“I saw Jurassic Park on opening day in 1993, when I was 12 years old. I remember it like it was yesterday," says Bryce Dallas Howard, interpreter of Claire Dearing in the Jurassic World saga. That same weekend, on the other side of the USA, his co-star Chris Pratt did the same, building together with an entire generation an indelible, mythical memory that would immediately merge with the way in which the block buster. "There were expectations, of course, but when it was released, it fascinated in a way that I would never have imagined," recalls Jeff Goldblum, the star of the Steven Spielberg film who would play Ian Malcolm three more times. The last one, Jurassic World: Dominion.
The Murcian poster of `Jurassic World´ that has impressed Bayonne
The fourth installment of Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, hit theaters in 2015, immediately establishing itself as a key piece of popular culture beyond the millions of dollars earned. Jurassic World was at the forefront of the nostalgic looting where Hollywood has been established for more than five years, alternating winks to the untouchable original film while succinctly self-critical when dispensing them. It was a film that served both as a sequel and as a commentary on the phenomenon, whose equivocal personality was inscribed in the concerns of a filmmaker who had come from indie: Colin Trevorrow, who in his acclaimed debut (Security Not Guaranteed) already investigated the need for travel to the past, and what that need said about us. He is also the one who runs Dominion.
Dinosaurs rule the Earth again
In fact, without the figure of Colin Trevorrow it is impossible to understand the development of this late trilogy, since his responsibilities exceed those that Spielberg had in previous bars. Along with his regular partner Derek Connolly and co-writer Emily Carmichael (debuting in Dominion), Trevorrow has signed the script for all three films, directing two of them while halfway through, Fallen Kingdom, he left in charge of the staging in Spanish JA Bayona. “I wanted the second movie to feel different,” Trevorrow explains now about this decision. "So I settled for being a producer and writer on Fallen Kingdom while encouraging Bayona to make her own movie."
“And that's what he did, you can see his identity as a filmmaker in every frame. When people see Dominion I want to believe that he will fully understand what we wanted to build, what was the narrative intention of the second film, ”he adds. The fallen kingdom, in effect, happens to be the most mannerist movie of the second trilogy, where the meta-referential ingredient diminishes in favor of the construction of eccentric action scenes and an evident impetus to invoke Spielberg's virtuosity. Dominion, then, was seen in the commitment to match its results and respond satisfactorily to the promising cliffhanger that closed The Fallen Kingdom. The one that showed us the dinosaurs roaming free in our world.
The events of The Fallen Kingdom led to prehistoric creatures breaking into our ecosystem and swell its fauna, giving shape to a scenario of infinite possibilities that before Dominion had already given rise to a couple of short films signed by Trevorrow. This should be, in short, the priority of the third installment of the trilogy: to honor the dreams of thousands of children and not so children who had dreamed of interacting with dinosaurs in real life, without bars in between. And it's a priority that Dominion fulfills to a certain degree, as evidenced by a crushing chase sequence in Malta, midway through the film. However, the film believes that there are other attractions to explore.
The complicated relationship that this trilogy maintains with the past —the cinematographic one, not the one inhabited by the charismatic reptiles— leads within Dominion to some success or another, such as the incorporation of a new character: Kayla, played by DeWanda Wise. This intrepid pilot who helps Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire on their adventures is the result of a skilful updating of imaginaries, as Wise herself explains. She "she is a character in the style of those that Harrison Ford embodied in his youth, like Indiana Jones or Han Solo, in the body of a black woman... something that can become subversive and powerful." But Dominion prefers to focus first and foremost on well-known characters.
Such is its great claim, as if the prospect of finding dinosaurs in any corner of the world were not enough: in Dominion the Jurassic Park trio returns. The aforementioned Goldblum as Malcolm, accompanied by Sam Neill as Alan Grant and Laura Dern as Ellie Sattler, who until now had only returned in Jurassic Park III. His reappearance is treated on the Dominion set as something far more spectacular than any Cretaceous beast, in an illustrative symptom of the film's internal turmoil. Also as a final hint that, rather than the opportunity to spend more time with extinct creatures, the main objective of this second trilogy has been to satisfy a pedestrian nostalgia.
The past finds its way
“What we need is to take the toys out of the box and give them to our children. You have to let them go," says Trevorrow. But it is hard to believe that this was the guideline of the second trilogy, when until its culmination there has been a growing insistence on reviewing previous achievements. There may be no proof more ridiculous than the conversion of Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott), who appeared in a single scene in Jurassic Park -quite famous, by the way, thanks to the memes—, in the main villain of Dominion. It shows that anything goes to stimulate recognition, the reminiscence of a time magnified in our memory.
"Whether intended or not, nostalgia is vital in Jurassic World," concedes Howard. “No one can change the fact that Jurassic Park was a defining moment for all of us, as viewers and as artists. It is something inherent to the story, because we are all rabid fans for whom it is wonderful to come across something that transports us to childhood. Maybe because this means it's not quite over." "It has always been a core part of this experience," says Goldblum, who describes the moment he met Neill and Dern on the set as "a hurricane."
While the interpreters assume that homage to the past is basic to the genesis of Jurassic World, Trevorrow tries to distance himself. “Nostalgia can be too tempting, leading you to something that the industry trusts and where the public feels recognized. I am aware of that, but I think enough is enough. I wanted to tell something new, create something so that a new generation feels appealed in the same way that we felt appealed before”. He is aware, on the other hand, "that naturally nostalgia was going to end up making its way". "But we tried to make it organic... so yeah, there are references in the movie, but some of them are not my doing."
Trevorrow alludes to a moment when Ellie takes off her sunglasses in amazement, rhyming with that scene in Jurassic Park where she first saw dinosaurs. “That is something that Laura Dern did because she wanted to. Nostalgia comes in small doses, always in the background, so only if you're a big fan of the original film you'll be able to grasp it." The director defends that these winks are "subtle" and do not prevent Dominion from breathing on its own, while admitting the condition of her climax for a saga of six films. Which, necessarily, leads to a packed crossover of new and old characters, where the impact of the dinosaurs decreases in pursuit of the parade of recycled icons.
Whether this was Trevorrow's plan or not, what should never be underestimated about Jurassic World: Dominion is its ability to become a multi-generational event. Or, more specifically, in an option within the billboard of our days that refers to a time of absolute cultural pre-eminence for cinema. "We, as adults, have to make an effort to introduce our children to the cinematic experience," defends Trevorrow. “We must not allow them to grow up as lonely viewers in front of a small screen, but rather they must share the experience with the people around them. People around them, who participate in the same emotion, in a movie theater”.
"That has been foundational for us as a civilization, and we have to worry about safeguarding it so that it does not die," concludes the director. No matter how important dinosaurs are to this effort, it's certainly a laudable goal.