By Vinay Patel (UK)

 

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Analysis: Why do so few people love this movie? It’s actually pretty genius in my opinion.

Opening Scene:

The movie starts off ominous as hell, with the submarine in the water at night, lights that barely illuminate anything, no music and just the eerie echo of the sonar underwater. Great ambience.

Here we have fake Will.I.am telling fake Kevin Bacon that they’ll be fine as anything that was previously there, would have been dead by then. The irony is that they were dead wrong, and that would prove to be their undoing, just as Humanity’s arrogance in relation to their place in regard to nature, will be theirs. That is the key theme in the movie. I’ll refer to this as the Humans vs Nature theme.

(Can someone interview the Mosasaur and ask whether Black Eyed Peas and Bacon make a good entrée? I don’t eat red meat but I’m dying to know. Pun not intended at first but welcomed soon after).

The rain and lightning are a homage to the iconic Jurassic Park scene, which this whole opener is a homage to. Pretty fitting considering the island and the park will soon be toast, literally.  

Here we see some chicken little type dude wearing the same yellow jacket that the Dennis Nedry (the fat dude) was wearing. RIP. Yellow belly not only also falsely believing Dinosaurs were dead, but being as arrogant as to wear those beats headphones is the epitome of the Humans vs Nature theme.

Cue the chase scene. What’s interesting is when we get to the helicopter scene, our boy is in danger from the Rex, which is immediately visible, but also from Human nature in the form of the pilot wanting to cut the rope, and the Mosasaur as a threat lurking just below plain sight. In other words, Humans are in danger from a threat right in front of them, themselves, and a huge threat just beyond their vision but oh so close nonetheless.

The scene ends just as strong as it started. The Mosa exits the open gate, and Pandora’s box is open. Cue the title: Welcome to Jurassic world.

Media Buzz and Courtroom Scene:

That BBC News coverage was a great touch for breaking the fourth wall between Jurassic World as a movie, and the audience, making it feel a little bit more real than before. The authenticity is cemented with an accurate dig at Trump.

Cue Ian Malcolm, where he openly talks about Humanity’s naivety and ego. He also foreshadows the Maisie scene, where he says, “It ain’t gonna stop with the de-extinction.” The “Change is like death” quote was powerful as hell. 

We then see Claire. The elevator scene just like the one from the first movie highlights her change from a snooty corporate boss lady, to a more down to Earth Claire, and one who once saw Dinos as property, but now sees them as living things, and values them to a point where she wants to save them for personal reasons, and not for any kind of financial incentive.  

We then get introduced to Zia and Franklin who share a pretty funny dynamic.

We then get introduced to another theme: Human’s perception / ideals vs reality. It’s interesting that Claire believed that “They’re all going to die and no-one cares”, when unbeknownst to her, no action on the island was initiated on the island BECAUSE people care, where by people, I meant Ian Malcolm himself. Claire also got so caught up in her ideals, that she never saw the double cross on the island happen, when it was pretty damn obvious and visible from a mile away. Human nature at its most authentic.

Claire then gets invited to Mr. Lockwood’s pimpin’ crib, where she has a moment looking at the portrait of Mr. Hammond. Short and sweet throwback. Importance is given to the mansion, as the backstory between Lockwood and Hammond is portrayed, with even the first amber being extracted there. Really made the movie feel like a necessary sequel rather than a stretch, and makes the movie feel connected to the original in an authentic way. Lockwood quoting the “they need our absence” line is a nice throwback to The Lost World. He then goes on to say that him and Hammond “tried to run before they could walk”, which is a great metaphor for humans when they get new “toys”.

Meeting Owen:

I thought this scene was a nice way to build their relationship, with them bickering like a married couple. Their chemistry is natural. People criticise Owen for being alright with Blue dying, but they should remember, that Owen was firmly against doing anything substantial with Raptors from the first movie, and advocated that they’ll always be unpredictable, which is cemented when the Raptors turn on him and flip the beast mode switch. He was even the one to say no to Blue after the main fight ended. If anything, it should be surprising that Claire was so adamant to save blue, but anyway.

