Earlier this month, Camp Cretaceous season 4 arrived on Netflix. Fans eagerly tuned in to find out what trouble the campers would find themselves in after departing Isla Nublar. Here’s a detailed Camp Cretaceous season 4 review.
In this season the six campers venture to a new setting and end up in different circumstances than they have experienced before. Furthermore, this initial set-up helps distinguish the story from other stories in the Jurassic Park franchise. However, season 4 is lackluster in exploring the main subject of this franchise, which is dinosaurs. This Camp Cretaceous season 4 review covers all the factors that make this season fair, but not good.
Camp Cretaceous is available on Netflix.
Story: A New Island
Season 4 takes the campers to a new island. Not only new to them but also new to the Jurassic Park universe. This new island is divided into several artificially maintained biomes. This includes desert, redwood forest, tundra, swamp, and presumably more. The campers spend the season gathering intel, with hopes of finally going home and finding out what the island is intended to be used for.
One common criticism of the Jurassic Park franchise is that there’s only really one story to tell. People need to go to an island with dinosaurs on it for some reason, then they need to leave. Camp Cretaceous season 4 more or less, falls into that cliché as well. However, this new setting helps distinguish this story from the other Jurassic stories.
Dinosaurs as Characters
This season features several throwback dinosaurs. Including the Spinosaurus, Velociraptor, Dilophosaurus, and more. The recent Jurassic content has done an excellent job of treating dinosaurs as characters. Much of that pertains to them having history. For example, Rexy is the name given to the original T-rex from the first movie. Rexy also appears in the Jurassic World movies and in Camp Cretaceous. Using dinosaurs as characters personifies them, so fans can route for or against them.
However, there is some confusion regarding the T. Rexes, which one can read about in this separate article. Prior to season 4’s debut many fans theorized that the featured T. Rexes were members of the T. Rex family from the second movie, The Lost World: Jurassic Park. However, the season offers mixed signals about that. It seems like the original plan was that they would be members of the T. Rex family, but the plan changed during production.
Season 4 introduces some new infant dino characters. Also, Scott Kreamer has strongly hinted that the Spinosaurus could be the same one featured in Jurassic Park III.
Scott Kreamer: There’s a good chance that it might be the exact same Spinosaurus.
Characters and Performances: Under New Circumstances
This is the bright spot of this Camp Cretaceous season 4 review. The grouping of this season made a big impact. For much of the time, Darius is separated from the other five campers. The six of them have never been divided like this before. Thus, it places them under very different circumstances than the previous seasons did.
One of the things that evolve from the grouping format of this season is a romance. Which is a logical progression of a small group of people being stuck on an island together for a long time. The toll that this six-month ordeal has taken on the campers is another new concept this season explores. Yaz exhibits symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder during their adventure on this island. This adds a welcome layer of reality to Camp Cretaceous. Running from hungry monsters for six months would be traumatic.
A Tech Wiz Pulling the Strings
Season 4 introduces some new characters. Dr. Mae Turner is a scientist who is conducting research on the island. She mainly serves as a plot device for the campers. Kash is the antagonist who is in control of the island’s technological systems. The below video offers some criticism of his character. In summary, the video points out that Kash can come across as annoying. Also, that he may seem out of place in the Jurassic Park universe to some viewers.
Not all fans will agree that Kash being unusual is a bad thing. The important thing is that he is different from the other antagonists of this franchise. He fits in quite well with the setting. The island is riddled with artificial constructs and very advanced tech. Hence, it’s fitting that a techy person is pulling the strings. Kash is very believable as a computer-expert kind of character. He is reminiscent of Dennis Nedry from the original Jurassic Park movie.
Pacing and Editing: Mosasaurus Wasn’t Hungry?
The pacing is consistent and effective for the most part of Camp Cretaceous season 4. Furthermore, the editing is impactful in delivering the more dramatic moments.
However, there is one scene in the very beginning that is missing a chunk. It’s the scene when the Mosasaurus sinks the boat, which is featured in the trailer below. When an animal attacks something, it’s usually either hunting or defending itself. The boat poses no threat to the Mosasaurus, so the latter is unlikely. The most logical reason for the attack is that it’s hungry. However, when it does manage to sink the boat, it does not eat the campers.
So, the audience is meant to believe that a sea monster capsizes the campers’ boat a large distance away from the shore, but doesn’t eat the campers? Then the campers miraculously make it to the shore? That’s way too convenient.
Perhaps there was a cut sequence, in which something distracted the Mosasaurus from the campers and they escaped. There needed to be something more here to make this scene believable. A ten-second sequence of the Mosasaurus chasing a shark away would have sufficed.
Cinematography: More Dinosaur Screen Time
The island is divided into different biomes sets this setting apart from Isla Nublar. For those who don’t know, Isla Nublar is the island that the original Jurassic Park movie takes place. Along with the first 3 seasons of Camp Cretaceous, Jurassic World, and some of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. This new island, which needs a name, opens the door for new circumstances in the Jurassic Park universe. Camp Cretaceous season 4 takes advantage of that opportunity effectively.
This season does a good job of showcasing several interesting dinosaurs. Some are throwbacks like the Spinosaurus, and others are new. However, the dinosaurs needed more screen time. That’s this franchise’s identity, it’s the franchise people think of when they think about dinosaurs. Camp Cretaceous season 4 doesn’t dedicate enough screen time to satisfying the viewers’ desire to see dinosaurs. For example, many fans were eager to see the return of the Dilophosaurus. To their disappointment, the species is only shown in a brief scene at the very end of the season.
Some of the near-death scenes are a bit too close to be believable. One example is the encounter with the Mosasaurus. In addition, there are chase scenes where one might ask, “could they really outrun that monster?” In the spirit of fairness, Jurassic Park content does frequently fall into this trap of escaping danger beyond believability. However, this season pushes that line more than usual.
Sound: Missing an Ear Shattering Roar
The sound is fine for the most part. One scene is greatly enhanced by good use of audio, and that’s the Dilophosaurus scene. It’s reminiscent of the first appearance of the species in the original Jurassic Park movie. The short rolling chuckle as it examines its prey, then the sharp howl as it flares its frill. The final point to explore in this Camp Cretaceous season 4 review is one notable bad use of sound, and that’s the Spinosaurus’s roar. It howls at times, but it never produces the iconic booming roar that was prominent in Jurassic Park III.