Bless director Colin Trevorrow for bringing back Jurassic Park original stars Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum back into the fold for Jurassic World 3, but who are we kidding? It says more that stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard can’t carry the franchise.
When Goldblum was recruited to be in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Universal and Amblin felt the need to show what ended up being 95 percent of his screen time in the trailer. The lines given as Dr. Ian Malcolm were almost the same lines he delivered in Jurassic Park (1993) warning what happens when humanity messes with nature. So aside from the wasted appearance, now you have Neill and Dern coming back for what reason exactly?
If Jurassic Park 3 is any indication, a “been there done that” feeling that we saw Neill’s Dr. Alan Grant as he was the protagonist needed on a survival mission. Neill looked kind of a little uninspired for an action film and just taking a check. Since reinventing the franchise as Jurassic World, Neill’s role as a protagonist is filled by Pratt’s Owen Grady as resident dino-expert. Don’t know what Howard’s role is going to be as Claire Dearing since the events of Fallen Kingdom saw the former theme park side engulfed from a volcano. Dern’s Ellie Sattler’s likely a similar role to Grant.
Aside from Universal and Amblin’s decision to mislead audiences about how “big” Goldblum’s role was supposed to be in Fallen Kingdom, only to be just a courtroom scene, what assurances do we have that bringing back Dern and Neill will yield anything more fruitful than Trevorrow’s word? Take that promise of “increased roles” with a grain of salt.
Fact is the mystique and wonder about the Jurassic franchise has long stopped being about the wonder of dinosaurs co-existing with humans. It is now just about the dinosaurs and marketing to families who bring their children regardless if it’s directed by Trevorrow or Michael Bay. Whether the sixth film is made with the original stars is inconsequential, because you’re not going to get the same moments from Jurassic World as you did in Jurassic Park. No animatronics to share those tender moments you saw in the Steven Spielberg film since CG is the norm. We just some existing “species” and souped-up dino-mutants worthy of cheesy SyFy channel camp.
The “thriller” and “horror” aspects of the franchise now are not really far removed from Sharknado as far as milking a franchise to preposterous proportions. The studios’ know the franchise is a cash grab and it’s critic-proof.