When we last saw Isla Nublar, a T-Rex was roaring its triumph over what remained of a futuristic dinosaur theme park that self-destructed when a genetically engineered monster went on a rampage that ended in the jaws of a Mosasaurus.
Now, we’re going back to a ticking time bomb of an island that threatens to burst into a volacanic eruption that could bring on extinct. Except life finds a way.
Judging from today's first trailer, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom appears to have gone back to the rugged roots of the first three movies, ditching the antiseptic feel of the park, with its control room and computerized voice-overs, for a mud-splattered thriller that barrels through the overgrown remains of that artificiality as it struggles to escape the jaws of an even more massive threat than Indominus Rex.
Every molecule of the new trailer's 66-million-year-old DNA must be analyzed, but first, here's a look at the goods...
Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) reunite in the dim mid-afternoon lighting of a bar, where he uses an equally sketchy pickup line on her, but this isn’t a date. Claire now runs the Dinosaur Protection Group. When Owen told her they should stick together “for survival” towards the end of Jurassic World, he had no idea it would bring them to the brink of a volcanic temper tantrum.
It's coming back to life...
Flying into the vicinity of the island obviously triggers intense memories for Owen. It would for you too, if you’d spent years bonding with velociraptors for a top-secret military operation.
Among the wreckage
Prehistoric flora (and fauna… somewhere) flourish among the ruins of Jurassic World, which was once so hyper-perfect you might have thought the place was a scene straight out of some twisted video game. Now all that glass is tangled in vines, and the looming gate that lured in millions of gawkers is slowly being swallowed up by trees. Remind you of anything?
Shadow of extinction
“I know why we’re here. A rescue op to save the dinosaurs from an island that’s about to explode.” Owen is barely halfway through speaking when the scene fades into the unnerving sight of an ankylosaur carcass at the side of the road, as trucks race against time to reach the preserve.
Things get volcanic
The volcano can’t possibly be erupting this early on in the movie, but it’s spliced in throughout the trailer as an adrenaline rush.
Choose your weapon
Doors to what looks like an abandoned warehouse open on Claire and her rescue team. This is another time warp to how the original nerve center of Jurassic Park looked after years of being left to the forces of nature, except there are rifles. Huge, angry rifles that are probably loaded with bullets instead of tranquilizer darts.
When Claire reminds Owen that Blue is alive, he has a flashback to training the baby raptor. If you had a feeling he hadn’t seen the last of her after Jurassic World fell, hang on…
Preserved in plastic
That table of plastic dinosaurs behind smashed glass is another flashback. They were somewhere in every Jurassic Park movie, whether it was the gift shop or next to someone’s computer, and were a kind of metaphor for how we imagine the awesomeness of dinosaurs versus the deadly reality. The only difference here is that something moves.
“Do these animals deserve the same protections given to other species, or should they just be left to die?” The voice of Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) asks this ominous question as Owen and Claire watch a brachiosaur extend its neck to the clouds and utter a mournful cry. This is also where the first three notes of that unforgettable theme come in—except now they’ve been warped to a haunting minor key.
A question of ethics
“These creatures were here before us,” Malcolm ruthlessly continues at a press conference, before we see dinosaurs breaking loose in panic and flame to a voice-over of “and if we’re not careful, they’re gonna be here after.”
Into the fire
Is this giant lizard hissing at the flames, the humans, or both?
Obviously the volcano isn’t the only thing that’s about to unleash a torrent of fire on the island. Do the chemical explosions in the background here mean someone has been trying to facilitate a man-made extinction?
…and there it is. Owen confronts Blue for the first time in years, and just when you think the raptor is going to bite his hand off and have it for lunch, she seems to listen to him…
What is this horned devil-saur? Is Carnotaurus just another species Owen wasn’t aware of before (judging by the shock on his face), or another hybrid kept secret in the dark recesses of that lab until the park’s destruction released it?
The T-Rex that you might last remember from the aerial view of Isla Nublar as that plane flew vacationers to safety emerges out of nowhere and sinks dagger teeth into the Carnotaurus's neck, before letting out a deafening roar against the backdrop of a smoking volcano. You also can’t help but ignore that those gyrosphere which were used as a fancy attraction ride in the park are now the rescuers’ mode of transportation.
Life cannot be contained...
“Life cannot be contained. Life breaks free. Life finds a way.” Maybe, Malcolm, but right now everyone and everything is running in a desperate attempt to survive. Whether life finds a way out of a killer volcano is an entirely different question.