Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom came roaring into cinemas last week, with our Phil calling the sequel/fifth outing ‘an entertaining ride… with a fun B-movie premise, decently executed’. Generally good reviews and strong box office in its opening days (it is out in much of Europe and Asia but not the United States yet) mean the Jurassic Park/World franchise isn’t going to be dying out any time soon. So, with Jurassic World 3 on the way in 2021, here’s what we’d like to see.
WARNING: Contains spoilers for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Scene stealer extraordinaire Jeff Goldblum returned to the series after 21 years to reprise his role as Dr Ian Malcolm, but the mathematician was really just on hand to provide the framing device for the movie. His evidence to a US Senate hearing does have a pivotal consequence: convincing the government not to intervene to save the dinosaurs from Isla Nublar sets in motion the privately funded mission to do so. He also gets to end the movie with an ominous portent of how the world will change.
But let’s get him back in the thick of the dino action. Malcolm’s now older, more cynical and more fearful than when we last saw him running for his life in 1997’s The Lost World, so dramatically can offer something new. His stance that Mother Nature should have been allowed to course-correct and make the dinosaurs extinct for a second time also means he could butt heads (Stygimoloch-style) with committed dinophiles Owen and Claire.
Make Owen and Claire more rounded
Speaking of whom, we’ve now had two movies with Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) and while both actors are great to watch, neither character is very strong. Claire has undeniably had more of an arc, from stuck-up workaholic who sees the dinosaurs as ‘assets’ to a gung-ho animal rights activist. But we still know very little about her, where she’s from and how she ended up in such a high-powered job at Jurassic World in the first place. Likewise with Owen: how did he get from the Navy into training raptors? Why is he so brilliant at analysing animal behaviour as well as fighting, motorbike riding and house building?
The scene in Fallen Kingdom when they’re in a cell at Lockwood’s estate was the perfect chance to add a bit of backstory and characterisation. Claire asks if Owen remembers the first time he saw a real dinosaur, but just goes on to say it was like a miracle. This was a missed opportunity that needs improving on next time to really give us heroes to root for.
Put the T. Rex back on top
The scaly star of the first and second Jurassic Park films has been on the supporting cast for too long. We had the spinosaurus in Jurassic Park III, and then the genetically engineered Indominus Rex and Indoraptor of the World movies. But part of the fun of JP was the incongruity of seeing real dinosaurs from the ancient past interacting with humans or appearing in a modern setting, as with the climax of Lost World.
So now the park and the island are gone and they’re in our world, let’s focus on the genuine article again. Yes, clearly Blue the raptor is going to have an integral part and an inevitable reunion with Owen, but that money shot of the T. Rex roaring at a lion in a zoo was an exciting reminder of just what a scary antagonist it was. Perhaps the return of some rippling water, anyone?
The dinos of war
This story strand has been teased twice now, so it’s high time to see it followed through on. First, Vincent D’Onofrio’s Vic Hoskins attempts to weaponise the group of raptors Owen trains, as well as the park’s own creation Indominus Rex. Now, Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) has gone one better, successfully getting some of the dinosaurs to the US mainland and auctioning them off for millions of dollars.
During the sale their combat abilities are some of the biggest selling points, as with the tank-like ankylosaurus. And while Owen and Claire disrupted and cut short the auction, at least some dinosaurs were taken away by their buyers. So c’mon, bring on the war dinos.
End it – for good
A new trilogy in the Jurassic franchise has been great to have, but let’s face it, there’s only so far you can stretch the premise of ‘humans clone dinosaurs, dinosaurs chase humans’. While many naysayers thought even a fourth time around was one too many, the two Jurassic World entries so far have proved that there are still spectacular set-pieces (the gyrospheres, a stampede from an erupting volcano) and plot directions (dinosaurs loose in the US, human cloning) to be had.
However, having six movies in any series makes it difficult to maintain the high quality and it’s hard to see where this one could go in a seventh. The finale of Fallen Kingdom sets up the highest stakes yet after John Hammond and Benjamin Lockwood played God, so it’s best to go out with a bang and draw things to a definitive close.