Tuck your Thanksgiving in, fam.
The excitement for the end of this week went well beyond turkey when Universal Pictures announced the first trailer for the long-awaited fourquel to Jurassic Park, the awesomely titled Jurassic World, would finally splash down during NFL game commercials on Thanksgiving Day. How in the hell could we be expected to wait four more days to see what Chris Pratt vs. Raptors had in store for us?
As a wise man once said, “Life will find a way.” Perhaps as a response to the Star Wars: Episode VII unveiling set to occur across the country this Friday, the Jurassic World trailer arrived on the Internet this morning, immediately transporting every millenial right back to 1993. The gates. John Williams’ score. And, yes, dinosaurs. Old familiars like the vicious Raptor Squad, some wild sea shit, and a new big bad tantalizingly left off-screen.
Today, it all starts with oohs and ahhs—now there's just the excruciatingly seven-month-long wait until we're running and screaming to the nearest theater. Here, in the meantime, Complex Pop Culture's shameless Jurassic Park stans Matt Barone and Frazier Tharpe unpack the trailer, failed at containing their excitement, and explain why this is basically going to be the big-budget Deep Blue Sea re-imagining that we all deserve.
Frazier Tharpe: Christmas came early. Chris Pratt, Not Jessica Chastain (as my homie refers to Bryce Dallas Howard), and their prehistoric squad may have just spoiled Star Wars: Episode VII’s Thanksgiving.
Matt Barone: Bryce Dallas Howard is going to confuse so many Jessica Chastain fans in this trailer. Since I'm not the biggest Star Wars franchise fan (*ducks vitriol*), I kind of wish that Universal would have waited until Friday and went head-on against the new Star Wars: Episode VII trailer. But, like you, I'm also feeling like a little kid right now, especially when that O.G. John Williams' score from Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park starts playing in the background here.
Frazier: Chopped-and-screwed John Williams was the icing on the JP-themed 8-year-old's birthday cake. And to the little kid comment—exactly. Fuck anyone who isn't excited for this movie or is acting brand new. I'm sorry about your childhood.
Matt: The best part in the trailer, for me, is that last shot of what looks like Chris Pratt leading a bunch of velociraptors in a battle-ready charge. That's, to be honest, the only part of this trailer that made me say, "Oh, shit!”
Frazier: The Lost World is one of those pointless sequels that's nevertheless fun to watch. Jurassic Park III pretty much sucks, its cool new dinosaur notwithstanding. But as soon as I heard the premise for this, I was in. I've said for years that the only thing validating a fourth would be if the park actually opened.
Matt: One thing I'm wondering, though, is if this trailer will have the same effect on casual, younger folks who didn't grow up with Jurassic Park. Because it could look like just another CGI-heavy Hollywood blockbuster to them. A big reason why people like you and me are so gassed right now is that we love the original movie, and this trailer already looks infinitely better than the first two sequels. Will non-Jurassic heads also get geeked?
I wrote a piece about this last year, when Pacific Rim opened, but with Hollywood's overdosing of CGI spectacle these days, it's pretty much impossible for CGI movies to wow anymore. What made Jurassic Park such a "wow" movie was how real the dinosaurs looked, thanks to Stan Winston's amazing animatronic and puppetry work. So in that regard, Jurassic World has its work cut out for it. But maybe I think too much about that kind of stuff, haha. Does any of that even matter to you? (The guy who loves Diddy’s favorite Godzilla movie… *shots fired*)
Frazier: This trailer was clearly made for Millenial Gang above all else. Another, broader trailer made to cater to those lost children who have yet to be educated on the O.G. will probably sell the movie just fine. Like, c'mon. Special effects may change, but dinosaur love is forever.
My friends and I saw the original Jurassic Park’s IMAX re-release last summer, and while I think "made me feel like a kid again" is criminally overused, there's no other way to describe how giddy we were. It holds up beyond innovative effects.
Matt: Definitely, I re-watched it recently on TV, without the IMAX extras, and it still gives me that feeling of wonder very few other movies ever have. I just remember watching Pacific Rim, a movie that I should love—after all, it's giant robots beating the shit out of other giant robots—and feeling confused about why I wasn't in awe of it. Since then, CGI spectacle hasn't been the same for me, and bullshit like Transformers: Age of Extinction hasn't helped.
