After Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom‘s first official plot description and over-hyped trailer were met with mockery and confusion, Colin Trevorrow took to the internet to defend what has now effectively become his franchise. J.A. Boyona may be the man in the Fallen Kingdom director’s chair, but Trevorrow co-write the film’s screenplay after directing and co-writing the first Jurassic World. He’s already been announced as the director for Jurassic World 3, due in 2021. So, it’s in his best interest to guard Jurassic World‘s reputation, which is exactly what he did, promising that anyone confused by Fallen Kingdom‘s let’s-go-back-to-the-island-and-save-the-dinosaurs-before-a-vocalno-erupts plot should just sit back and wait. All of the island and volcano action is over by the 57-minute mark, he revealed. After that, you’ll never see the twists coming.
Actually, we will. The latest and supposedly final trailer just throws its hands up in the air and spoils the next 57 minutes of the film. You’ve been warned:
Hold on. Chris Pratt and Blue are fighting off yet another genetically engineered monster, dubbed the Indoraptor, but this time it’s inside a kid’s bedroom? What? Expain yourself, movie people:
“The first half, you have a whole dinosaur movie on the island, so you have what you expect from a Jurassic movie. Then the second half moves to a totally different environment that feels more suspenseful, darker, claustrophobic, and even has this kind of gothic element, which I love.” – So says Bayona in the latest EW
He says “this kind of gothic element, which I love,” yet all I really see and hear is, “Horror movies are hot right now. Let’s rip them off.” EW is describing Fallen Kingdom as “Jurassic meets Panic Room,” and the imagery in the trailer certainly spells that out.
But let’s be pragmatic about this: Fallen Kingdom is the fifth installment in a Westworld rip-off franchise about theme park attractions turning on the customers. There’s only so far you can stretch that premise. The dinosaurs get out before the park opens. One of them makes it to San Diego. A kid gets stuck on the island even though the government designated it as a no-fly zone. Finally, the park opens, but people grow so bored of it after a while that the money people stupidly engineer the world’s most dangerous dinosaur to spur attendance. Shit, as always, goes wrong.
Boom. That’s all four of the Jurassic movies. The only thing left to do is to try a different setting since other than Lost World‘s San Diego-set finale these have all been island adventures. So, like Jason taking Manhattan before them, why not throw the dinosaurs to the city, change it up. Jurassic World already staged a finale featuring an Old West-inspired showdown between a velociraptor, T-Rex, and super T-Rex. This isn’t exactly Shakespeare here.
The Jurassic franchise has always been a series of creature features given heart and inspiration by Steven Spielberg, but with every subsequent installment that heart and inspiration falls away in favor of dollar signs in their eyes and meat-and-potatoes B movie thrills in their scripts. So, while the Jurassic title might still carry some cache in terms of respect let’s just move past that and accept these movies as being far closer to Meg than Jaws (heck, Meg and Kingdom even share the same visual idea of a giant aquatic monster seen in shadow from above as it closes in on surfers)
So, from what I’ve seen, I’m not expecting Kingdom to be remotely good in the traditional sense. The majesty and wonder is gone, replaced instead with monster movie/slasher charms and what might just be a backdoor pilot for a buddy comedy about a theme park secruity expert and his pet velociraptor. Kingdom is going to be a big, dumb B movie with over the top performances, cliched characterizations, plenty of plot holes, and perfectly diverting action. In other word, just about all you could really expect from a new Jurassic movie in 2018.
Once Kingdom comes out, though, parents should be prepared to assure their kids that, no, there aren’t any dinosaurs under the bed or inside their closet. Oh, this thing is going to be nightmare fuel for kids.
Final note: What’s the over-under on whether or not Jeff Goldblum’s entire role in the film is contained to just the testimony bits we’ve seen in the trailers?
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is due June 22, 2018