Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom released over the weekend to some rather mixed reviews. While most audience members enjoyed it, many critics thought it could have been a lot better. The Jurassic World sequel may have been a flawed movie, but it may end up being the best Jurassic Park sequel we’ve gotten yet, and here are just a few reasons why.
It continued the philosophical question of Jurassic Park.
One of the biggest factors that made the original Jurassic Park stand out from other horror movies of the time, besides the dinosaurs obviously, was that it took a movie in the horror-monster genre and made it philosophical. The morals of bringing back dinosaurs was questioned constantly throughout the movie, and the consequences were clearly shown.
While the sequels, including Jurassic World, simply repeated this question, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom took it up another level. Rather than just asking, “should we bring dinosaurs to life?,” Fallen Kingdom asked, “do dinosaur lives matter now that they have been brought to life?”
Rather than running away from the dinosaurs, and finding ways to possibly trap and kill the Jurassic beasts, Fallen Kingdom saw the main characters protecting the dinosaurs, debating if their lives were important, and dealing with the consequences of their impossible choices. It went above and beyond the first Jurassic World, which simply restated the moral argument of Jurassic Park, and brought out a philosophical impossible choice that we had not seen in the franchise before.
The villains were human.
Another unique factor about Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is how different their villains are, specifically that they are human this time around. While the previous Jurassic movies had human antagonists, most of them were out of the picture by the third act, leaving some sort of dinosaur or crisis as the main antagonists for the rest of the movie. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom mixed this up a bit.
While there was a terrifying dinosaur that the heroes did have to defeat during the third act, similar to the final “villain” in the first Jurassic World, the human antagonist Eli Mills was still causing trouble, and actually lasted longer than the Indoraptor itself. Making the main villain of the entire movie human added a new element to the mix, making the bad guy be more than just a monster and instead arguably a psychopath.
The new setting paid tribute to Jurassic Park‘s horror roots.
While the first half of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom took place on an island, which was the setting for most of the rest of the franchise, the final half of the movie took the heroes to a large mansion, which is where the final act ensued. This new setting really makes Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom stand out from the rest of the franchise, and even raised the stakes considering that the dinosaurs could easily run out into civilization if given the chance.
Not only did the mansion setting help change the aesthetic, but it at times seemingly paid homage to other movies in the horror genre. Many horror movies take place in a house or a mansion, usually a haunted house, so the final act of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ended up feeling like a haunted house with dinosaurs.
There was one moment in particular that stood out, featuring the character Maisie Lockwood running down a hallway from the Indoraptor. The design, both in art and in camera framing, of this scene completely resembled the hallway scenes from The Shining, making this moment even more creepy than it already was.
Though it may not be the perfect movie, and certainly was not as good as the original Jurassic Park, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is arguably the best Jurassic sequel we have yet to receive. It was undoubtedly better than The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III, and went to new levels that Jurassic World was too afraid to go to. Though some critics may have problems with the sequel, as shown on Rotten Tomatoes, the philosophical elements, human antagonists, and horror homages are enough to make Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom the best movie in the franchise since the original Jurassic Park in 1993, serving as the Jurassic Park sequel that The Lost World should have been.