Warning: SPOILERS ahead for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
The end of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom simply doesn’t make any sense – though it’s clear setup for 2021’s Jurassic World 3, a film that will surely live up to the promise of being about a “Jurassic World.” That was part of Colin Trevorrow’s original vision for the franchise; he always pitched this as a trilogy with a beginning, a middle, and an end. It’s all one big story, told over the course of three films.
Unfortunately, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom suffers from what novelists sometimes call the “saggy middle syndrome.” It’s where a writer has a concrete idea of the beginning and end of the tale, but they haven’t quite thought through how the bridge between the start and end of their story works. In Fallen Kingdom, (which was directed by J.A. Bayona and co-written by Trevorrow) that’s symbolized by a disjointed narrative and a strange attempt to switch genres at the halfway point. But unfortunately, that’s not all. The film’s ending – pivotal in setting up the future of the franchise – sadly falls flat. It contains a number of critical errors that just don’t quite work.
- This Page: The Clone Twist and Dr. Malcolm
- Page 2: Does The Ending Even Work As Setup?
The Clone Twist
The biggest twist in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is that the Lockwoods have perfected human cloning. Maisie isn’t Lockwood’s granddaughter – she’s actually a clone of his daughter. That, it seems, is the in-universe reason for why we never heard of Lockwood in any of the earlier films; he and Hammond had a falling-out, with Hammond objecting to the idea of human cloning. The twist is signposted quite clearly, most notably with Lockwood refusing to let Maisie see any photos of her mother. A more subtle detail is the way the excellent Isabella Sermon portrays the character, with the girl cocking her head in a way that’s reminiscent of Blue. Then, when the time is right, the film literally shouts out the key revelation. It does so for a simple, functional reason; the script needs Maisie to empathize with the dinosaurs in order to save them from extinction.
Will this idea actually be developed in Jurassic World 3? The concept of human cloning takes the franchise in a whole new direction – but one that feels ever-so-slightly off-brand. This franchise is about people surviving in a world of dinosaurs, not the ethical implications of human cloning. Frankly, this major idea actually feels as though it exists purely for the moment when Maisie presses a button and frees the dinosaurs.
Ian Malcolm’s Senate Hearings
Marketing for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has stressed the importance of Jeff Goldblum’s Dr. Ian Malcolm, but in reality he plays only a minor role. The beginning and end of the film feature what seem to be two different Senate Hearings, in which Dr. Malcolm gives his testimony. It makes perfect sense that he’d be called as an expert witness, but it does feel rather anticlimatic given how much hype there’d been about Goldblum’s return to the franchise.
This also doesn’t make much sense. Look carefully, and it’s too clear that Goldblum turned up for a single afternoon of filming (he’s even wearing the same suit in both shots). And why has the second Senate hearing actually been called anyway? The first one was a response to the imminent volcanic eruption on Isla Nublar. Given volcanologists would probably have been able to spot that eruption coming well over a year before it happened, there was plenty of time for the Senate hearing to be called. But the liberation of the dinosaurs is an unexpected event, and the authorities should probably be busy reacting to the fact that a Tyrannosaurus rex is wandering around the streets and that Pteranodons are flying over Las Vegas. This is far too sudden an emergency to call a long, drawn-out Senate hearing that will likely take months to reach a consensus.
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