When it was released earlier this summer, Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom was met with mixed reviews from film critics and Jurassic Fans alike. A lot of the people I talked to and reviews I saw showed disappointment in the film. “It just wasn’t like Jurassic Park!” many said. Although I disagree with them on their negative reaction to the film, I agree with that statement. Even though the film wasn’t like the other movies, I feel it stays true to the overall idea of the story of Jurassic Park. If we could bring back dinosaurs, what would happen and what would we do with them? I think the following films and the direction the story is going is very realistic in terms of how humans would react.
In the first movie, we learn about how the dinosaurs were brought back and we see the pure intentions that John Hammond has for the magnificent creatures. We see the beginnings of a park and how one man’s greed caused not only his death but the death of many others and the demise of Hammond’s dream. In that film, we hear skepticism and predictions from the experts, Grant, Sattler, & Malcolm.
- “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.” -Malcolm
- “How much can you know about an extinct ecosystem, and therefore, how could you assume you can control it? These are aggressive living things that have no idea what century they’re living in and will defend themselves. Violently, if necessary.” -Sattler
- “Dinosaurs and man, two species separated by 65 million years of evolution have just been suddenly thrown back into the mix together. How can we have the faintest idea of what to expect?” -Grant
One line from Malcolm foreshadows the future of the entire series.
“The kind of control you’re attempting is not possible. If there’s one thing the history of evolution has taught us, it’s that life will not be contained. Life breaks free. It expands to new territories. It crashes through barriers. Painfully, maybe even…dangerously, but and…well, there it is.I’m simply saying that life, uh, finds a way.”
By the end of the first film, we realize how true all the experts’ predictions were. The dinosaurs “evolved” and changed their sex in order to breed and they broke free. Life found a way.
The Lost World
In the second film, we see just how far the extent of Malcolm’s predictions came true. The dinosaurs, through nature, get around the contingency plan their creators originally created to control them and flourished on their own. We learn of a second island where the dinosaurs had been living peacefully in their own ecosystem. Life found a way.
Although briefly seen in the first film with Nedry & Dodgson, it is in this film that we really get to see how greed corporations seek to profit off of the animals. They violently remove the dinosaurs from their habitat and attempt to take them off the island and to the mainland to have another park. The motives of these people differ from Hammond in that they are solely motivated by money. The heroes of the film, free most of the dinosaurs to prevent them from being removed from their homes. The only dinosaurs that are taken to the mainland are the male T-Rex and its child, which, of course, as Malcolm’s Chaos Theory predicts, gets loose and terrorizes San Diego until Malcolm and Sarah get them back on the ship and sent back to the second island.
Although many people weren’t big fans of the incident in San Diego in the film, it serves as an important element in the overall story in that it reveals to the world that dinosaurs exist again. At the end of the film we get an interview with John Hammond, finally seeming to understand Malcolm’s Chaos Theory, talking about simply stepping back and allowing the animals to live freely on the second island. He’s made a 180, capitalist to naturalist.
That would be the end, but alas, humans step in and make things worse.
Jurassic Park 3
In Jurassic Park 3 we see that there are people who are illegally profiting off of giving parasailing tours on the coast the second island. This results in a kid being trapped on the island for 8 weeks (completely unbelievable if you ask me) and his parents essentially kidnapping Grant and his grad student to help them find their kid and navigate the island.
The element in this chapter of the Jurassic saga that serves as a pathway to the future stories is the intelligence of the Raptors. At the beginning of the film, we see Grant once again digging up a Raptor skeleton. They are able to recreate the resonating chamber (voice box) of a Raptor and realize that the Raptors could communicate with one another. He visits Sattler and reminisces about their trip to the island and the Raptors. He tells her about their new studies and how he believes that the Raptors’ ability to communicate was key to their social intelligence and explained how they would work so well in groups. He says that Raptors were much smarter than they originally thought. “They were smarter than dolphins or whales. They were smarter than primates.”
Later in the film, while on the island, Grant observed the Raptors’ behavior and finds that his theory is true, the Raptors could communicate in very sophisticated ways.
Fast forward 14 years later and Jurassic World has been a successful theme park on the original island for 10 years. It seems as though the current owners learned from the previous mistakes and have gone above and beyond to make this park safe.
Technology has evolved tremendously in the past 22 years since the first park and Dr. Wu, the original geneticist has used that to his advantage. We learn that he bred a pack of Raptors and that InGen is researching their behavior and real-world application. Thus following the Raptor intelligence element presented in the third film. Owen Grady specializes in Raptor behaviors and has raised this pack. He has essentially become the “Alpha” of the pack. His research has shown how well the Raptors follow commands and comprehend human ideas. This peaks the interest of Wu and the more ambitious members of InGen. Wu and Hoskins, the head of the InGen mercenaries, are secretly working with an unknown accomplice and have plans to weaponize the Raptors for militaries go use on the battlefield.