Owen re-watching the footage of the baby raptors (namely blue, being the most empathetic one) builds some sympathy for Blue prior to when she gets jumped by the goons.

Maisie Scene:

Man, everything Lockwood said about Maisie being a “mirror image” of her Mother was some wicked foreshadowing of the clone twist, although it does leave us wondering about whether her visiting the park back then has some meaning down the line. Also, remember the “she would have saved them all” quote, as it’s more significant than people think.

Island:

The smoky volcano does well to create an underlying sense of danger before it fully blows. We then see the visitor’s centre, which gave me a ‘Nam flashback as to the end of the first movie, although as Owen said, some memories were good. We then see a Brachiosaurus, which is interesting, as it was the first Dino we saw in JP1, and the first Dino Zia and Franklin saw. Her emotional reaction was pretty heart-warming, but short lived as the scene was interrupted by the business at hand, and more pissed off Volcano noises. Zia then adds to the human vs nature theme by highlighting that Wheatley (the tooth fetish skinhead guy) should be careful with those powerful sedatives, to which he seems to shrug off. Owen and Claire then embrace as per their dynamic and go their separate ways. Another heart-warming moment which made their relationship feel real and organic.

It was a little Jarring to see Owen just go into the wild like that, but alright. Cue Blue, who doesn’t take long to remember Owen, whereby the sweet reunion turned bitter by the double cross. The way that many heartfelt moments in the movies are cut short the way they were was quite effective. The Humans vs Nature theme is re-inforced by how Wheatley blatantly disregarded Owen’s instructions, and Blue almost died in the process, and he then goes and tranquilizes Owen, i.e. the one guy who knows a thing or two about Dinosaurs besides shooting the damn things. Man is this Wheatley guy a meme or what? That gesture with blowing Owen (get your mind out of the gutter) made him a pretty hateable villain, which was good. Zia’s genuine compassion for Blue was endearing, by how she was so concerned that she pointed a gun towards Wheatley with the 10 or so others pointing back at her. Good character building. Wheatley’s exchange was a great Villain move once more.

Eruption:

They get locked in. Franklin’s “Why am I here?!” quote was meta as hell. 

Maisie asking if the Dinosaurs are safe just to get shut down by Mills to continue talking about Money and things that didn’t remotely include their safety, was another thematically consistent moment.

The Styracosaurus (I think) appearing and licking Owen like a dog was a good subversion as we were probably expecting a Carnivore, and built some sympathy for the Dino’s, but once again that was short-lived as it hit the road and left a paralysed Owen to wallow in Lava. The lava consuming the original JP Jeep and the Dino bones was some nice imagery.

We then get the Baryonyx scene, which was pretty great, although I have a few criticisms. It should NOT have just shrugged off Lava. It shouldn’t have gotten hit with it at all. This is a common criticism I agree with. I’m also unsure about how I feel about how comical this scene was, although this was still a tense and great scene, and the ladder falling was a simple but effective touch. However, Claire and Franklin literally jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire, as they’re immediately greeted with lava as soon as they leave.

Cue the gyroball and the Carnotaurus. People commonly criticise this scene for the Carno trying to eat them when an eruption was happening, but at the same time, that’s all the more reason for a Dino to pick up an EASY snack, as it’ll need that energy, and the Volcano lay still for just that moment. Don’t forget that Dino’s eat to live, not the other way around, although I’m unsure about why it attacked the big Dino that came through. That’s probably a fair critique, although the Carno as a whole felt like a shot to Disney. Not a problem with me personally.

Once again, a feel-good moment in our hero Rexy roaring is cut short, and she hightails it out of there.

Owen is then consumed by an Ash cloud. People criticise this for being a Pyroclastic flow and that Owen should have died, but that’s an assumption, as it must have just been an Ash cloud if Owen lived. The main eruption didn’t happen yet, which makes the cloud just having been ash and not pyroclastic more feasible. We then get to the sinking scene. The movie is GREAT at barely giving you enough breathing room, as the moment of relief of those two being out of reach of the Volcano lasts all of 5 seconds before the gyrosphere sinks and they literally have no breathing room. Man what a scene. Tense and claustrophobic as hell. The lack of music was a really great touch. Props to the actors.

