“A rescue op. Save the dinosaurs from an island that’s about to explode. What could go wrong?”
Those words uttered by Owen Grady, played by Chris Pratt, could not have been more true in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. The entire Jurassic Park franchise can be summarized by Murphy’s Law, anything that can go wrong will go wrong. One would think that after four films, humans would stop genetically engineering dinosaurs? Wrong.
*There will be light spoilers in this review.*
Owen Grady, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), and the rest of her team are sent to Isla Nubar to save certain dinosaurs from extinction before a volcanic explosion destroys the island. Grady and Dearing are sent by Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell), John Hammond’s former partner, and his manipulative assistant, Eli Mills (Rafe Spall). The main objective of the expedition is to transfer a number of species from Isla Nubar to a new sanctuary so dinosaurs can continue to live freely. The most important dinosaur is Blue, the last living velociraptor that Grady trained, who is arguably the smartest creature on the planet.
Fallen Kingdom has drawn comparisons to the second movie in the franchise, The Lost World, for a similar premise, which is fair to say. In both films, pro-dinosaur groups return to the island to save certain species only to soon realize that the corporations running the missions want to sell the dinosaurs for profit. Instead of creating future attractions with dinosaurs, the objective of retriving them in Fallen Kingdom is to sell them for military use on the black market. Fallen Kingdom has also not been met with critical acclaim with only a 50% on Rotten Tomatoes. Personally, I had issues with the pacing of the film and character development. The rescue mission on Isla Nubar felt rushed without any true suspenseful moments and not enough cat and mouse games between the humans and dinosaurs. The heart of the Jurassic Park franchise are the relationships between the humans. Owen and Claire made a strong bond with her nephews that built thought the entire film in Jurassic World. However, despite a few heartwarming moments with Maise (Isabella Sermon) towards the end, they were too little too late.
Despite those issues, Fallen Kingdom is not a step back in the franchise. The main goal of this film was to introduce new elements to keep the audience on their toes as well as to set up the third and final film in the trilogy. Concepts of human cloning and more genetic breeding add a new layer of science as well as continue to the morality debate of the whole series (Can humans play God?). Plus, this is the first Jurassic movie to have an ending that is not finite, where previous sequels were only created because of box office success. Fallen Kingdom served a purpose and the third film will build on director J.A. Bayona’s vision.
Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom still delivers with signature shock and awe moments as well as exciting battles between humans and dinosaurs. As a massive fan, I am excited to see how the trilogy will come to an end in the third film.