Summer Blockbusters 2018: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Bryce Dallas Howard and Justice Smith in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom


Remember the first time you saw Jurassic Park?  Remember the iconic moment when T-Rex’s eye dilates when the light hits it?  Remember the sheer terror of watching the Dinosaurs turn on their human captors? Did the answer to the question “What If?” kept you awake at night?

Well, it has been 25 years since the showing of the first film, and I remember all of this.  Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is the Fifth installment of the Jurassic Park Blockbuster Series.  It stars Chris Pratt, who reprises his role as Owen Grady from Jurassic World.  Bryce Dallas Howard, who comes back as Claire Dearing.  Jeff Goldblum, who has appeared in every Jurassic Park movie, as the Kooky Scientist Dr. Ian Malcolm.  B.D. Wong is back as Dr. Henry Wu who was one of the original “creators” in the first Jurassic Park movie.  James Cromwell plays Benjamin Lockwood. He is one of the partners of the original owner, John Hammond.  Newcomer Isabella Sermon plays Lockwood’s granddaughter Maisie.  Rafe Spall plays Lockwood’s assistant Eli Mills.  The film is directed by J. A. Bayona.

This film takes place three years after the destruction of the Jurassic World theme park. The film opens with a small team of mercenaries arriving on the recently abandoned Isla Nublar theme park with a mission to recover a bone fragment from the remains of the Indominus Rex.  They are able to avoid attacks from the Mosasaurus and T-Rex to successfully extract the bone fragment.

Three years later, we are rushed to a U.S. Senate hearing where debates are being heard regarding the survival of the remaining dinosaurs on Isla Nublar.  An impending volcanic eruption will kill all the dinosaurs on the island if they are not saved.

Dr. Ian Malcom (Goldblum) testifies that the dinosaurs should perish to correct the mistake of John Hammond cloning them.  Claire Dearing (Howard) was the former Operations manager of Jurassic World.  She is currently the head of the Dinosaur Protection Group and has been trying to get the Senate to save the Dinosaurs on the island.  After the Senate rules against her, Benjamin Lockwood (Cromwell) and his assistant Eli Mills (Spall) summon Claire to the Lockwood estate to include her in a plan to relocate the dinosaurs to a new facility.

Claire is needed to reactivate the old Jurassic World tracking system to locate all the animals.  She is tasked with finding “Blue” the last living velociraptor as one of her main objectives.  Knowing she will need the best of best to help her, Claire solicits the help of her estranged boyfriend Owen Grady (Pratt.).

Grady was the Alpha who helped train Blue in the previous Jurassic World film.  He agrees to help Claire, and the pair set out to Isla Nublar with an escort of mercenaries to “rescue” the dinosaurs from the erupting volcano.

Once the two find Blue, it is evident that a much sinister plan regarding the dinosaurs has been put into motion.  Claire and Grady barely escape the erupting volcano by stowing away on a mercenary ship of captured dinosaurs.  The dinosaurs are on their way to the Lockwood estate to be sold as weapons to the highest bidder.

Dr. Henry Wu has created another dinosaur hybrid combining the Indominus Rex and Velociraptor DNA, calling it the Indoraptor.  It is the most dangerous killing machine ever made, and surely will fetch the highest price on the black market.  Unbeknownst to Lockwood, the dinosaurs are being caged at his estate and will be auctioned off by his assistant Eli Mills (Spall).

Back at the estate, Claire, Grady, and Maisie (Sermon) try to foil the plans of Mills to sell the dinosaurs on the black market to be used as weapons.  The auction is interrupted by a hydrogen cyanide gas leak that threatens the lives of the rest of the caged dinosaurs.

The choice before our hero’s is one of life and death.  Free the remaining dinosaurs from the cyanide gas, thus thrusting them into a new Neo-Jurassic age of human and dinosaur living together.  Or do nothing and let the rest of the Jurassic Dinosaurs rescued from Isla Nublar perish.  Live Together or Die Alone.  Will life Continue To “Find A Way?”

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom discusses many futuristic problems with the cloning of animals and humans.  Michael Crichton’s vision in the first book was to warn our society of the impending chaos and horrible consequences of being God-like creators.  This is seen as an underlying theme throughout this great series.

Dr. Ian Malcom puts it best when he states, “Your scientists were so pre-occupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”  A warning that seems eerily apropos to the genetic revolution we are experiencing today.

Fallen Kingdom had a lot of action and plot twists that we expect from the Jurassic Park series. The Island escape scene and film finale come to mind immediately when I think about this film.  It just was not as good as the last movie, Jurassic World.  It just seems to be missing that “catch” that draws you in and holds you at the edge of your seat the whole movie.

I did enjoy the film and feel that it is well worth the price of admission.  A little warning though, there are some unexpected sad, dark parts in this movie.  (My daughter Madison began crying a couple of times during the movie.)  Having said that, I give the movie a solid 3 out of 4 stars and caution the little ones from seeing it, hence the PG-13 rating.

It would not be summer without another Jurassic Park film.  Jurassic Park movies will never disappoint.  I’ll leave you with another quote from my favorite character in the series, Dr. Ian Malcom.  “Ooh, ah that’s how it always starts.  But then there is running and screaming.” But, isn’t that the very reason why we watch?

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