Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is the fourth sequel to 1993's Jurassic Park and, like every sequel to come before it, the film makes sure to reference that first installment every chance it gets. 2015's Jurassic World sent its characters on a brief tour of the original park, with plenty of shots of the night vision goggles and the classic jeeps, but the sequel goes even deeper, including several allusions to Steven Spielberg's classic.
These callbacks range from the overt to the more subtle, but it's impossible to mistake them for anything other than what they are - repeated reminders of what first made us fall in love with this franchise, and why we keep coming back (no matter how underwhelming even the better sequels tend to be).
- This Page: The Brachiosaurus, A Dinosaur Stampede & More
- Page 2: Raptors Opening Doors, Clever Girl Redux & More
That Killer Opening
The opening scene of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom sets the tone for the film, and in doing so, ties itself closely to Jurassic Park right from the start. In the opening scenes of both films, workers involved in transporting a dinosaur - or in Jurassic World 2's case, a piece of a dinosaur - meet a grisly end in the jaws of some terrifying beast. Both scenes are here to establish the same thing: the danger at hand, enforcing from the start that some dinosaurs are deadly predators who won't hesitate to make tasty meals out of humans.
Jurassic World 2's opening doesn't just crib the killing of nameless characters from Jurassic Park (and Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World, for that matter); it also manages to pay homage to that film's famous T-Rex chase scene. The whole mood of the Jurassic World 2's opening - with the heavy rains, high winds, and uneasy feeling - is reminiscent of the Jurassic Park scene where the jeeps are first discovered after the initial T-Rex attack, and by recreating it, Jurassic World 2 primes audiences for what's next. The hapless worker can't distinguish between the booming volcano and the booming steps of the T-Rex, but fans will know exactly what's coming for him.
Zia's First Dinosaur Sighting
The moment in Jurassic Park where Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler, and Ian Macolm first see a live dinosaur - the majestic and massive Brachiosaurus, to be specific - is now an iconic moment not just for the franchise, but in the history of cinema. Fallen Kingdom does its best to recreate this magic moment, having paleo-veterinarian Zia Rodriguez exit the armored vehicles in order to get her first glimpse of a living dinosaur - also a Brachiosaurus - as they enter the ruins of Jurassic World's plaza. The scene never really lives up to the splendor of the original, but it's clearly an attempt at evoking the same sense of wonder at the dinosaurs in its characters, and by extension, the audience.
Running From The Stampede
The reason for Jurassic World 2's characters needing to return yet again to Isla Nublar involves a volcano which at any moment will erupt and destroy the whole island. That inevitable eruption is what leads to those scenes of Owen, Claire, and Franklin running for their lives from a stampede of dinosaurs who are also running for their lives from the coming lava. It's a heart-pounding sequence, but it's the moment of them taking cover behind an old log that comes across as a clear callback to Dr. Grant, Tim, and Lex hiding from a stampede of Gallimimus in Jurassic Park. And in fact, it's where the scene goes next that makes this an even stronger allusion.
While Owen, Claire, and Franklin are hiding behind the log as it's struck by stampeding dinosaurs, the repeated impacts eventually free a wedged gyrosphere. This is their chance to escape, but before Owen can get in the gyrosphere behind Claire and Franklin, a Carnotaurus shows up to menace them in a manner that's strikingly similar to the T-Rex attacking the jeeps in Jurassic Park. As Owen evades the Carnotaurus, the gyrosphere spins around and round, eventually causing the pod's door to shut and seal, locking Owen out. But before Owen becomes dinochow, the T-Rex herself shows up and takes a bite out of the Carnotaurus, tying the whole scenario back to Jurassic Park's Gallimimus stampede, where the T-Rex also grabbed a bite to eat while on the move.
Death of the Brachiosaurus
The eruption of the volcano and the ensuing scramble of both man and beast to get off the island is one of Jurassic World 2's most thrilling sequences, but it's the sequence's final shot that will stick with audiences well after the credits roll. Having just barely made it on to one of the boats fleeing the island, Owen and Claire look back at the dock where a lone Brachiosaurus stands and wails as it's consumed by the oncoming lava and ash. The image is absolutely harrowing, a real punch to the gut, and sure to become one of Jurassic World 2's most memorable moments.
Maisie & The Egg Incubators
The Brachiosaurus may be the first living dinosaur that Alan and Ellie see in Jurassic Park, but the first dinosaur they actually get to interact with is a baby Velociraptor. The scene comes during the tour of the Jurassic Park's breeding facility when, after rudely disembarking from the guided tour early, Alan and Ellie get to witness the birth of a baby raptor up close. This scene gets referenced, however briefly, in Jurassic World 2 when Maisie places her hands on the glass incubator and peers at the dinosaur eggs in Lockwood Estate's basement lab. The connection to the raptors is made all the stronger when she later watches archival video of Owen training Jurassic World's young raptors, proving again that even the most fearsome creatures are cute when they're babies.
- Jurassic World 3 (2021) release date: Jun 11, 2021