​A thrilling Jurassic adventure full of nostalgia

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, June 10, 2022
Adjust font size:
A Giganotosaurus and T-Rex fight in a scene from "Jurassic World Dominion." [Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures]

When paleobotanist Dr. Ellie Sattler says, "You coming or what?" to paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant at one point in the upcoming dinosaur blockbuster "Jurassic World Dominion," it also sounds like an invitation to the audience to join them in the latest adventure since "Jurassic Park," the franchise's first film back in 1993.

Since then, the franchise has gone from "park" to "world," a change that reflected its growing ambitions. No matter the nomenclature, audiences will again be thrilled to meet dinosaurs and legacy actors in the finale of the "Jurassic World" trilogy, a wild ride full of nostalgia. 

Part of that nostalgia comes thanks to returning cast from the original film. Not only have Laura Dern, who plays Ellie Sattler, and Sam Neill, who plays Grant, both reprised their roles, so too has Jeff Goldblum, as the one and only rock-star mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm.

"I'm a lucky guy," Goldblum told China.org.cn. Having starred in two movies in each of the "Jurassic Park" and "Jurassic World" trilogies, Goldblum refers to his experiences as "spectacular," adding, "The predominant feeling that I have about coming back and being part of this series over the course of 30 years is tremendous gratitude and appreciation."

As for the reunion with Dern and Neill in the new film, the veteran actor says it was "totally amazing … I have so much respect and admiration for those two actors. And I love them as people. They're just great friends. I would be a different person if I'd never met them."

The original actors are not just back for nostalgia, but for a reason, notes director and writer of the movie Colin Trevorrow. "We really made sure that we told a story that requires their expertise. And, hopefully, when they collide with our 'Jurassic World' characters, you really feel like that moment is earned."

The "Jurassic Park" legacy cast of Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, and Laura Dern returns in "Jurassic World Dominion." [Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures]

Despite the camaraderie, the making of "Jurassic World Dominion" still proved a challenge. The COVID-19 pandemic meant that the whole crew had to live together in a hotel to polish the script, lines, and characters. Trevorrow revealed that he didn't see his family for four months. "But luckily we had each other. And we made it through like a family."

The "Jurassic World Dominion" explores how humans intend to coexist with dinosaurs after the prehistoric creatures were unleashed into the world from Isla Nublar after its destruction four years ago, all the while tackling human greed and corporate corruption. The idea of dinosaurs living side by side with humans in the modern world was something the director had wanted to see since he was a little kid. But everything originated from the idea seeded in the sci-fi novel "Jurassic Park" by the late writer Michael Crichton and the first two movie adaptations by legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg. 

"We made a trilogy about humanity's relationship with animals, and we've finished the trilogy by making a movie that honors Michael Crichton's spirit the most, in that it's a science thriller about genetic power and the large-scale danger that tampering with genetic power in a way that is disrespectful to the natural world can lead to global consequences," Trevorrow tells China.org.cn. 

Trevorrow was 16 years old when he first saw "Jurassic Park" in the theater, and he was in awe, and would never have imagined that he would be the director being given the responsibility to carry on that story. "It's really just been the honor of a lifetime to be able to do it. And it is a very emotional thing to say goodbye to the franchise. I hope that when people look back on the stories that we told, they will feel that the work that I did was respectful to Crichton's legacy and Steven Spielberg's legacy."

Leading characters played by Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard pictured in two breathtaking dinosaur chase scenes. [Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures]

For actor Chris Pratt, who plays ethologist Owen Grady in the film, acting in "Jurassic World" was like a dream come true, calling the new film "elegant nostalgia."

"I was 13 years old when I saw the first movie, and I just remember it was the first time I'd ever seen anything like it in the cinema," says Pratt. "And now, 30 years later, to still be pioneering new visual techniques to bring magnificent creatures to audiences around the world, and to be sharing the screen with these legendary actors, it's truly surreal."

Pratt's co-star Bryce Dallas Howard, who plays "pretty complicated and layered" Claire Dearing, a mother, dinosaur protection activist, and Owen's love interest, revealed how a lot of the new movie references parenting and trying to protect those people who are most important to us in the future.

"Jurassic World Dominion," produced and presented by Universal Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, and China's Perfect World Pictures, will hit Chinese screens on Friday in various formats, including immersive giant IMAX screens. In the new movie, a total of 27 individual dinosaurs are shown, including 10 never-seen-before creatures, such as the Giganotosaurus, Pyroraptor, and Atrociraptors. 

The film is widely considered a booster that will rekindle enthusiasm among domestic theatergoers after a cold spell in the Chinese film market because of recent resurgences of COVID-19. The previous "Jurassic World" installments were a big success in China, with the first movie raking in 1.4 billion yuan ($212 million) in 2015, and its sequel "Fallen Kingdom" grossing 1.7 billion yuan in 2018. 

Director Colin Trevorrow believes the films' success in China is because there's a real history of dinosaurs in the country, with major dinosaur discoveries dotted throughout China's natural history. 

"I think we are fascinated because we know that it's real. We have the evidence that it was there in the ground and, in the case of China, right there below your feet are dinosaur bones and there's something fascinating about that I think will keep Chinese audiences and audiences all around the world wanting to know more," Trevorrow describes. 

"And when the film's over, I hope the audience will leave the theater feeling that this film had something on its mind that was resonant and meaningful. Dinosaurs are evidence that we've only been on this planet for a tiny sliver of time. Our existence is fragile. Even the most powerful creatures to ever walk the earth didn't last forever."

Follow China.org.cn on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter