Dinosaurs are back, and so are their protectors Owen Brady and Claire Dearing in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. In the sequel to Jurassic World (2015), the leads have to grapple with duplicitous allies and an impending volcano eruption that threatens to destroy all the dinosaurs at the fictional Isla Nublar, the home of the now-defunct Jurassic World theme park.
JA Bayona takes over as director from Colin Trevorrow, who has co-written the sequel with Derek Connolly. The movie will be released in India in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu on June 7, two weeks before it hits the screens in the United States of America. It will compete at the Indian box office with the Rajnikanth-starrer Kaala.
The fantasy adventure is the second entry in the Jurassic World trilogy and the fifth in the Jurassic Park franchise that began with Steven Spielberg’s classic in 1993. Chris Pratt reprises his role as dinosaur trainer Owen, while Bryce Dallas Howard returns as Claire, former Jurassic World manager-turned-dinosaur rights activist. New additions to the cast include Isabella Sermon, Rafe Spall, Justice Smith and Geraldine Chaplin.
Fallen Kingdom is set four years after the events of the 2015 film, which ended with the destruction of the Isla Nublar theme park after a hybrid predator escaped from captivity. The remaining cloned dinosaurs on the island are left to fend for themselves. When the island is threatened by a volcano eruption, Claire decides to evacuate the creatures to a facility in the United States of America. She teams up with with Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell), once the partner of John Hammond, who pioneered the theme park project in Jurassic Park (1993). Her boyfriend, Owen, jumps in to assist – he cannot resist the pull of the place where he once worked as a trainer, especially since his beloved raptor Blue is somewhere on the island.
“He’s coming to terms with his responsibility in working with the raptors and ultimately what the final intention with these things could be,” Owen said about his character in an interview to Slashfilm. “…what brings him there is not so much saving the dinosaurs, it’s protecting Claire; his love for her. He knows she’s too big-headed. He knows she’s going to go. He’s not going to let her go on her own, so it’s his love for her that brings him back to the island. At first. Through the course he realises there’s a little bit more to his relationship with Blue.”
Blue and Owen had developed a special bond in the 2015 film as he had trained the female Velociraptor since her birth. At the end of the first film, Blue was the last surviving raptor on the island and helped defeat the hybrid dinosaur.
Owen’s “hold-it-there” gesturing motion during his training of Blue and the other raptors, which inspired a hilarious tribute by zoo keepers, is also back in the new movie.
While Jurassic World was a global blockbuster, it was panned for its portrayal of Claire Dearing, who played second fiddle to Owen and was always in high heels even while on the run from dinosaurs. In the early portions of the film, she was shown as career-driven and thereby unsympathetic and lacking maternal instincts. “Claire didn’t have to be a feminist icon, but we deserved more,” film critic Jada Yuan wrote about the film in Vulture. “She deserved more. In the end, her great takeaway seems to be that it’s time to stop being a frigid bitch and start popping out babies.”
Bayona assured that the sequel would flesh out Claire’s character. “Of course, there was a lot of criticism on the first movie, and we all were very aware of it,” Bayona told Den of Geek. “But, for me, it was (a) natural thing to give more to the character of Claire because all my movies, I always had a female character in the centre. So, for me it was the most natural thing to do, focus on Claire at the same level that Owen.”
Some of the familiar baddies have returned in Fallen Kingdom. After a brief role in Jurassic Park (1993), Dr Henry Wu (BD Wong) was back in the 2015 film as the geneticist who headed the dinosaur cloning project for the revived theme park. In the sequel, he has more evil designs up his sleeve.
James Cromwell’s Benjamin Lockwood turns out to be a villain disguised as an ally. He cons Owen and Claire into bringing the dinosaurs to an American sanctuary for his own selfish motives.
Other new antagonists include Eli Mills (Toby Jones), Lockwood’s aide and Gunnar Eversoll (Rafe Spall), an arms dealer who sells dinosaurs at auctions.
As if human villains were not enough, a new hybrid dinosaur named Indoraptor also runs amok, causing mayhem.
The film brings back familiar faces from the original franchise, including fan favourite chaos theorist Ian Malcolm, played by Jeff Goldblum. “These creatures were here before us and and if we are not careful, they are going to be here after,” Goldblum’s character warns in the trailer. Goldblum first made his appearance as Dr Ian Malcolm in the 1993 original.
Steven Spielberg, who directed the first two films from the original franchise, is the executive producer for the new production.
In an interview, Bayona gave credit for the franchise’s success to Spielberg. “I think in these movies you have a voice, which is Steven Spielberg,” Bayona told Den of Geek. “I think he created the franchise, he supervised all the movies and he is, all the time, supervising the biggest decisions, the most important decisions. We’re always taking consideration of that.”
The release date of the third and final installment has already been announced: June 11, 2021.