Wu develops the Indominus Rex, a brand new breed of dinosaur using DNA from Raptors and T-Rex. And again, as Malcolm predicted, things go horribly wrong. With the increased intelligence of the Raptors bred into the Indominus, it manages to trick the park workers and ends up escaping its enclosure. The film shows how the folks at InGen want to test the Raptors to see if they can hunt down the new dinosaur. Owen leads the pack into action and things seem to go smoothly until chaos ensues once again. Because the Indominus Rex is part Raptor, it is able to communicate with Owen’s pack of Raptors. It convinces the pack to attack the InGen mercenaries and it becomes the new Alpha. Several of the Raptors get killed by the mercenaries. Amongst all the chaos, the owner of the park is killed and Dr. Wu escapes with DNA samples.
In the end Owen convinces the remaining Raptor, Blue, to rejoin him as they attack the Indominus Rex. Blue and the T-Rex team up to defeat the Indominus with the help of the aquatic dinosaur, the Mosasaurus who drags the Indominus to the bottom of the lake.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
In the fifth installment of the Jurassic saga, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, we learn that Wu is now working for a man named Eli Mills in a secret lab developing a new creature to perfect their plan of weaponizing the dinosaurs for profit. A sample is taken from the skeleton of the Indominus Rex at the bottom of the lake at the now abandoned Jurassic World in order to make the new creature. Mills is in charge of running the business and estate of the dying Sir Benjamin Lockwood, the former partner of John Hammond. It is revealed that Lockwood and Hammond worked together to figure out how to clone and recreate dinosaurs. Lockwood has no idea the plans that Mills has.
The original island with all the dinosaurs on it has an active volcano on it that is about to explode. Mills convinces Claire, the former manager of Jurassic World to go and rescue as many dinosaurs as possible, especially Blue because she is the last of her species. Claire gets Owen to come with her because of his bond with Blue. The go to the island and as soon as they get Blue, they are betrayed by Mills’ mercenaries and left for dead on the island that is quickly being blown apart by the erupting volcano. Owen and Claire escape the island and realize that Mills lied to them and that he is, in fact, selling the dinosaurs. The real reason Mills wanted Blue was because Wu needed her to help perfect the new dinosaur species, the Indo Raptor. Once again, all hell breaks loose during the dinosaur auction and the Indo Raptor is released and hunts the heroes through Lockwood’s mansion. The Indo Raptor proves to be very intelligent, but untrainable and incredibly vicious. Blue helps Owen and Claire and ends up defeating the Indo Raptor.
At the end of the film, all of the dinosaurs that were brought from the island are either released into the wild or taken with their respective buyers from the auction. Although it is not shown what happened to Wu, we once again see the DNA samples being packed up and taken away. The film ends with a monologue from Malcolm restating his sentiments from the first film. He isn’t at all surprised at what has happened. He says that radical, irrational change is woven into the very fabric of existence from the beginning of time and that it is now continuing to unfold and reveal itself.
In Fallen Kingdom, just like the other films, we continue to see the warnings made by Grant, Sattler, and Malcolm in the first film proved to be very true.
- Scientist still do not ask themselves “Should we do this?” Just like Malcolm said.
- The humans still assume that they can control the dinosaurs and fail miserably, just as Sattler mentioned. We also see again in this film that she was correct in what she said about the animals not understanding their new environment and are defending themselves violently.
- All the dinosaurs being set loose at the end of the film echoes Grant’s claim that we can have no idea what to expect by throwing humans and dinosaurs back into the mix together.
In addition to those continued themes, we see the ideas of greed and exploitation that were hinted at in the first film, attempted in the second, and started in the fourth finally come to fruition. We also see the continuation of the element of the Raptors’ intelligence that was prominently featured in the third film. We learn that the extreme intelligence of the animals is key to the idea of training and weaponizing them.
A lot of people had problems with the idea of the Raptors working together with humans in Jurassic World and in Fallen Kingdom. But is it really that far of a stretch? I do a lot of work with dog trainers and I am continually impressed with how smart dogs are. We can train them to understand basic words and commands, we can train them to assist us in hunting and rescue jobs, they develop emotional bonds with their owners, they are even used in military and police work. Now, if what Grant theorized is true, and Raptors are one of the most intelligent species, surpassing the likes of dolphins and primates, why would it be a surprise that they could train them to work in similar situations to dogs? I know the idea of humans training and working together with dinosaurs seems silly at first, but if you think about it in the terms mentioned above, then it really isn’t that far-fetched.
Another important aspect that I think that was overlooked by audiences is the idea of dinosaur application. If dinosaurs were to be recreated in real life, what would humans do with them?
Think about it like this: when computers first came on the scene only a few people had them and even fewer people made them. They started out being used mainly for military and academic purposes, but as technology evolved, they were adapted to work in many areas. Now, they have crept into every aspect of our lives. Not a day goes by that someone in a civilized country doesn’t do something even remotely related to a computer.
Dinosaurs, in this series, are treated the exact same way as computer were. They started off being very exclusive and produced by only one company, now the recipe has leaked and more companies and people are creating them. Instead of using them as just attractions in a park, people started thinking about how they could be used in other ways. The integration of dinosaurs into the military, farming, security, and medicine is the next logical step in this current age of technological innovation. The possibilities are endless and the profit extraordinary. Again, as silly as it might seem to use dinosaurs for those things, it really isn’t that far-fetched at all.