3 Stars - Disturbing
The danger of DNA manipulation is the ongoing theme of the Jurrasic World franchise with this fifth film: Fallen Kingdom. Having seen both the danger and the potential in this revitalization of dinosaurs the struggle magnifies after the loss of the amusement park in the previous films. Now the animal activists fight to save their lives while the military-industrial complex seeks to own them as samples for future generations as well as the possibility of weaponizing these carnivores for military advantage.
In this latest film in the series, the island on which the dinosaurs had been captive is under threat of volcanic destruction. This natural disaster has brought the various factions to a crisis point as the creatures’ survival is threatened. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) recommends that they be allowed to become extinct since trying to coexist with them as humans will be extremely dangerous. But Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) wants to save them. When Claire’s request for assistance is turned down by the US Congress, she is “miraculously” given the opportunity to return to the island and save them by capturing and transferring them to another island sanctuary. It is then that the plot of intersecting intentions magnifies.
We won’t spoil the intrigue except to note that Claire is used to get animal behaviorist Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to return with her in order to capture a highly intelligent predator he had raised named Blue, a female velociraptor. Having shown that she could be taught to create an empathetic bond, Grady is the only one capable of facilitating her capture. Recognizing that Blue could be the key to a new relationship between humans and dinosaurs, both good and evil people desire her.
In this series we continue to have the Lockwood family and foundation involved. We also have the genetic scientist from the island who is continuing his work with the Lockwood foundation and we are introduced to a granddaughter of Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell), a young preteen named Maisie (Isabella Sermon). Her place in the story is vital to the ongoing saga and ethical issues.
As in most science fiction films, the Jurrasic franchise is suggesting what the end result will be if we continue our manipulation of the DNA of plants and animals, and perhaps humans. Do we have the wisdom to know the unexpected consequences of its well-intentioned use or do we have the power to control the nefarious appropriation of this new science? If the past is any indicator and if art is any predictor, then this film tells a story of monstrous proportions. It is a biological story not unlike the technical one of the Terminator series, or the Matrix series, or even War Games, in their predicted battles with Artificial Intelligence - a danger about which real world experts like Bill Gates have been warning us. Perhaps we should take heed of both the biological and technical dangers that we are bringing upon ourselves before it is too late.
- If there is real danger in DNA manipulation and Artificial Intelligence do you think fiction films help or harm their dangers being taken seriously? Why do you answer as you do?
- The releasing of living dinosaurs into the world to coexist with humans at a profit of only few hundred million dollars is foolish beyond description. But what would be the amount that would cause specific persons to do such a risky thing to our mutual future? Do you think greed and power overwhelm wisdom?