Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is not a fresh or original installment in the series, but it does leave the door open to take the franchise in a more interesting direction.
*Warning: Spoilers Ahead for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom*
When the volcano on Isla Nublar goes active, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) are sent in to help rescue whatever dinosaurs they can for preservation. Obviously, all is not as it seems, and the dinosaurs are actually going to be auctioned off for various reasons (the leading one being military).
Now, there isn’t anything in Fallen Kingdom that we haven’t seen in a Jurassic Park movie before. There’s a double-cross by a shady organization, lots of talk about playing God, and weaponizing dinosaurs. Oh, and the Indominus rex is back from Jurassic World, except now they turned it into a raptor (the “Indoraptor”).
Not helping matters are a bunch of boring, cookie-cutter characters spouting clichéd dialogue. Outside of the two stars and one little girl (who’s actually the best part of the movie), there aren’t any characters that you’ll bother remembering. Seriously, there are two stock characters that disappear for a huge chunk of the movie, and I didn’t realize they were missing until they showed back up. It’s not the actors fault; it’s just boring writing.
With all that said, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom isn’t a terrible film. It’s certainly not even the worst Jurassic film. You can turn your brain off and enjoy it just fine for what it is. But seeing this same formula play out over and over again is tiring, and general audiences probably won’t have the patience to go through it another time.
However, Fallen Kingdom ends in a way that gives hope for the future of this franchise.
After stopping the auction halfway through, the heroes are faced with a choice: let the dinosaurs die, or set them free in the modern world. Long story short, they set the dinosaurs free.
We’re now in unprecedented territory in these films. This isn’t a T-rex loose in San Diego. Many dinosaurs – both peaceful and vicious – are now out in the wild. Plus, the auction was halfway over when it was stopped, which means that people successfully bought dinosaurs. There are global superpowers out there now with these creatures.
Can you imagine what this means for the future of these films? We should never have to see another “the dinosaurs are loose in the park” or “we have to go back to the island” movie again. Filmmakers have the freedom to take this franchise in whatever direction they want, and they should explore that to new heights, in various genres.
Like a war film, obviously titled Jurassic World War, now that other countries have possession of dinosaurs. Or better yet, a true horror film. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is at its best when it shifts to a darker, scarier tone, but it never seems to commit to that. A full-on horror movie in this world would be amazing.
The point is, the future of this franchise is bright for the first time in a long time. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom may be another predictable, clichéd chapter, but at least by blowing up the island and setting the dinosaurs free it forces its successors to be original.