Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom's director weighs in on that big tearjerker moment

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Jun 25, 2018, 10:42 AM EDT (Updated)

While Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is earning dino-sized disagreements among critics, and is currently batting an even 50% on Rotten Tomatoes, there is one moment that seems to be resonating with audiences. 

The fifth Jurassic film, and second in the new trilogy, starts off as a rescue mission to the now-abandoned remains of the revamped dino-friendly theme park. Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), now a pro-dino activist, enlists the help of Owen (Chris Pratt) to travel back to Isla Nubar in hopes of rescuing Blue, the hyper-intelligent raptor.

Time is not on their side, however, as Isla Nubar's prehistoric inhabitants are in danger of going extinct once again thanks to the island's now-active volcano. 

Warning: spoilers for Fallen Kingdom below

Around the halfway point, the film's main characters narrowly escape from the island of Isla Nubar as it becomes engulfed in lava thanks to a now-active volcano. Barely escaping with their own lives, Owen (Chris Pratt), Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), and newcomer Franklin (Justice Smith) hitch a ride on the boat filled with a select few species of dinosaurs.

As the boat pulls away, they watch as a lone Brachiosaurus makes it to the dock. While the ship drifts further out to sea, the mighty herbivore calls out in panic as its slowly overcome by ash, smoke, and lava. 

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, director J.A. Bayona describes that moment as "the ending of a dream that started 25 years ago. You are telling the ending of that island and the ending of that dream." 

While Fallen Kingdom portrays its dinosaurs in a much more empathetic light than previous installments, the scene is also a bit of a callback to Steven Spielberg's original Jurassic Park. Specifically, the moment when Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) stare in disbelief at an actual dinosaur for the first time, which happens to be a Brachiosaurus. 

Having seen what it looks like for actors to react to stand-in props that don't become dinosaurs until post-production, Bayona needed a way to tug at the actors' (and, eventually, the audience's) heartstrings. To do this, he played a simple, somber version of John Williams' iconic Jurassic Park theme while filming the scene. "Being there, telling that story, listening to music from John Williams, they were all very emotional."

Did the death of the Brachiosaurus leave you teary-eyed? Let us know in the comments.