Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

When the volcano on Isla Nublar begins to erupt, an illegal rescue mission is launched to save as many of dinosaurs as possible. With very limited time before the island is destroyed, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) returns to the ruins of the Jurassic World, joined by Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and a group of privately funded mercenaries to search for one specimen in particular.

You guys might murder me and throw me to the raptors for this, but here it goes: I have never seen the original Jurassic Park trilogy. Now I know at least the original film will be on many ‘Films to watch before you die’ lists and I’m sure there will be a time in which I’ll get around to watching it, but I just wanted you to be aware that I will not be drawing any comparisons to the original films at all.

3 years after the events of Jurassic World, Isla Nublar remains absent of Human life with the intention that it would never be revisited, but when the long-dormant volcano upon the island begins to erupt, the world becomes divide on whether or not to save the dinosaurs. Claire Dearing, now part of the campaign to save the dinosaurs, is summoned to estate of Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell), after the US government decides not to take any action.

What follows is, I imagine, a collection of callbacks and references to the original films, (including an insect encased in amber, hey I know that one!) but I’m afraid that most probably went over my head. In Lockwood’s estate, Claire is greeted by the Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) who needs her help. Armed with millions of Lockwood’s dollar dollar bills and a somewhat questionable private militia, Mills is launching the rescue mission of all rescue missions in a bid to save as many different species of dinosaurs as they can possibly fit on a large boat, and to do so he needs Claire’s bio-metrics to access particular areas of the Jurassic World park. There’s also one last thing he needs of Claire before she sets to the Island, to convince Owen to help. Without his help, there’s just no hope of catching the elusive ‘Blue’, a unique raptor that possesses higher cognitive ability than her peers, allowing her to feel empathy and follow orders.

After some light banter and a beer or two, Owen is convinced (mostly through the wonderful tactic of guilt tripping) and joins Claire, Franklin ( a former park technician, played by Justice Smith) and Zia ( a paleo-veterinarian, played by Daniella Pineda) as they fly to the island. Escorted by some scary muscle-men, the four of them find and activate the park’s tracking system and begin the hunt for Blue. With Claire and Franklin holding down the fort at the tracking computer, it doesn’t take long for Owen to find Blue, where he shares a special heartwarming moment with the raptor he raised from birth. As you can imagine, it doesn’t take long for things to go to crap, as this lovely re-connection is ambushed by the trigger happy militia, resulting in Blue being tranquillised, but she doesn’t go down easy: lashing out on one of the shooters, she ends up her getting shot with a real bullet. Owen, furious at what just happened, swings at the militia’s leader and subsequently gets shot with a tranquilliser.

It’s very obviously by the point that things aren’t as they once seemed, this was no rescue mission, this was poaching. Owen is left in a paralysed state, Zia and Blue are captured and Claire and Franklin are sealed within the tracking room, all as the volcano erupts into searing lava and pyroclastic ash.

I don’t want to give too much more away as I’ve already told you much of the plot, but there is one scene in particular that I just want to mention. Now let me give you something to ponder on: Have you every cried/shed a tear over a dinosaur? I’m pretty sure my money would be safe on a ‘no’ bet for most, if not all of you, and up until last night, I would’ve said the same. It’s a strange concept in my mind, crying over a dinosaur. They lived so long ago that it’s almost hard to comprehend that they were ever a real thing, so to cry over them just seems weird to me. Yet there was one moment, so tragically sad and beautiful at the same time that I couldn’t help myself: Escaping the destruction, everyone is drawn towards the back of the boat where a dinosaur cry can be heard from the gradually distancing island. Emerging from the treeline is a solitary Brontosaurus (may have that wrong), too late to catch a ride to safety, it just stands at the docks, letting out pained cries before it’s consumed in the flames and smoke.

On a lighter note (honestly I had to take a minute there), the film is filled to the brim with highly strung, tense moments which really put you on edge, coupled up with plenty of comedic relief from Chris Pratt and a bone-headed dino, Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom is a highly enjoyable experience. It tells, first and foremost, the tale of how humans always seem to mess things up, but also leaves the potential for another squeal, I suppose it would make sense to tie up another trilogy.

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