we’ve journeyed back, with the aid of JP3, to Island B for no other reason than to fetch a missing child. What mishap would JP4 focus on? Another mainland outbreak? Nedry’s stolen embryos somehow ending up in the wrong hands? Or perhaps the dino warriors are still an option? All we know is that, thanks to previous experience, some sagas are best left untouched… could we really face another Phantom Menace backlash?