Not to sound like a nerd, but the key for me will be Jurassic World’s story, and the characters. I do love the concept of this one, with the park being open to the public, and I love that they're focusing again on two young siblings. Hopefully there are moments like when Sam Neill's character and the kids are sitting up in the tree feeding the brontosaurus. Little stuff like that where you can really sit back and appreciate the fact that dinosaurs are in front of you. Fingers crossed that they've taken inspiration from the recent Planet of the Apes movies.
Frazier: No doubt. And a big part of the story's big heart has got to be America's current Favorite Son™ Christopher Pratt. His involvement is a big factor in my expectations.
One complaint I've heard from the trailer is that he doesn't seem to have the right leading man gravitas for the role. Of course that's insane to judge from initial footage, but even so it's clear he's not as animated and perky as Star Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy. Which I'm all for. He's the lone voice of reason amidst thirsty scientists (What up, Not Chastain?) and I can see him knocking that out of the park. Also, THE MOTORCYCLE IN A HERD OF RAPTORS.
Matt: It's probably the way the trailer is cut. His dialogue in the trailer sounds very stagey and hammy, but I'm guessing not everything he says in the actual movie, in the full context, will sound like a wannabe catchphrase. His character, so far, reminds me of Muldoon from Jurassic Park. I wouldn't be mad if Pratt says to one of those velociraptors, "Clever girl." (Minus the whole then-gets-devoured-by-velociraptors part, of course, because Pratt can never die.)
Also, I love that they've basically dressed Pratt up in Indiana Jones' costume here. Let it be Pratt's audition to assume the Indy character if Hollywood ever reboots that franchise.
Frazier: If we have an Indy remake forced on us, Pratt as the good professor would be the consolation. Another complaint I've seen is that the teaser shows too much: But there's one obvious omission: This new dino is kept largely off-screen in almost Godzilla-2014-style marketing. It showed just enough for me. Regardless, as I do with most blockbusters especially those shrouded in secrecy, I probably won't watch another trailer. Because they do show way too much these days. But man does this hybrid sound awesome.
Matt: That's interesting, because the first thing I thought after the trailer ended was, wow, that actually didn't show much at all, beyond the basic story set-up. It's a pretty dinosaur-light trailer to me.
Frazier: As it should be.
Matt: Besides the giant croc-dino moment, it's fairly restrained.
Frazier: Which, also, !!!!!!
Matt: [Laughs.] The sad thing, though, is that you know that, over the next seven months, we're going to be inundated with Jurassic World stills, viral marketing, character posters and breakdowns, and whatever other pre-release hype pieces they can put together. It's going to be difficult to avoid seeing too much more from the movie.
I should also note that Universal is about to own 2015, between this and the next Fast & Furious movie, which is the only other trailer in recent memory I watched and became immediately hyped. That upcoming Star Wars trailer will need to include a shot of Chewbacca doing the Shmoney Dance in order to be any crazier than Jurassic Worlds and Furious 7’s trailers.
Frazier: So obviously there are a ton of dope nostalgic nods to the original. But I'm also getting vibes from another classic man vs beast thriller. You know, Deep Blue Sea!
Matt: “Deepest! Bluest! My hat is like a shark's fin!" Still one of the most idiotic rap song hooks of all time.
Frazier: Scientists, driven by a cold near-heartless female leader, tinkering with already-smart animals. The beast whisperer who warns against fucking with nature. It's like watching Saffron Burrows and Thomas Jane flirt all over again. And the common denominator between Deep Blue Sea and the Jurassic Park franchise: iconic Samuel L. Jackson moments.
Matt: It's a good comparison. But god help us if Jurassic World is on Deep Blue Sea’s level. If, by some unbelievable catastrophe, that were to happen, June 12, 2015, would go down as the most depressing day in cinematic history.
Frazier: I’m reflexively worried about how much hope I'm placing on this. If both this and Star Wars do justice, 2015 will be a banner year for life.
Matt: Which sounds like a perfectly reasonable and not-at-all unrealistic degree of expectation.
[GIFs via Gizmodo]