After more than two years of waiting and six months of radio silence from the production team, we’ve just seen the trailer for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom!
The trailer opens with Claire and Owen, pretty clearly not in a romantic relationship anymore (that might be subject to change, considering “Anyone Who Knows What Love Is” is playing) in a bar, talking about dinosaurs. Since this is the same scene as a teaser released earlier today, I’m extrapolating from that:
Claire is convincing Owen to go back to the island and reminds him of his dino-daughter, and then we see the famous Baby Blue sequence, confirming that it was in fact a flashback and it’s actually a younger version of Blue that we’re seeing here, as opposed to her baby or a clone. I’m not quite sure why Owen is wearing the same clothes in this shot that he wears throughout the rest of Fallen Kingdom, but he seems to favor the blue shirt and brown vest combo, so it’s not too big a deal. Apparently I was right about this being the first time Blue has ever gotten so comfortable around Owen– in fact, this was the first time he’d ever seen a dinosaur. By the way things are going with the rest of the film, this will probably be the only truly Spielbergian moment of pure dino wonder that we get, besides one particular moment later on in this trailer. Although I’m always a sucker for majestic dinosaur moments, the previous JW covered that element pretty well, so one sequence in this one should do it. And far be it from me, of course, to complain about anything involving babies. My love for domesticated, dog-like dinosaurs (if Blue was like this as a hatchling, she and the others were definitely trained, or learned to, be as vicious and dangerous as they were in Jurassic World. I wonder if Hoskins had anything to do with that) is finally being expressed on the big screen. My heart bursts.
That and the shot of Owen in the plane afterwards are really reminiscent of JP3. I never thought I’d see the day that a JP movie made a callback to JP3, but I guess it is part of the beloved original trilogy. Owen also reeks of JP3 Grant in the beginning of this, having to be convinced to go back to the island; he doesn’t seem to care much about dinosaurs anymore, which makes sense considering that he saw so many people and the raptors that were basically his children being killed before his eyes. Also, he knows that Isla Nublar is about to get blown up, and he doesn’t care. In fact, I get the impression that he hadn’t even considered the idea of Blue still being alive, or he’d deliberately tried to forget her. “Hero of previous movies loses his enthusiasm for dinosaurs and is dragged back to the island” is basically a JP trope now, so I can’t exactly call it a distinct TLW or JP3 callback, but it’s certainly continuing the traditions of the old trilogy.
Next, after these beautiful shots–
— we see the circumstances under which Ian Malcolm is testifying: he’s talking to an ethics counsel about the rights of dinosaurs and whether they should be protected. Just to get it out of the way: I totally called that. I also totally called that he’s gained an amount of respect for dinosaurs, enough that he’s advocating for them to be treated fairly and for it to be respected that “these creatures were here before us”. Considerably less impassioned than his previous dinosaur-related rants, but still very clearly Ian Malcolm.
I’ve also previously said that if Ian (and Grant and Ellie with their respective famous lines, if they’ve cashed in on their Jurassic Park fame as much as Ian has) ever brings out his “life finds a way” speech again, as he frequently does in fanfics and does later on in the trailer, it would be in front of a crowd. I would think that Ian’s appearance here is a minor celebrity event, and he’s bringing out his old lines to sway the crowd and hopefully the board of ethics as well. He’s probably getting paid pretty well to show up here, smile slyly and whip out a few of his best quotes. He’s got a nice living going, he hasn’t been involved with dinosaurs for a long while and isn’t visibly traumatized anymore, and he’s taken control of his public image and popularity and gone back to his old, suave self. That’s all I wanted out of his appearance in this movie, honestly.
Assuming this big warehouse of captured dinosaurs belongs to the Dinosaur Protection Group, and not the military or whoever else is on Nublar shipping out dinos, the Protection Group must be an even bigger operation than I’d thought, and Claire, Owen and the rest of the ragtag group must just be the surveyors or something. In any case, dinosaur rescue is a surprisingly big issue here, considering the incident that they’d caused recently and how common and unexciting they are now, as stated by Claire at the beginning of Jurassic World. I would think that people would be totally okay with leaving the dinosaurs alone and not letting anyone else get hurt by them. When I say that, I’m assuming that Wu’s plan succeeded and dinosaurs are already being genetically engineered and used on the mainland, and the dinos on Nublar aren’t the only ones in the world anymore; it’s entirely possible that the dinosaurs brought from the island will be the first ones to donate their DNA to corporations, the military, et cetera, and that the animal rights issues that the movie deals with won’t really arise until the various teams’ mission has succeeded and the denizens of Nublar have been brought to the mainland.