We then get the trio taking a breather on the beach, to hear the Volcano again, and see the Dino’s get shipped and ready for the mainland. The whole thing was haphazard as hell, as hell, which is personified in how Wheatley took the liberty of removing a Stegosaurus tooth for his neckless, with all that and the volcano going on. These guys can’t really get anymore arrogant can they? But that isn’t bad filmmaking or unreal character work, but the whole point of the humans in the movie being dumb when handling nature. With what we’re doing with the planet in real life, are the people in the movie really that far removed? 

The movie barely giving you breathing room continues, as the trio get 5 seconds to themselves after struggling to just about drive their truck onto the boat, before we see the Brachiosaur about to meet its fate. The same Dino which was the very first we saw in JP1, was the very last we see on the island. Poetry in motion. It even does the same pose, and man, the melancholy rendition of the  “Welcome to Jurassic Park” theme was a FANTASTIC touch to say goodbye.

Boat and Mansion:

Enter the Donald Trump looking dude, which I’m going to refer to him by as it fits. The way he gave zero sh*ts about the delay in delivering the Dino’s that arose with inherently dealing with Dinos, and the Volcano, is emblematic of the Humans vs Nature theme, as he gives no damns whatsoever other than making money.

They then take the elevator down. Mill’s description of genetic power as something with uncharted and unfathomable potential for growth juxtaposes Ian Malcolm’s words of wisdom earlier in the movie, expressing how danger it is, and demonstrates how screwed Humanity is.

Back to the boat, and a suffering Blue. STELLAR practical effects here. Blue looked real as hell. Claire and Owen then attempt to get bloods from the rex, where once again, the practical effects were stellar. Got to love ’em. The tension was real here, with Rexy’s eyes fluttering or her reacting in her sleep when Claire got on top, or jammed the syringe into her. The feeling of her waking up at any given second was real, which culminated in her opening her eye to see Owen right in front of her, and raging out. Props for this scene still feeling tense even with the comedy Rexy being an established good gal by now.

Maisie then takes the elevator down, and sees the footage of Blue as a baby, emphasising how empathetic she was, which builds some sympathy for her, especially as at that moment in the film, she was clinging to life. Everyone rejoices as Blue is fine, but once again, the moment is cut short by Mills and Dr Wu, the latter of whom makes a point that Blue’s behaviour traits like empathy will be used to breed a new generation of weaponised dinosaurs, which unsurprisingly , Mills doesn’t give a sh*t about other than where finances were involved. It’s interesting here that Dr Wu shows concern for both the new Raptors and the people involved by emphasising how uncharted this was, and why a Mother was necessary. Added some layers to an otherwise purely villainous character. It was also effective how we get a nice moment focusing on Blue’s empathy, just to have it cut short for a dialogue on basically having it weaponised immediately after

BOOM. Indoraptor. Man was that claw reaching out from the darkness a great creepy touch, as was Maisie asking what the audience too was asking, i.e. “What is that?!” We don’t get an answer and she’s immediately thrown into a bedroom. Mill’s behaviour escalating from having yelled at her before to handling her so roughly ups the stakes and dissolves the good guy persona he donned prior. Sh*t’s getting real now!

We then cut back to the boat, where Claire was sleeping on Owen, which was a nice touch, and fitting since the movie has progressed from them being apart and not on speaking terms in the beginning of the film, to tight now they need each other more than ever. Zia’s witty comeback to Wheatley asking if they’ve got a heartbeat was both funny and a valid dig.

We then see Mills and Lockwood. Lockwood’s naivety in actually thinking that Mills would turn himself in, instead of giving in to Human nature and finishing the poor old man off, was another instance of Human ideals vs reality. The first Human on Human kill in the franchise just happened, and the Amber smashing was good symbolism. Gone are the days of putting Dinosaurs in parks, and nature being as it should be.

