Dinosaurs returned to the cinemas last weekend with the launch of the new Jurassic World film. Twenty two years since the first film, the Raptors, Rex and carnage are all back and ready to chomp on some humans. Those watching the film might have spotted something just as exotic amongst the prehistoric creatures – the Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Coupe. Debuting in the film, the new car is just one of the Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the film. Here’s our spolier free look at the cars of Jurassic World.
Released in cinemas last week, Jurassic World broke box office records over the weekend, earning $511.8 million dollars worldwide. With the biggest opening weekend of all time, it’s little wonder that companies were lining up to have their products used in the film. Coca-cola, Beats by Dre and Samsung all feature prominently in the film. But top prize for best product placement must go to the vehicles. Starting back in 1997 with the release of the first Jurassic Park sequel, The Lost World, Mercedes have been putting cars in their films for almost 18 years. For Jurassic World, they decided a film full of blood thirsty dinosaurs would be the perfect venue to debut their latest coupe.
Revealed in the final trailer for the film, the Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Coupe made its world premiere in Jurassic World. The first prototype of this car was especially made for Jurassic World, shipped onto set with a level of secrecy usually kept to royalty. Covered in a tarpaulin, the crew went to extreme measures to ensure that no paparazzi or movie fans snapped a photo of the secret new model.
A crossover SUV and Coupe, the GLE 450 is another entry into the increasingly competitive crossover market. Designed to combine the sportiness and dynamism of a coupe with the versatility of the SUV, the new GLE 450 is the first in the new AMG sports line. Dubbed a “posh roader” by Top Gear magazine, the GLE 450 will go on sale in the UK in September, selling for around £50,000.
Almost as big as the dinosaurs themselves, the Mercedes Unimog makes its appearance as a dino veterinarian ambulance. Designed to transport sick dinosaurs to the infirmary, the Unimog plays a vital role in the film’s later scenes as the film’s heroes engage in a race to escape the dinosaur attack.
The Unimog was first developed in post-war Germany for use as agricultural equipment. The four wheel drive medium truck is one of the most versatile vehicles, used as military vehicles, fire engines, snowplows, tractors, even as road-rail vehicles. If you were going to choose any vehicle to ferry around a sick raptor, the Unimog would be an excellent choice.
Also appearing in the film is the six wheeler G63. Used by the US Marine Corp in Afghanistan, it’s also a popular choice of the wealthy crowd, regularly appearing on the streets of Paris or the highways in Dubai. In the film, its used by hero Owen (played by Chris Pratt) as he attempts to track two missing boys. The six wheel drive comes in handy when travelling the tropical forests of Isla Nublar and outrunning some of its more toothsome inhabitants.
Mercedes’s first foray into the Jurassic film franchise came back in 1997, with the debut of the M-Class SUV in the Lost World. Before that, the cars came from Jeep and Ford. The famous dinosaur decal tour vehicles from the first film were modified 1993 Ford Explorer XLTs.
The distinctive paintwork combined with the stunning T-Rex attack sequence has turned these cars into one of the most iconic to appear on the silver screen. The other famous car scene from the first film also involved the T-Rex. Pursuing Doctor Sadler, Muldoon and Ian Malcolm in their Jeep wrangler, Muldoon looks into the mirror to see the T-Rex closing in. “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear”. This small visual gag has been referenced multiple times, most famously in Toy Story 2.
The other main vehicle in Jurassic World is a motorcycle. Used by Owen once again, he rides into battle with his team of velociraptors by his side. His ride of choice? A Triumph Scrambler.
Actor Chris Pratt loved the bike so much that he made a cheeky request to keep it once filming was finished. Triumph duly obliged.
It’s no secret that Hollywood films have been filled with product placement for a long time. Whether its a superhero stopping to pose on top of a Carlsberg truck (Spider-man), or James Bond taking a moment to speak about the quality of his Omega watch (Casino Royale), product placement is a trend that’s not ending anytime soon. Is this a good or bad thing? Well Jurassic World has the best of both. Sometimes the product advertised is in the background, a shop display for example (Pandora in Jurassic World). Other times it’s a little less subtle.
On more than one occasion, the camera stops in front of a Mercedes car, seeming to hold the image a little longer than natural for a film. But there is also the cool scene of Owen and the InGen team riding into battle. Would this have been in the film without the product placement? Probably. And the record box office should surely mean that product placement isn’t needed. So why include it, especially if it distracts from the film itself? The answer is depressingly simple: Money. One thing is for certain. If there is a sequel, the cars of Jurassic World 2 will probably feature that distinctive Mercedes logo once again.