Go for the dinosaurs

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 09 Jun 2018 11:30:05



Jurassic World  Fallen Kingdom

By Aasawari Shenolikar

“These creatures were here before us, and if we’re not careful, they’re going to be here after. Life cannot be contained. Life breaks free. Life finds a way. Genetic power has now been unleashed, you can’t put it back in the box,” responds Dr Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) to a question by a committee deliberating on whether to save the dinosaurs from an impending volcanic eruption that will destroy Isla Nublar, the lone island housing the many species of man-made dinosaurs. (Remember Dr. Hammond created them in Jurassic Park way back in 1993)  The movie in question is Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom - the much awaited sequel to Jurassic World, a spin off of the original Steven Speilberg directed Jurassic Park that went on to break many box office records.

JA Bayona directed Jurassic World takes off from the prequel and follows a pretty predictable path. There are the good guys and the bad guys - the good guys are the dino lovers and they want to save these giants - the dinos, some of whom are gentle and bring on the ‘awww’ moments and some downright scary - that force the kids to scamper to the restrooms again and again. So the dinos, big and small also fall into the same category - the good ones who chomp on leaves and with benevolent eyes look at the world around and the raptorial, jaw snapping, roaring bad ones (like T-rex and in this one the Indoraptor that thinks like a human) - who want to destroy everything in their wake.

Dr Lockwood contacts Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) and asks to help evacuate dinosaurs from Isla Nublar, the island whose very existence is being threatened by a lava spewing mountain. She gets in touch with Owen (Chris Pratt) because of his ability and expertise in communicating with Blue, a dino that Owen has helped reared in the previous outing. They rope in two more people - a computer whiz, scared to fly in an aeroplane and a feisty doctor, expert in dino treatment (even though she hasn’t seen or treated a dino ever in her life). After Blue is captured, the bad guys whose job is to help transfer the 11 species of dinosaurs in captivity to Lockwood Estate where they would be auctioned to buyers from around the world, cast off in their ship, minutes before the island is engulfed by molten lava. Owen and Claire manage to get on the ship, and after embarking and being shifted to the Lockwood estate, become aware of the scheming tricksters and what they have in mind. Time for the dinos to snap and go berserk. Man vs beast time, time for some super fast action with innumerable terrifying close calls when the predatory dino could have just snapped one up in its massive bone crunching jaws. Time also for a few poignant moments - when a gentle giant stands at the edge of the pier watching the ship sail and moaning as the lava spreads and engulfs the area, and with it - her life too!

So even while the plot is pretty much a rehash of sorts of the previous dino flicks, a lab where scientists are busy mixing DNA from different dinos and creating bigger and scarier monsters, the scheming manager whose sole aim is minting money, the museum like mansion with staircases that resemble a DNA strand, the bad guys getting chomped up or stomped down by the wild dinos and the good guys being blessed by lady luck (so probably they can go on and star in the next franchise) to stay alive and kicking till the last scene, looking longingly at the last dino that storms into the dense forest, the dinosaurs engage and enthrall.

Claire and Owen have their task cut out - they not only have to outrun the molten lava, hot at their heels, literally - but also have to deal with the conniving bad guys and the rampaging dinosaurs. Three much, I'd say! Predictable it is, flawed in characterisation and execution it is, but Bayona’s handling of the action sequences is adept and keeps the viewers on the edge of their seats. This is commendable given the fact that one knows what exactly is going to happen next. The music complements the visual imagery and is pretty effective in raising the scary quotient a notch. Bigger, better CGI effects, scarier, darker - all this Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom definitely is, but not this, nor any of the sequels made before this can match the wonderment of the original Jurassic Park that still has the power to cast a spell on the audience - not only for the spectacular visual images, many memorable scenes, and its bold storytelling but also for the emotional connect that the audience could feel with the characters on screen.

But then as Dr Malcolm speculates - who is the real culprit - is the moot question here. For after all is it not man, who is forever interfering with the process of nature, manipulating, creating, delving into things that are best left untouched, the real villain here? Food for thought! At the end, imagine if all this were true , imagine you are walking in an alley and a T rex is rambling from the opposite end - difficult to put the manipulated genetics back into a box. Right?!!

The Hitavada Rating: OOO