Point/Counterpoint: Should They Make 'Jurassic Park IV?'
Anyone who is familiar with my opinions on sequels and my general distaste for the work of Steven Spielberg are going to be surprised to learn that I love Jurassic Park and both of its sequels. Now don't get me wrong, the actual plot of Jurassic Park 3 was less than high art, but I never fault a film for giving me Laura Dern, even if she didn't actually venture to the island of dinosaurs.
So with talk of a fourth installment in the franchise I am more excited than when my parents finally let me quit little league. But Dan, you're saying, you hated Indiana Jones IV, how can you possibly support what is sure to be a cinematic travesty? Well strap yourselves in whilst I illuminate you.
Let's get down to business, namely box office numbers. You may not realize this but "Jurassic Park" is a financially successful franchise. The third film made twice its budget back in the United States alone and worldwide nearly broke the $400 million mark. Not bad for what many consider a sub par film. Now we're just talking about the third film. The original film made nearly a billion dollars and Lost World made $500 million. I'm not alone in wanting to see dinosaurs chomping down on humans.
Laura Dern is expected to return in 'Jurassic Park IV'
So will a fourth movie bomb at the box office or make some serious cash? My prediction is the latter. Look at Batman Begins, which after Batman and Robin nobody thought would be successful. Looking at the numbers, the movie ended up being a modest hit, and we all know the follow up made a few dollars more. Am I advocating a Jurassic Park 4 just so I can get a "Jurassic Park 5?" I think I might be. The filmmakers are guaranteed a hit with this film and would be foolish to pass it up.
Do I want Spielberg involved in this film? He can be the producer, but he should stick with that hat and let someone else take a crack at the material. Imagine if you will a darker version of the film, dealing less with a family on the menu and more with the moral dilemma of cloning. We live in an age now where cloning is a reality, and perhaps this film can take a step farther. Why not just have dinosaurs? What happens when other extinct predators are introduced into the 21st century? How does mankind deal with not being the top of the food chain anymore? Let's explore these issues a bit in the sequel. I'll even be content with a plot in which the world forgot about the T-Rex in California. I think we'd all be best forgetting that.
Who should return? Clearly Laura Dern has more story to tell. Aside from her, I want to see the kids back; I want to see Tim and Lex all grown up. I think Lex would be working closely with whatever company is currently involved in the dinosaur business while Tim has developed a major complex from his time on the island. You can't honestly believe almost getting eaten wouldn't cause serious trauma. Really, I think those two should be the only characters to carry over from previous films while everyone else can be new. Now that I think of it, I might work on my own script for the film.
When it all comes down to it, "Jurassic Park" can stand to have a few more sequels. Reboot the franchise if you must, because if The Hulk can get a second chance then so can "Jurassic Park." Remember seeing the movie for the first time? We'd never seen special effects like those, and they still hold up surprisingly well today. Fifteen years ago "Jurassic Park" was released, and I think we're do for another one any time now. Just don't wait too much longer Hollywood, we wouldn't want to see Laura Dern's grandchildren off on an adventure to discover the extinct bee population.
Point by Dan Chruscinski
Starpulse contributing writer
Why would anyone want to see Jurassic Park 4? The script for the film has been re-written time and time and time again, five years worth of re-writes to be exact, none of which has pleased Steven Spielberg. Spieberg doesn't even want to direct the movie, he is only set to executive produce, which speaks volumes on how uninterested he is with this project.
There was a rumor last year that the story would revolve around genetically enhanced soldiers that were infused with dinosaur DNA. How #@$%*&! stupid does that sound? Even though this probably won't end up in the final draft, you really have to wonder who the heck is writing these drafts. William Monahan, who wrote the brilliant film The Departed, was originally set to write the script. Unfortunately though, it has gone through various rewrites, which is never a good sign for any film. The studio has pushed back the production date of this film numerous times as even they aren't happy with the re-writes of the screenplay.
To many people, "Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World" was a disappointment. It is a tough thing to make a sequel to a masterpiece. And we all remember how frickin' awful and dreadful "Jurassic Park 3" was. It had Baywatch quality dialogue, USA network quality action scenes from an 'original' Sunday night movie, and an ending that is one of the worst you will ever see. During the closing action sequence it ends so anti-climatically, it will stun you with its stupidity. The film just ends. There was no reason for this film to be made, and now, "Jurassic Park 4" may hit theaters sometime in 2009.
How can Steven Spielberg let this happen? The original "Jurassic Park" is truly one of the great films and set benchmarks in everything from suspense to special effects. He must have read the script for "Jurassic Park 3" at some point, and it is a bit confusing on how and why he agreed to be attached to something that vile (he was only an executive producer).
Unless they get a triple A writer and director attached, which has not happened in half a decade on this project, why bother making it? What is the point? To further ruin and tarnish the "Jurassic Park" name? With a budget that probably would easily push the $120-150 million
range, crap-tastic reviews and horrendous word of mouth would make it a serious challenge for this movie to make its budget back. These days films have a very nice opening weekend at the box office but die down rather quickly since so many other big films hit each weekend.
This story has been told before. What could a fourth film do that the previous 3 could not? It has become formulaic. A) Careless people enter scary dinosaur area, B) dinosaurs punish stupid people by eating them, C) insert action scenes, D) smart/brave character saves the day, E) lame closing scene that hints at a sequel. There are only so many ways dinosaurs can chase people. Should a studio really waste its money on a fourth "Jurassic Park" rather than invest in something new and original?
There is no argument for "Jurassic Park 4" unless the best of the best is involved, and that is not the case. People who think this is a good idea also like MadTV, all those stupid date/superhero/movie spoofs, and the feeling you get when you stub your toe.
Counterpoint by Anthony Liccardello
Starpulse contributing writer
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