Did Jurassic World Leave a Franchise Gap?

3:06 PM Joseph Aberl 0 Comments

This week we will see the return of a classic franchise with Jurassic World featuring talents such as Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Irrfan Khan and many more. With the film being released in a few days I believed it would be the perfect time to take a short look back at the franchise and how far it has grown ever since and what missed opportunity they had along the road. The franchise is most notable for making CGI an essential part of modern filmmaking, as it effectively combined the usage of animatronics and computer generated graphics to bring some of the most fearsome creatues to life, dinosaurs. With three films under its belt and the fourth installment heading our way one would think the franchise was a strong one, but surprisingly it fought some growing pains along the way.

A Concept never truly Realized?
This is not reviewing any of the older films as I plan to do that individually in the near future, but more of a look at how the franchise held up in general. Many fondly remember the first film in the franchise introducing us to probably one of the craziest but incredible concepts one man can dream of, a zoo with living, breathing dinosaurs. Yet sadly this concept has never been taking to its limits as after the first film we were watching people trying to capture dinosaurs to rebuild a new park or for experimentations, and in the third installment we even saw a concept for a second park that was left behind, but we never truly explored the concept of what this would entail. The first film build a perfect concept of showing the dangers of what the park would entail if a human failure lead to its demise. Yet the concept of the park itself was sadly more of a setting than anything else, which I believe is what will make Jurassic World such a fascinating watch. It will finally show us something we were hoping to see all these years, John Hammond’s (the late Richard Attenborough) original vision come true.

A Franchise with a Naming Issue?
Something that I still believe to be a considerable missed opportunity is how the franchise was named over the years. While Jurassic Park: The Lost World was a great subtitle, the regression to simply adding a III at the end of the third film seemed like a slight step back that was a trend at the time, simply numbering each new installment. Furthermore, why not take that “Park” concept and continue on it. While I love the Jurassic World name, I do think it jumped a bit too far ahead with the title. A natural progression would have been Jurassic Park to Jurassic Land and finally Jurassic World. This way the name would have evolved with the movies and even allow them to explore the park itself. Jurassic World jumped to the actual existing park I would have loved to explore the troubles of them trying to reconstruct the park, something that was slightly hinted at in The Lost World to a certain extent. 

The Remnants of a Forgotten Past?
While I loved seeing the return of characters like Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neil) and Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) in the sequels it lacked a connective tissue with the first films simply because of how the name of the franchise was almost forgotten. The sequel explored the island but we never saw what had happened to the original site or gate. Furthermore, why wouldn’t anyone try to rebuild the park at some point, which could have been a perfect continuation of the themes of the first one. People trying to play God’s will always backfire on them, but the franchise would have a good reason to continue because somewhere out there a person will always be too stubborn to learn from the past. This element I will touch upon in a later article, but I must confess that I wish we would revisit that old site truly bringing back the nostalgia, but also expanding on what the potential we never truly got to see. This is something that could still be explored even with Jurassic World already showing us the existing attractions, in a sense something that a sequel can still explore after the demise of the show.

What do you think about this? Do you agree or disagree? Leave a comment below and tell me your opinion on the franchise?