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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’s Plot Sounds Silly, But What Else Did We Expect?

So, here’s what Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is going to be about, according to EW:

“Claire’s founded an organization, Dinosaur Protection Group, and they’re finding a way to get these dinosaurs off the island,” Bryce Dallas Howard says. “She reaches out to Owen Grady to let him know this is happening. When you see them at the beginning of this story, you get caught up as to what’s going on. But it’s not what you would necessarily expect.”

Off the island? Why?

Yeaaaaahhhhh, turns out Isla Nublar has an active volcano which is about to blow, once again pitting mother nature versus dinosaurs. Oh, the irony. Those poor dinosaurs just can’t catch a break.

This revelation paired with Howard’s “basically, I’m in charge of dinosaur PETA and have to ask my now ex-boyfriend for help saving those lovable maneaters from a second extinction” explanation has already been met with plenty of derision, like, for example, this:

Personally, I think we’re letting Richard Attenborough’s lovable old grandpa act in the first two films distract us from how incompetent John Hammond really was. Tell me he built Jurassic Park on an island with an active volcano and I’d believe it. Sounds like something he either never bothered to look into or was warned about but ignored, just as he ignored the inherent folly of, I dunno, recreating dinosaurs. I bet there was some Ian Malcolm-esque volcanologist who toured the island before they ever cut down one tree or laid down any foundation and had his urgent protests met with some variation on…

As for what’s become of Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt, aww, it’s adorable you think the characters actually matter in this revived little universe. We’re all just here to see Jeff Goldblum again, right?

I expected the plot to deal more with rival companies creating their own dinosaurs thanks to Dr. Wu, likely dovetailing with the concept of militarizing dinosaurs. But I wasn’t expecting it to be anything deeply insightful.

As revived by Colin Trevorrow and his writing partner Derek Connolly, Jurassic World has some ideas about commercialization and our increasingly short attention spans, imagining a reality in which the existence of a theme park displaying genuine dinosaurs would eventually get old and lead to even more scientific tinkering. Plus, it seems to function as a re-affirmation parody of blockbuster movies. As SlashFilm argued at the time, “Jurassic World is a movie that acknowledges and even ridicules standard action film tropes, then goes on to invoke them.”

Mostly, though, Jurassic World is a big, dumb monster movie made for people who want nothing more from it than that and don’t have too many hangups about its failure to live up to Spielberg’s classic. Want to gaze in wonder AND horror at man’s hubris? Or do you just want to see a T-Rex square off against something called an I-Rex as if they were two western gunslingers, their showdown eventually interrupted by a WWE-style last minute run-in from a velociraptor?

There’s far more of Deep Blue Sea than Jurassic Park in Jurassic World, and considering that not even the actual Jurassic Park sequels are that great I’m not expecting a Jurassic World sequel to stray too far from its B-movie roots. Maybe the volcano story will be played up for a global warming angle, maybe the stranded dinosaurs will be used as a refugee metaphor or work as a modified conservation vs. preservation argument. However, even in the hands of new-to-the-franchise director J.A. Boyena (A Monster Calls) I’m mostly expecting Fallen Kingdom to be a big, dumb, but fun monster movie, one apparently so desperate to up the stakes it’s throwing volcanos into the mix and promising more dinosaurs than we’ll know what to do with.

It’s okay if Fallen Kingdom turns out to be really dumb; Jurassic World already is. Plus, although Fallen Kingdom‘s premise doesn’t, at first glance, seem to be following through on World’s idiotic ideas about militarizing dinosaurs there’s still a chance we could see some dinosaurs packing some heat. John Sayles’ bonkers vision for a Jurassic Park movie might yet become reality.



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