‘Fallen Kingdom’ caps 25 years of ‘Jurassic’ thrills

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LOS ANGELES, June 15, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – “God creates dinosaurs, God
destroys dinosaurs, God creates Man, Man kills God, Man brings back
dinosaurs,” Jeff Goldblum deadpanned in “Jurassic Park,” released 25 years
ago this week.

It was a pithy summary of Steven Spielberg’s landmark monster movie and the
series it launched that left audiences gasping in wonder as they handed over
a dino-sized $3.8 billion for tickets over four films.

“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” — the fifth episode — comes to the US
having already opened in 48 territories, shooting to the top spot in each,
breaking several records and grossing $151 million.

“It’s wonderful that it’s still popular and not yet extinct,” Spielberg,
an executive producer on “Fallen Kingdom,” said at its Los Angeles premiere
on Tuesday.

He praised the imagination and creativity of Michael Crichton, the late
author of the novels, and revealed that he thought of the “Jurassic” series
as part of his family.

“It’s kind of like being a birth parent, and you give your kid up for
adoption but you’re really proud of the adoptive parents for doing a great
job with your original idea,” he said.

China will be running for its life from T. rex this weekend, where experts
are predicting a $100 million-plus debut, followed by Latin America and North
America on June 22. – Mass extinction –

“Jurassic World” (2015) remains among the all-time top five grossing
movies, despite competition in the intervening years from four “Star Wars”
episodes and eight releases in Disney’s Marvel comic book stable.

The latest foray among the Cretacious critters of Isla Nublar — T. rex and
the velociraptor are far too young to be considered Jurassic-period animals –
– involves the high-octane action that audiences have come to expect,
including all manner of terrifying therapods and oversized marine predators.

“We’re really thrilled. It’s been received really well critically and
commercially around the world so far,” Chris Pratt, who plays swashbuckling
raptor wrangler Owen Grady, said on the red carpet in LA.

“If the rest of the world is any indication, I think people are really
loving it and are really going to go out and see it, which is fantastic. It
means we can probably do another one.”

Directed by J.A. Bayona (“A Monster Calls”) and co-written by Colin
Trevorrow, who helmed “Jurassic World,” the movie opens three years after the
theme park was abandoned, with the dinosaurs roaming freely. Isla Nublar’s
long-dormant volcano has awoken and is spewing lava, threatening another mass
extinction.

Goldblum briefly reprises his role as Ian Malcolm, the grumpy but
perspicacious chaos mathematician from the first and second films, to make
his case for letting the big, scary lizards die off.

– Stiletto backlash –

But Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) has been transformed from the
frosty, corporate stuffed suit introduced in the last movie into a bleeding
heart animal rights activist — and she has other ideas.

Howard’s stilettos sparked a backlash to “Jurassic World,” mainly because
it was seen as absurd, if not a little sexist, to have the female lead
continually running for her life in vertiginous heels.

In a move interpreted as the franchise thumbing its nose at the critics,
Howard is still wearing six-inch pumps as she drives to old flame Owen’s
lakeside cabin to talk him into joining her on a mission to round-up and
rescue the dinosaurs.

“We hope to just honor the legacy that Michael Crichton and Steven
Spielberg began with ‘Jurassic Park’ 25 years ago. The fact that people liked
‘Jurassic World’ and also that we got to do another movie, that’s
incredible,” Howard said.

“My son is 11 and when I saw ‘Jurassic Park’ for the first time I was 12.
That means so much to me that he’s going to go to the theater and watch this
movie opening weekend with his friends.”

A sixth film, tentatively titled “Jurassic World 3,” is scheduled for
release on June 11, 2021.

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