Picture this: survivors facing the threat of an exploding island and dinosaurs trying to eat them. Then the focus shifts to survivors trapped in a suffocating, antique mansion where deadly creatures from a secret, underground lab are hunting them down.
Does this sound familiar to you? Maybe you’ve played two very specific, fan-favorite Capcom games on the Playstation One.
Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom is a hybrid film adaptation of Capcom’s Dino Crisis and Resident Evil. That’s the easiest way to explain this movie.
The movie starts with the classic Jurassic elements: your macho hero, semi-effective heroine, screaming child, ragtag team of protagonist survivors, entire encyclopedia’s worth of dinosaurs, and greedy antagonists who want to exploit these creatures. There are also elements of the trilogy that started with Jurassic World: the new park and its technology, a push for humans to use dinosaurs in medical, agricultural, and military industries, and another hybrid that shakes the core. But halfway through the movie, we are presented with something new.
A Noah’s Ark filled with 11 species (the most John Hammond’s old partner’s greedy successor’s mercenary poachers can rescue… phew) leaves the island as the volcano erupts. As they say goodbye to the lava-covered island, we hear the sounds of dinosaurs that didn’t make it. There is a heartbreaking and powerful scene that pays tribute to the Jurassic element we knew for 25 years. Halfway through the movie, we face the end of one era and the beginning of another.
That’s when the real movie starts. The dinosaurs are transported into this giant mansion in Northern California that holds a top-secret, underground lab. An accident causes the dinosaurs to escape and hunt people down in the mansion. For two decades, we were used to seeing survivors run away from dinosaurs on an island. The suffocating, claustrophobic feeling of the mansion feels fresh. Director J.A. Bayona’s use of horror breathes new life to a series that has been quite predictable for some time. Bayona, who credits horror movie expert Guillermo Del Toro as his mentor, crafts a masterful film that changes the future and direction of a classic franchise.
All together, The Fallen Kingdom is a great addition to the franchise. It’s thrilling, emotionally powerful, and packed with new dinosaurs that are enjoyable to watch. It breaks off from the predictable narrative arc without feeling too much like an outlier in the already classic series.