 We then get an instance of what could have been momentum for Claire and Owen in shutting the whole fiasco down, just to get guns pointed at them, and thrown in the Mansion’s basement. Mills actually raised a valid point, in pointing out Owen’s and Claire’s hypocrisy. It was a good expose on Man’s relationship with tech, as all the bad things to happen, would have technically started with creating a Dino just for a park, and training raptors for research, just as everything bad that will happen in Jurassic World 3, would have started with a theme park with the sole intent to wow its visitors. What worsens that, is that Hammond made a point that everyone in the world, regardless of socio-economic status, had the right to enjoy the animals, and yet after his death, his work is being used for something so destructive.

Talking of visitors, the number of people visiting the mansion with ill intents was pretty foreboding, and demonstrates the scale of the transition that’s happening, where our world transitions into a Jurassic World, for nothing better and everything worse. Mill’s steps up his bastardly villain game by now treating Maisie as an asset, calling her a situation, shrugging off Iris’s bond with the girl, and literally saying that he “understands her value”, all whilst we see that who we thought was Maisie’s mom, looked identical to her. Both Iris and Mills knew that Maisie is a clone, since a younger Iris is seen in the photo, but the Juxtaposition of the former caring and the latter not caring at all, was an effective and heart wrenching contrast. Maisie’s shock in finding out what she really was, matched that which the audience felt at the same time. One can only imagine what was going through that poor girl’s head at the time. There was actually a deleted scene where Iris stayed and held off the Indoraptor before being lunch, to contribute to saving Maisie. They really should have kept that scene! 

One thing I really found interesting in the movie, is that they put a big emphasis on Dinosaurs being living things and not just monsters. We’ve seen the Dino that licked Owen, we saw Blue in a state of fear (even though typically in the franchise, it’s the raptors that make the world their b*tch instead of vice versa), we saw the dying Brachiosaur, and now we see the Mother dino with her baby, and the Stygimoloch (Hard headed Dino) just being itself in ramming everything, without feeling the need to spill some blood. As soon as a flicker of hope was built with Owen figuring out how to escape, it’s shut down as we straight away get shown the auction.

The juxtaposition of the hard head dino ramming the wall down and let Claire and Owen escape, with the knock of the auction hammer (whatever it’s called) made the whole thing feel like a race against time, and worked really well.

They escape and meet a terrified and traumatised Maisie, where the three shared a heartfelt introduction. This subtly furthered Claire’s and Owen’s relationship, in the way they were like a Mother and Father to her. However, the warm and fuzzy feelings faded fast, as we’re finally, introduced to the Indoraptor, and man, its reveal hit like a monster truck (pun intended), with the way they teased this thing steadily and expertly throughout the movie, to finally reveal a Dinosaur even more twisted than the Indominus Rex. Even the audience (auction goers) who were fully prepared for Dinosaurs, were scared sh*tless, and who can blame them? A giant Black Dino with orange/red eyes, that’s in your house, with intelligence close to or even more than that of a Velociraptor? That’s pretty effing scary. People criticise the use of a laser sniper to set the Indoraptor on targets, when they could just use the sniper itself. I think they missed the point, which was to demonstrate that the Indo can be trained, adding to its value. Would you rather they used a laser pointer? The way the Audience immediately wanted to buy it, before even knowing how to use it safely, and knowing full well that it’s not even finished (i.e. still a prototype) is an excellent addition to the Human arrogance theme. The last quote was interesting: “Relax, we’ll make more,” “So will they!” This situation is getting increasingly out of hand. We’re f**ked. 

We then also get the first Human vs Human fight in the movie, and the hard head Dino running roughshod over everything was pretty satisfying, although the Indoraptor’s fixed gaze on Owen was unnerving to counteract to that.

We then get a time skip, to an empty auction room, barring the Indoraptor and Wheatley. What happened here was VERY interesting, as the Indoraptor played dead to being shot twice with tranquilizer darts in order to avoid the third shot, which would have probably knocked it out. Wheatley being surprised to it being knocked it in two and being ready to deliver the third added some much needed believability, to an otherwise unbelievably stupid move by him in trying to get Teeth. This is the point of the franchise, that Humans are too stupid and arrogant for their own good, so not something that should be knocked. The Indoraptor nonetheless, is a clever boy. The practical effects were on point here too, and the way the Indo’s teeth were too tough to be cut, was pretty scary. We then see this monster outsmarting the poor bastard and quite literally playing with its food. Sinister as hell. BOOM. Wheatley’s arm gets ripped clean off. DAMN, I was not expecting that! Even for a Jurassic movie! The poor guy cries and salivates, and meets his end. The Indoraptor’s roar blew off his hat: a throwback to when the T-rex did the same in the first movie. Bye Wheatley, we hardly knew you.

