Jurassic Park Redux: A Review of Terra Nova
- Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Once again, the f/x are good, maybe a little too good. As the swooping beasts attacked, I was wondering whether any of them were real, albeit disguised, trained birds or if they were all invisible—just cues from a director ("Run! Duck! Flail your arms!"), the creature-images to be added to the film later.
This is a red flag, isn't it? When a viewer cares more about how a scene was done than the fate of the characters, isn't that a signal that he hasn't been drawn into the story?
"Instinct" is noteworthy because it seemed to be exploring a theme—the urge to mate that all creatures have. Juxtaposed with a bunch of peevish, frustrated pterosaurs deprived of their mating ground are a peeved, frustrated Jim and Elisabeth who can't find "us" time. Yet, when I wasn't noticing f/x, I was noticing television-isms; the quickly jealous husband, the annoyed wife, the fast family fix at the end.
I must add, however, that my wife liked this episode. She liked the solution to the pterosaur problem, in which a biologist (whom Jim was jealous of) figures out a way to create a new migratory pattern. She liked the interaction between Jim and Elisabeth and their children.
It just goes to show you that, critics come and go, but entertainment remains ensconced in the eyes of the viewer. For that reason—and those crowd-pleasing dinosaurs, of course—Terra Nova may not become extinct as quickly as I thought.
Before I go, though, let me tell you my own idea for a prehistoric series. TN posits an "alternate time stream" in which human beings can operate in the distant past without stepping on a butterfly and throwing the future all out of whack. I'd use that alternate time stream to send people back to a world that isn't nearly as old as the "real" one—maybe only 6,000 years or so.
What's more, I'd have the guys from our time find guys already there, actually living with dinosaurs. They don't seem to have come from another planet or from our time. In fact, the evidence strongly indicates that, here, men and dinos have always co-existed!
I'd call the series Genesis Redux. Long as I didn't mention God or creation, it might actually sell.
*Gary D. Robinson is a preacher, writer, and actor who lives in Xenia, Ohio. He blogs at http://www.garydrobinson.com/.
**Watch Terra Nova Mondays on Fox
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