This past weekend, our favorite dino lovers returned to the park for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, but now, the park has been destroyed by a volcano, and dinosaurs aren’t terrorizing just Dumb Disneyland but the world at large. So, some Ringer staffers reflected and opined on how, exactly, we got to this point.
1. What is your tweet-length review of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom?
Kate Halliwell: This is the first full Jurassic Park movie I’ve ever seen, and probably the last, since the recent iterations of the franchise are built on things I do not fuck with: jump scares, frightening creatures, large things in the ocean, and Chris Pratt’s mustache.
Shea Serrano: It was not very good, and I’m sad about that.
2. What was the best moment of the movie?
Surrey: The opening sequence of the movie was awesome. There were a couple of moments—when the lights went off in the submersible to let the audience know the Mosasaurus just chowed down, and the T. rex inching closer to that poor dude in the thunderstorm with each bolt of lightning—that brought back the primal thrills and clever staging of the original Jurassic Park.
Halliwell: I may be out on dinosaurs, but the dying brontosaurus on the island got me. I’m not a monster.
Bereznak: The extremely unsubtle villains! I genuinely laughed out loud during the scene when the corrupt business bro is at the auction, watching his earnings pile up on a computer screen, and suddenly dollar signs were reflected on his glasses. The shady auction host with the Trump haircut and the Russians who bought the killer dinosaurs were also a nice touch.
Also, whenever Jeff Goldblum was speaking.
Also, when Bryce Dallas Howard ran from the dinosaurs in reasonable footwear.
Serrano: When they show when Blue and the other raptors were tiny and Blue raptor-barks at them and they all fall in line.
3. What was your least favorite part of the film?
Surrey: Probably when this exceptionally silly movie made me cry! Whether it’s a dog or a CGI dinosaur, I can’t handle seeing animals in peril. The brontosaurus wailing on the dock of the island as it was subsumed by the noxious fumes of the volcano was so goddamn sad.
Halliwell: As previously stated, I hate scary creatures swimming around in the ocean. So the first five minutes of this movie were not kind to me.
Bereznak: The whole “Maisie is a secret clone” thing seemed like an unnecessary Gattaca-esque subplot to drag into a movie that already has plenty of complicated DIY biology projects happening. It was especially weird when she cited her identity as a clone as her reason for unleashing the dinosaurs on the world. People will die because of that!
Serrano: Man. A bunch. It just really lacked the fun, the excitement, the joy of the first Jurassic World.
4. Who was the MVP of Fallen Kingdom?
Surrey: The volcano, a good villain.
Halliwell: Warby Parker. (Come on, I know I wasn’t alone in admiring all the flashy eyewear.)
Bereznak: Definitely that dinosaur whose head was designed for ramming. My dude rammed through his prison cell wall, through the prison gate, and through multiple evil rich people who were participating in the dinosaur auction. Then he escaped into the woods, presumably so he could ram more things. What a hero.
Serrano: Probably Claire, but maybe Owen, but probably Claire.
5. Has your opinion of Chris Pratt improved, diminished, or stayed the same after Fallen Kingdom?
Surrey: He was, and still remains, at the bottom of the Chris Wars. There’s an entire, hilarious Twitter thread dedicated to how forgettable his Jurassic World character is—seriously, try to name his character without looking it up! Meanwhile, Chris Pine’s rising in the Chris rankings with tracksuits and a fanny pack.
Halliwell: Since Owen is basically just Star-Lord in a henley, my opinion is largely the same.
Bereznak: Chris Pratt barely had any lines! His only memorable moment was when he was flopping on the floor, trying to move his tranquilized body away from the lava. In general, he neither offended nor impressed me. My opinion—bring back Fat Pratt—remains unchanged.
Serrano: It’s stayed the same. I love him a lot. He’s exactly what I’m looking for in movies like these, which is to say someone who can be believable in the role while also not taking himself so seriously that he can’t pull off a few good jokes.
6. What did you think of the franchise’s latest genetically modified dino, the Indoraptor?
Surrey: I’m fairly certain it was only named the Indoraptor because it terrorized people indoors in this movie. Not that I’m complaining or anything—the dinosaur franchise should lean into this stuff. Here’s hoping the trilogy rounds out with some genetically modified Dino-Voltron.
Halliwell: There’s something about a dinosaur with scraggly hair that makes it 10 times creepier than the usual kind.
Bereznak: Is it me, or was that just an extra-large clone of Blue? You’d think if Dr. Henry Wu was going to partner with an evil biotech company to create an ultraintelligent and capable dinosaur, he would’ve at least tried to get a little more creative with his product packaging.
Serrano: A bore. The Indominus rex was so much better.
7. How do you feel about the velociraptors becoming the good guys?
Bereznak: What I appreciated about the original Jurassic Park movies is that we were brought to both fear and respect the velociraptors because they were dangerous and clever. In this new Jurassic universe, raptors function as literal conscious allies, which seems highly improbable. Sure, Owen Grady raised Blue, but she’s still a supervicious dinosaur that has spent the last few years living on a wild island without human contact. Let’s not forget what happened with Siegfried & Roy’s white tiger!
Serrano: I don’t mind.
8. So apparently, if dinosaurs were real, there’d be a lucrative black market for them to be used in combat. … Talk about that.
Surrey: As one of the antagonists explains, humans using animals in warfare dates back centuries. … At the same time, it’s hard to imagine a gang signing off on a hit and being like, “Send in the Stygimoloch.” But really, Fallen Kingdom is asking the audience to dispel a bit of belief and think humans are actually this stupid. I’m inclined to agree.
Halliwell: Listen, I’m anti–dinosaur warfare in theory, but I can’t help but imagine a Lord of the Rings–style fight sequence with people riding brontosauruses into battle like mumakil. That movie would make gazillions of dollars and I’d see it opening weekend.
Serrano: The only thing I was thinking about during the (literal) underground black market auction was the underground black market auction in Taken, and then that made me start thinking about how great it would be if there was a dinosaur version of Taken, and then I remembered that Jurassic Park III was basically the dinosaur version of Taken, and then I remembered that Jurassic Park III was great, and so then I was happy that I was right.
Bereznak: Theoretically, if antagonistic countries like Russia or North Korea got a hold of a bunch of dinosaurs and, I dunno, told them to attack America, wouldn’t that probably trigger a nuclear war? Or at least a lot of covert drone operations? I guess what I’m saying is, combat dinosaurs seem dangerous, but far less dangerous than the current weapons of mass destruction we have developed in their absence.
9. Fallen Kingdom ends with a ton of dinosaurs roaming around in the real world. Where does the franchise go from here?
Surrey: It really is a Jurassic world! What we’ve got is basically a franchise do-over after The Lost World bungled the T. rex terrorizing San Diego. This is ripe for more dumb dino shit. Bring on Jurassic World 3.
Halliwell: I like to think the next movie will be a How to Train Your Dragon–style comedy, where dinosaurs and humans just inexplicably coexist and all is well. The odds of this, however, do not seem particularly good.
Serrano: Hopefully back to a fucking park. We don’t need a War for the Planet of the Dinos.
Bereznak: I’m patiently awaiting a Rex in the City spinoff.