Colossal earthquakes, the Marvel crew, even Tom Hardy as Mad Max couldn’t impede the Indominus Rex-sized box office performance of “Jurassic World” this past weekend: the film’s worldwide weekend gross of $511 million made set the record for the biggest opening of all time. While critical reception has been somewhat middling (to an unfair degree, I would argue) audiences the nation over are eating it up like a pack of hungry raptors. The dinos we paid money to see sure are cool–I myself am partial to Blue, primarily because he seems to have the most personality. However, a considerable amount of the film’s astonishing success can be also attributed to the game, likeable lead performances of actors Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, as well as the self-aware but decidedly old-fashioned filmmaking of director Colin Trevorrow. In a recent episode of the Nerdist podcast, hosts Chris and Matt sit down with Trevorrow and his breakout leading man Pratt to discuss the perils of stepping into a beloved franchise, the ways in which “Jurassic World” resembles “Back to the Future Part II,” how Steven Spielberg’s father and Trevorrow’s dad helped to shape the story–plus much more.
Both Trevorrow and Pratt seem like pretty great company: good-natured, self-deprecating and genuinely enthusiastic about the big cinematic sandbox they get to play in. Pratt in particular seems almost shockingly humble, especially when you consider his meteoric rise from lovable “Parks and Recreation” schmuck Andy Dwyer to bonafide action hero in the last year and a half. Whether he’s addressing his recent dramatic weight loss, the dangers of peaking in your twenties or just doing a killer impersonation of ‘Parks’ co-star Nick Offerman, Pratt seems acutely aware of the current pop culture landscape and his place in it. Trevorrow also provides some engaging points of conversation, and he too seems to be aware of how big the shoes are that he has to fill. His ‘World’ is a breezy, pretense-free time at the movies and while it’s not as transgressive as something like “Mad Max: Fury Road”–although I would argue Trevorrow’s picture has a better sense of pacing and restraint–it’s still mostly a knockout by current blockbuster standards. It’s a shame Trevorrow won’t return to direct more ‘Jurassic’ films (though he’ll still be involved), but as long as we get Pratt and his pack of loyal, deadly raptors, I’ll be buying a ticket.
Listen to the entire Nerdist podcast below.