Russ Bellenie believes this final film should have been so much better
Didn’t you just love it when everyone’s favourite dinosaur became real in 1993 due to Mr. Spielberg? As a budding child paleontologist, mine was the Triceratops. Under his first watch we had great adventure and some “goonie-like” suspense. Then off course we had the other two films, and then came Jurassic World, more panoramic dino-park failures and a great new cast to boot. The second in this trilogy Fallen Kingdom (or sequels to the original three) saw Isla Nublar virtually demolished, a cloned girl and our dino buddies finally let loose across California (we wonder why this took five movies). The title ‘Fallen Kingdom’ also made us wonder if there might be biblical overtones.
So new Director Mr. Tremorrow in his second outing brings the whole Jurassic cast old and new together to tackle a host of new baddies and scarysauruses (the one with the head-fan is back but there’s also one which resembles Momo and one with long claws which will give you nightmares).
The film plot largely follows Biosyn’s protection or is it world domination using genetic manipulation? We are also treated to some lovely cinematography particularly in Malta, where raptors chase our cast across rooftops.
We lose our dominion over the animals, but that’s not the worst thing about this film!
In Jurassic Park, Dr Ian Malcom (Jeff Goldblum), who has become the franchise’s scientific conscience said “God creates Dinosaurs, God Destroys Dinosaurs, God Creates Man, Man Destroys God, Man Creates Dinosaurs.” After this we assume there will be anti-creationist awakenings and true to form in Dominion, we have a genetically cloned girl and Malcolm delivering a message antithetical to Scripture, telling a classroom of students that humans “have no more right to safety or liberty than any other creature on this planet.” “We not only lack dominion over nature, we’re subordinate to it,” he says. (Genesis 1:26 says exactly the opposite). There is definitely an evolutionary message going on here, but redemptively also some likeable family values as cloned Maisie realises her true belonging alongside some scientific remorse for bad breeding.
In essence the dodgy spiritual values are something parents need to be wary of, but apart from the dino-action, the film itself isn’t that great either. Our kids do need to know who God is and how in Christ (the second Adam) we can regain dominion which the first Adam lost; hence the fallen kingdom doesn’t need to crash and burn. They also need to recognize that the world’s spirit of compromise would lead us to mix biblical truth with mother nature themes where the absolutes of a sovereign God become weak, ineffectual and subordinated to creation; Romans 1:25 comes to mind here where creation is worshipped above the Creator. But as I alluded to another challenging thing about this final piece of the franchise is also some embarrassing “Goldblum” comedy, poorly scripted teaming of old and new cast (the new outshone the old, but they joined two eras which should have remained separate) and never-ending plot twists which left me yearning for the credits.
I loved Jurassic Park, World and Fallen Kingdom, but with Dominion, it wasn’t so much that the Gigantosaurus dominated the earth but that Team Dinosaur in general became the most interesting lead actors. Maybe that’s the real point of Dr Malcolm’s “subordinated” speech!?