As we saw in yesterday’s behind-the-scenes video, Owen meets Blue again, in what must be the area near the old T. rex paddock judging by the upside-down Explorer in the background. Bayona is literally burning everything we know and love about the first Jurassic Park, but at least he’s squeezing in as many references as he can before we never see Isla Nublar again. “You know me,” Owen whispers to her, and she almost goes in to be petted, but then screeches “I HATE YOU, DAD” at him in raptor language.
Here’s one of the few times that I’m happy to be wrong. Yesterday, I said that it was very unlikely that we’d get a good, suspenseful, TLW novel-inspired scene with an angry mother carnotaurus. Well:
Not only is this a dinosaur we’ve waited since 1995 to see in a Jurassic Park movie, the CGI on her is fantastic. Bayona is using a ton of animatronics for this movie, and it really beautifully shows.
Every recurring character in these movies has a catch phrase or an action or a motif that defines them. Ian Malcolm has “life finds a way”. Owen has his raptor-taming pose. Claire has that “I can’t believe I’m sitting here putting up with this right now” look. And Rexy has snapping the neck of smaller dinosaurs and roaring over them like the world’s biggest badass. Just like the shot of Owen riding his motorcycle with the Raptor Squad in the first trailer so long ago, this is without a doubt the moment of pure concentrated awesome that everyone will be talking about until (and after) the movie comes out. There’s nothing else I can say about it. I’m breathing heavily as I type this. I seriously hope Rexy doesn’t die or suffer a fate worse than death on the mainland, but if that’s what has to happen, this is a hell of a last hurrah.
As Claire and Justice Smith ride away in a gyrosphere, leaving Owen to run behind them and be swallowed up by a cloud of ash, we get a closer look at the mystery dinosaur from the first teaser. I’ll update this if any official word comes out as to its identity, but for now we’re left to guess for ourselves. Its snout looks way too short to be Baryonyx or Suchomimus (although, as many have pointed out on Twitter, the snout on the movie’s confirmed Baryonyx is way too short anyway) so if I had to make a definite claim, I’d say it’s an Allosaurus that we never saw on the website (or a serious variation on the Metriacanthosaurus that we did) but we’ll have to see.
The last shot in the trailer is Claire and Justice Smith’s Gyrosphere careening over a cliff and into the ocean, and when I first saw it, I got unbelievably excited because I thought I saw Mosasaurus swimming around in the water, right before where the Gyrosphere falls in.
However, looking at it again, it’s more than likely a triceratops or one of the many other dinosaurs that jump/fall off the cliff as well. That shot, with the chunks of volcanic rock falling into the water like volcanoes from the sky, as well as this one–
–are satisfyingly reminiscent of the classic image of the dinosaurs’ extinction, with herds of dinosaurs frantically fleeing as clouds of ash envelop everything. As incredibly sad as it is to see all of those dinosaurs die, this is a pretty artsy and pleasingly choreographed way to do it, with the Cretaceous extinction practically being replicated. As for the ocean scene, it’ll obviously be a suspenseful sequence with the two heroes trying to escape and swim to the surface (and Owen diving in to rescue them; the end of that scene will likely take place on the East Dock, and that’s probably where we got these photos from) but there’s still a distinct possibility that Mosasaur will show up in the water with them. We just gotta believe.
After all that waiting, I can officially say that the trailer was completely worth it. The director really likes his drab color scheme, but the plot and special effects more than make up for it. Some of the CGI still needs to be worked on, but the practical effects like Blue and the carnotaur are unbelievably well-done. We’re reaching almost a critical point with the Fallen Kingdom hype with all the new footage and details coming out, but we’ve waited so long and everything looks so good that we’ll be revelling in this for quite a while. Let me know what you thought of the trailer in the comments, join the party on Twitter, and go watch the trailer again!