by the Collected Mutineer
I’m extremely late to the review game for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. But when you can’t get a movie out of your head, what’s a girl to do?
Fallen Kingdom is the fifth installment in the newly revamped Jurassic Park film series and the second film in the Jurassic World trilogy. Many have called the new films too similar to their three predecessors, which I found to be true of Jurassic World. Fallen Kingdom, however, turned the franchise on its head while still staying true to the original message of Jurassic Park.
This review is spoiler-free, so no worries if you haven’t seen the movie yet.
It’s been a few years since the disastrous park incident in which the Indominus rex, a genetically-engineered dinosaur unlike any other, wreaked havoc upon the visitors. The enormous and previously successful Jurassic World has been abandoned–until it becomes apparent that Isla Nublar is about to be decimated thanks to an active volcano. Claire is working to save the dinosaurs, but the US Senate rules against taking action. In a moment that will make fans of the original series squee, Dr. Ian Malcom advises that letting the dinosaurs die thanks to an act of God is the only way to correct what Hammond started so many years ago.
But of course, it isn’t all that simple. Claire and many others believe that since humans brought the dinosaurs back into the world, they have a responsibility to ensure their continued survival–the same way that they would treat any endangered species. An incredibly fast series of events leads to Claire teaming up with Owen once more to visit Isla Nublar in order to track and rescue the remaining dinos before the volcano erupts for good.
And that’s just the beginning. The majority of the film doesn’t even take place on the island, because…okay, well I guess this is a spoiler. The park is gone. The island is engulfed in flame and lava, and the dinosaurs who weren’t picked up are left to perish in anguish. This was a surprisingly poignant and sorrowful scene, and I will admit that I cried for the loss of innocent life.
The remainder of the film deals with equally heavy subject matter, such as the weaponization of animals and, of course, genetic engineering. While this was the main topic of the previous films, Fallen Kingdom brings it into our own realm. Not just to our shores, but to our citizens. It raises all kinds of questions, like how much genetic engineering is too much? Is cloning acceptable? At what point do we stop caring about life that is too different or too dangerous? Must we all pay for the actions of one man from decades ago? Do we let nature run its course?
While the movie received mixed reviews, I found it to be a wonderful mixture of nostalgia and newness. This may be an unpopular opinion, but it seems that this film did for the franchise what The Last Jedi did for Star Wars–in killing off something that we hold dear, we are forced to move forward into the future of a new world. In this case, quite literally; a Neo-Jurassic world where humans and dinosaurs must learn to coexist.
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