We then see Donald Trump make a run for it, with the one dude telling him to stay quiet, just for him to stupidly shove the red-haired lady out of the way for her to scream and blow their cover. While this scene may LOOK dumb, it was actually clever as hell, because Humans aren’t only not in control of Nature at large, but they’re barely in control of their own. In real life, Humans do stupid things when forced into a state of primal fear. We even saw the girl from JP1 scream RIGHT IN THE FACE OF THE T-REX. Donald Trump shoved her out of the way, and the lady screamed despite knowing full well to stay quiet to stay alive, as she couldn’t control her instinctive, primal nature upon seeing in full blast, a man being eaten by a Dinosaur, and screamed anyway. This is the point! Humans aren’t in control of Nature, nor themselves. This ties in to the theme of the third JW movie, as Mill himself said, “Humans are irrevocably drawn to war.” The breathing room we got was snatched away, as the door reopens, for Donald Trump to get snacked on.

Owen, Claire, and Maisie then meet with Mills and his goons. “You can’t put it back in the box” was a fantastic quote, which surely summarises the death-like change on the horizon for humanity. We then get the Maisie clone reveal. People call the twist stupid, but there’s no real reason to believe so. The twist is FULLY consistent with the themes of the whole franchise, in Man’s twisted relationship with technology and nature, and I thought it was really brilliant. Anyway, the way that Mills emphasizes, “He made her again,” for the Indoraptor to charge through and take two goons in one fell swoop, was really slick. Whilst Mills was talking about Maisie’s original self, this also applies to the Indominus Rex, as they used the bone taken in the opening scene, to literally make the Indominus again, in the form of the Indoraptor. Great stuff.

Lab Scene:

Franklin being so out of place was funny as hell. A rare moment of comic relief, but one that delivered, as was how he drugged Wu. Zia’s manoeuvre with the cage door was a neat reference to JP3. We’re eventually stuck with a situation where the basement is filling up with Hydrogen Cyanide gas, which runs the risk of killing our Dinos.

Chase Scene:

The Indoraptor chase scene starts off on top of the Triceratops skeleton, which is actually very symbolic, as that’s where the Indoraptor met its end too. Commence the chase. What a beast! This thing rips apart metal railings like they’re paperclips! The way the Indoraptor is black and blends into the darkness is also pretty unsettling, as you can’t see it, but it sure as hell can see you. Claire then turns off the power to save their asses, but tragically, Franklin reboots it (JP1 reference), to put our heroes in real danger, as the Indoraptor was RIGHT in their faces, when they thought they’d gotten away. Oh lord. It then sticks its toe claw right into Claire’s shin (OUCH!), but Maisie gets away, and in typical Jurassic Park fashion, screams and gives herself away, but once again, it’s consistent and just what Humans do, so not really something to knock. The tension in getting the dumbwaiter shut was also a nice throwback to the Kitchen raptor scene in JP1. Cue Owen. Maisie takes refuge in her bed, just to have the Indoraptor follow her anyway. The scene of it roaring in the moon was freaking awesome. It was just like a werewolf, which was interesting, as a werewolf is a hybrid of a wolf and a human, just as the Indoraptor is a hybrid of Raptor, T-Rex and the other things that made up the Indominus. Another way of looking at it, is that this is like one of those medieval castles with a dragon guarding the princess, except here, it’s hunting her down. Excellent imagery, as was the shot  of it leaning in the lightning, and as was the shadow of its head emerging from the Horse. We started off riding animals like Horses, and now we’ve created hybrid Dinosaurs for war. Man’s relationship with nature has devolved into something beyond words. 

