This probably goes without saying, but I’m about to spoil Fallen Kingdom.
If the second film in a trilogy is supposed to ensure that you’d instantly pay to see the final film right afterwards, if given the option, then oh boy does J.A. Bayona’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom succeed in that particular department. In fact, so good is the tease for “Jurassic World 3” that it’s already my most anticipated movie of the next few years.
As we recently learned, the third installment in the Jurassic World franchise, planned at this time to be the final installment, is being directed by Jurassic World‘s Colin Trevorrow and will be unleashed into theaters on June 11, 2021. What we knew about the sequel, heading into this weekend, was that Trevorrow recently described it as being a “science thriller,” adding that he was looking forward to “getting a little back into the Paleontological, wild animal, true dinosaur nature of all of it.”
Having seen Fallen Kingdom, we now have a much better idea of what he was talking about. The main thrust of the Fallen Kingdom storyline is that Isla Nublar, the former home of both Jurassic Park and Jurassic World, is completely decimated by the eruption of a massive volcano we never knew was on the premises. Fortunately, *most* of the remaining dinosaurs on the island are evacuated before being melted by the sinister orange lava, brought to the home of Benjamin Lockwood, the former partner of the late John Hammond (who we never knew existed). While some of them are sold off in an auction to be used by rich businessmen for presumably nefarious purposes, most of them – including Blue and the T-Rex – are set free into the world, totally unrestrained and left to their own devices.
As Jeff Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm perfectly points out in a closing monologue that wraps up his brief-but-important return, the Earth has literally become… Jurassic World.
Fallen Kingdom comes to a close with some pretty ominous imagery, as the surviving dinosaurs of both parks are running around in *our* world; the T-rex faces off with a lion at the zoo, Blue races around on mountaintops, and the always-hungry Mosasaurus prepares to make a hot lunch out of an unlucky surfer at the beach. Even though the trailers already showed off all of those moments months before the movie was released, for whatever stupid reason, the images are no less chilling and awe-inspiring when seen in context.
There’s even a post-credits scene at the very end of Fallen Kingdom, a first for the franchise, which shows a group of Pterosaurs flying high above Las Vegas!
Granted, Fallen Kingdom‘s teasers for the next installment aren’t necessarily brand new for the franchise, per se. One of the most memorable aspects of Steven Spielberg’s The Lost World: Jurassic Park was the film’s final act, wherein the massive T-rex was transported to San Diego. The beast is eventually returned to Isla Sorna, but not before it goes on a rampage through the city. Only in the film’s last fifteen minutes does it make its way off the island, but the imagery of the prehistoric monster roaming around San Diego is pretty fantastic. Most memorably, the T-rex traipses around the backyard of a home, walking past a child’s bedroom window and then drinking from the pool; later, it runs wild in the streets, destroying a bus and forcing it into the storefront of a Blockbuster Video. Who’s extinct now, bitch.
Needless to say, the final act of The Lost World was bold new territory for the franchise, but it only briefly touched upon the potential for the series to leave the island behind completely and bring the dinosaurs into our world; Jurassic Park III, I needn’t remind you, went right back to the island. But Fallen Kingdom is a different beast entirely, with its final act promising the film that The Lost World left you hungry to see all those years ago. By literally demolishing Isla Nublar, Bayona’s film essentially kills off what you’ve come to know the franchise to be and opens up the endless possibilities of what it can be, going forward. In Jurassic World 3, we’re not going back to the island. The island is gone. Instead, Bayona promises of Trevorrow’s 2021 film, we’re entering a world where dinosaurs and human beings are going to have to truly co-exist for the very first time in the franchise.
It would seem that Jurassic World 3 will be the closest thing to an adaptation of Topps’ brutal Dinosaurs Attack! trading card line that we may ever see, as we can only imagine the unleashed dinosaurs will be rampaging and devouring everything (and everyone) in their path. Sure, Fallen Kingdom may have done a great job making us empathize with those dinos, who never asked to be cooked up in a lab in direct defiance of the natural order of things, but you can only imagine how they’ll behave when presented with an entirely new food source. By the looks of things, humans are going to drop way down to the bottom of the food chain once 2021 rolls around.
If only we didn’t have to wait three years to see how it all plays out, eh?