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

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Posted by Kelly Konda

Grew up obsessing over movies and TV shows. Worked in a video store. Minored in film at college because my college didn't offer a film major. Worked in academia for a while. Have been freelance writing and running this blog since 2013.

6 Comments

  1. I’m not a big fan of these new movies. The raptors aren’t scary like they were in the first movie.

    Reply

    1. I see your point. When the main velociraptor is now buddy copping around with Chris Pratt it is super hard for them to stay scary in any way.

      My thing with the new movies is this: they’re basically self-serious SyFy Original movies, aka, B-movies that don’t realize how dumb they are. I try to enjoy them as just mindless blockbuster entertainment, but every now and then I do get a tinge of, “These used to be so much better.” I respect that they’re at least trying something new with Fallen Kingdom, but I’m seriously struggling to adjust to the shots of a dinosaur stalking people in houses like some gothic horror or slasher villain.

      I will add this: I got a bit of a kick out of the first Jurassic World. I knew it was bad, but it was kind of a fun-bad for me. I re-watched some of it a couple of months ago, though, and wow has it not aged well. It’s only been 3 years, yet the special effects already look iffy.

      Reply

  2. My mom and I pretty much approach these movies as the typical “monsters chasing people” type movies that she and I have come to love. Rampage, Godzilla, we even have plans to watch Meg. It’s just “Monster Summer” for us this year, I guess.

    I will watch a buddy cop movie of Pratt, and Blue, solving drug crimes (and biting random annoying people) in LA, though. Make it happen!

    Reply

    1. “I will watch a buddy cop movie of Pratt, and Blue, solving drug crimes (and biting random annoying people) in LA, though.”

      I can see the tagline now: This buddy cop pairing has some real bite.

      The image of Pratt and Blue maybe doing a good cop, bad cop thing on a suspect only for Blue to not quite get the specifics and just bite the dude’s hand off is amusing to me to no end.

      Reply

  3. Was thinking just the same thing. This is big budget halloween 4 trying to milk the cow for some of the first 2 movies. Was also thinking same about goldblum cameo. As much as he is big right now since thor 3 i reckon he has a very brief cameo similar to richard attenborough in the second one. This is such a missed opportunity. This film doesnt need a cameo. Its just jeff talking in a court probably over some legal debate of having the dinosoaurs in the city or explaining the issues with the last movie and the fallout from that. Its still watchable and enticing but it wont be long before this goes the way of transformers. You think this is all being done for the asian audience? Hell yeah they love all those godzilla stories. This makes sense.

    Reply

    1. “As much as he is big right now since thor 3 i reckon he has a very brief cameo similar to richard attenborough in the second one”

      I guess that would mean unlike John Hammond’s frequent claim in the first Jurassic film Fallen Kingdom did spare some expense. No, seriously, the Lost World comparison is a great one. That’s exactly what Goldblum’s appearance will feel like if it’s just that one scene.

      “This is big budget halloween 4 trying to milk the cow for some of the first 2 movies.”

      Another good comparison.

      “This is such a missed opportunity. This film doesnt need a cameo. Its just jeff talking in a court probably over some legal debate of having the dinosoaurs in the city or explaining the issues with the last movie and the fallout from that”

      What I find funny is that Blue the Velociraptor has essentially replaced Bryce Dallas Howard as Pratt’s on-screen partner in this new trailer and no one really cares. Ditto goes for the complete absence of Howard’s nephews who clearly aren’t coming back for the sequel. These Jurassic World characters just don’t really matter. They gender-swapped Alan Grant’s character arc and mixed him with John Hammond and Hammond’s son from Lost World to get Howard’s character in the first Jurassic World. Then they told Pratt “maybe try doing playing this as Star-Lord but 75% less charming.” It worked well enough to hang a fun-bad B movie around, but there’s a reason people are so interested in Goldblum’s screentime and the faint promise of maybe a Laura Dern appearance in the third Jurassic World.

      “You think this is all being done for the asian audience? Hell yeah they love all those godzilla stories. This makes sense.”

      That original Jurassic Park is one of the top-20 grossing films of all time if you adjust for inflation. In unadjusted actual dollars it’s still in the top 30, and that’s all domestic alone. Sure, it’s also big around the world, but those domestic numbers are still amazing. So, it’s easy to assume this is one time where we don’t get to blame China. Reviving a franchise that was started by one of the highest-grossing films of all time is just something Hollywood would naturally want to do. Plus, Universal has a theme park attraction to keep in mind. Nothing quite prolongs the life of the beloved Jurassic Park ride like a couple of new Jurassic movies.

      [Get ready for the “yeah, but”]

      Then there’s this little forgotten factoid: Jurassic Park was re-released in 3D in 2013 and pulled in an impressive $45m domestic. Clearly, Universal saw that as a market test and put Jurassic World into production to go after the domestic market (in reality, Jurassic World was technically already in development at that point since it was stuck in development hell for almost a decade).

      Except, that wasn’t the only thing Universal liked about Jurassic Park 3D’s performance. It also pulled in $55m from China alone, which made it the 9th biggest Hollywood movie over there in 2013. That made up nearly 90% of Jurassic Park 3D’s entire foreign gross, which is the kind of thing a studio notices, obviously. Jurassic World eventually bexame China’s 3rd biggest Hollywood film of 2015, behind only Furious 7 and Age of Ultron

      But your question was about Asia in general, not just China. I can add this: Japan was Jurassic World’s third-leading foreign market behind China and the UK. South Korea was in the top 10. Japan, however, is the one country which still seems to get all Hollywood movies months after the rest of the world, and Japan is also impossibly fickle and hard to predict. Not all monster movies, for example, do big business over there just because they happen to be the people who created Godzilla. South Korea, for its part, is increasingly leaning toward its own locally-made films, like Train to Busan.

      So, the other countries in Asia don’t quite factor into Hollywood decision-making the way China does, but there is a general assumption that whatever western movie China goes for will also do fairly well elsewhere on the continent.

      Despite all that, Fallen Kindom isn’t purely a China-pandering situation like the Transformers movies, Warcraft, xXx: Return of Xander Cage, or Pacific Rim: Uprising. Remember, that first Jurassic World pulled in an insane $652m domestic, tripling what it made in China.

      Reply

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