Owen then bursts in and pops a few caps in the Indoraptor’s ass, just to find that its skin is bulletproof, and he’s out of bullets anyway. Luckily Blue bursts onto the scene and the fight continues, where she gets her ass handed to her, but doesn’t give up. She even gets dangerously close to being thrown out the window by the Indoraptor, although it’s the latter that falls through. Everything considered, Blue must have got lucky with that shot. The Indoraptor shrugs it off in like 5 seconds, and continues pursuing Owen and Maisie. Luckily, Claire returns, and they tag team it with the laser pointer combo, only for it still climb back up. When everything seemed lost, Blue charges it and they both plummet to the floor in slow motion, for the Indoraptor to meet its fate after being Impaled. What’s interesting, is that the humans were never in control. Blue was badly losing the fight, the laser combo didn’t work, and there was nothing stopping it from being such that Blue died and the Indoraptor ended up on top and lived on.

Remember when I said the Triceratops skull held symbolism? The Indoraptor started the chase off on top of it, like a throne, just to reach its peak at the top of the house, but ultimately fall back down to where it came from and die, like a full circle. This is symbolic of Dinosaurs, as they started off near the bottom, grew and became the dominant species on the planet (peak), but ultimately fell. Who was on top when the Indoraptor died? Humans (and Blue). Humans may be at their peak now, but what if they’re to fall and meet their doom like the Indoraptor? The Indoraptor was alive, but stacked on top of the triceratops, like a layer of rock containing fossils from one paleontological era on top of the previous one. Are Humans to be the next layer in the not so distant future? I BET almost nobody got this one.

Final Basement Scene:

We’re then struck with the moral dilemma of whether or not to save the Dinosaurs. As Owen himself said, they’re not on an island anymore. Claire ultimately decides to let them die for the greater good, which was a good character development, considering she foolishly dived right into trying to save them at the beginning of the film. However, Maisie lets them go. People criticise this, without seeing the deeper meaning. She literally says that they’re alive like her. Do Humans own the Dinosaur’s lives just because they made them? Do they own life? Sure Claire wanted them dead for the betterment of humans, and sure a human life means more to a human than a dinosaur’s life, but that does that really mean a Dinosaur’s life is less important than a human’s? What if the Earth is actually better off with Dinosaur life taking over again, and with less Humans? We’re not exactly kind to the planet after all. In that context, is a Human life still more valuable than a Dinosaur’s? Human’s valuing themselves above nature is part of their downfall. Whilst obviously, Claire made the right choice in letting them die, it raises some very valid philosophical questions, and do remember that a child let them go at the end of the day. But here’s what’s REALLY interesting: Remember when Lockwood told Maisie that her “Mother” “would have saved them all”? Maisie, upon discovering she’s a clone, probably felt compelled to use the gift of the shot at a second life she got to continue where her old self left off.

We then get the infamous T-Rex scene, where once again, the Carnotaur gets dicked on, and Karma comes back to rip Mills to pieces in the form of Rexy. If you look closely, the little dinosaurs on the Car behind Mills sense the T-Rex coming before he does, which was good attention to detail.

Our heroes then leave the mansion. And re-unite with Blue, who looks eager to re-connect with Owen. Interesting character developments happen here, In contrast to the end of the first film, where Blue wants to join Owen and Owen said no, we have Owen wanting Blue to come with him, but Blue rejecting it, and running off. Owen connected with Blue after she suffered and saved them from the Indoraptor (also in contrast to the beginning of this movie, where he was happy to let her die), and saw that she’s not the monster he feared she was in the first movie. Blue on the other hand, having had more than enough of humans, left. REALLY interesting juxtaposition between the endings of both movies.

Ending Scene:

Really powerful message, that I don’t need to comment much more on, but it also contrasts Maisie really well. Maisie (a child) views life (including her own) as a gift to be cherished, whereas the adults around her see it as nothing more than a money making resource.

The scene consists of Dinos infiltrating the mainland and setting up the 3rd movie.

Final Verdict

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has amazing subplots, themes, acting and directing, and gets a 9/10 from me.

Rating: 4/5

BEST QUOTES

 

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