Jacksonville Pastors Conference

REVIEW: Is ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ OK for younger children?

June 22nd, 2018 / By: Michael Foust / comments

REVIEW: Is ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ OK for younger children?

Claire Dearing is a “dinosaur rights activist” who refuses to let these marvelous creatures disappear from Earth a second time.

Formerly operations manager of the now-defunct Jurassic World theme park, she heads the Dinosaur Protection Group, which is pressing Congress to rescue the few remaining dinosaurs from Isla Nublar – the same dinosaurs that were abandoned after they escaped and began threatening (and eating) visitors three years earlier. It seems a volcano is days away from erupting and killing all of them.

Many people question Dearing’s sanity, but her motives are pure. As she tells a congresswoman: Don’t we want our grandchildren to experience what we’ve witnessed? Dinosaurs, she says, deserve the same protections as other animals.

All hope seems lost when Congress refuses to take action, but then a wealthy dinosaur lover -- Benjamin Lockwood – offers to help. He was involved in the previous dinosaur-cloning phase and now wants to make things right by placing them on another island -- and then leaving them alone.

“We will save them … for a gift for our children,” he says.

Dearing successfully recruits dinosaur whisperer Owen Grady and a team of enthusiasts to help out. Can they transfer the dinosaurs to the other island without chaos ensuing?

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (PG-13) opens this weekend, starring Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World, Pete’s Dragon) as Dearing, Chris Pratt (Jurassic World, Guardians of the Galaxy series) as Grady, and Rafe Spall (The Big Short) as Lockwood’s assistant, Eli Mills. It is the fifth installment in the Jurassic Park series and the second movie in the modern trilogy.

The newest film is every bit as intense as those earlier films and deserves its PG-13 label, even if it is fun for older moviegoers.

Warning: minor/moderate spoilers!

(Scale key: Minimal, moderate, extreme)

Violence/Disturbing

Moderate. The film opens with an eerie stormy scene, and we see a man chased by a T-rex and then eaten by another dinosaur. Grady and the men chase a dinosaur in the forest; the men shoot it with a tranquilizer. A man is shot with a tranquilizer in the forest and left to die. We watch an intense chase scene that involves two people trying to climb a ladder. The volcano erupts, sending people and dinosaurs fleeing. Dinosaurs fight one another several times in the film. Two main characters nearly drown. We see a T-rex eat a live goat. A dinosaur bites off a man’s arm and then eats people in an elevator (we see the former but don’t see the latter). Grady gets involved in a fight that involves shooting and punching. A meat-eating dinosaur chases a little girl up the stairs and down the hallway of a house. (She survives.)   

Sexuality/Sensuality

Minimal. Grady and Dearing kiss. Dearing displays cleavage in one scene.

Coarse Language

Moderate. About 17 words: d—n (4), OMG (3), h-ll (3), misuse of “Jesus” (2), misuse of “God” (1), SOB (1), s—t (1), ba—ard (1) and a—(1). Also: pi—d (1) and an unfinished s—t (1).

Other Stuff You Might Want To Know

Dearing and Grady drink beer in a restaurant. A character tells a Senate panel that “God’s not part of the equation” as to whether the dinosaurs live or die.

Life Lessons

Dearing, Grady and the film’s other “good guys” aren’t after money. They simply care about the safety of the dinosaurs. They also display an amazing amount of self-sacrifice and are willing to die to save one another.

Worldview

It’s tempting to watch Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and assume the movie doesn’t apply to us. After all, cloned dinosaurs don’t exist in our world – and most scientists say it’s impossible, anyway. But scientists are debating cloning the wooly mammoth, another extinct animal. In the newest Jurassic World, Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) continues his warning about the ethical implications of the science.

If we dig a little deeper, we will see even more worldview (and application) from the film. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a society without scientific ethics or boundaries. Dinosaurs are created solely for monetary gain. And what does our scientific world look like? Children with the DNA from three parents are being created in laboratories. Excess “parts” from aborted babies are being used for research. “Designer babies” are being formed in petri dishes. Babies in the womb are being aborted based on their gender or genetic makeup.  

No, we’re not resurrecting dinosaurs. What we’re doing is far, far worse.  

Sponsors

If you haven’t seen items sporting the Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom logo, you soon will. Walmart, Dr. Pepper, Doritos, Mars candy, Kellogg’s and Dairy Queen are all partners.

What Works

The computerized dinosaurs are more detailed and more realistic than the 1990s versions. It’s impressive. The chase scenes – even though we know how most of them are going to end -- never get old. Also, the film does a nice job in setting up the third film. 

What Doesn’t

An underwater scene in which two characters nearly drown. It’s odd and unrealistic. Also, I’m growing tired of watching a bigger dinosaur attacking a smaller dinosaur just when it’s threating a human. That movie trick has been used too much.

Discussion Questions

  1. Do you support the real-world effort to bring back the mammoth? Why or why not?
  2. Would you bring back the dinosaurs if you could?
  3. List three forms of unethical scientific research in our world.  
  4. Was the correct decision made by pressing the button? What would you have done?
  5. One character said of the dinosaurs: “God’s not part of the equation.” Did you agree or disagree?

Entertainment rating: 3 out of 5 stars. Family-friendly rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of science-fiction violence and peril.