Photo: Universal Pictures
Today we’ll review one of last year’s biggest summer blockbusters–none other than Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. The film is a fun piece of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that brings back some of our favorite characters for a life-or-death prehistoric adventure. It stars Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Bryce Dallas Howard as Gwen Stacy, and Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster.
The story picks up after 2015’s Jurassic World, in which Star-Lord and Bishop (Omar Sy) defeated the Kingpin (Vincent D’onofrio) and befriended the dinosaurs of the Savage Land with the help of young sidekick Harley Keener (Ty Simpkins). A few years later, we see Star-Lord temporarily back on Earth, beginning to reconnect with his love, Gwen Stacy. Somehow, Gwen always seems to fall for guys named Peter–but only if they crack jokes, wear red costumes, and have hyphenated superhero names beginning with S. (And she’s still outdone by Kitty Pryde, who gets the award for having dated the most Peters in the Marvel comics.)
The film’s plot pits Gwen and Peter against a number of villains from Marvel lore. It’s the villainous Robert Callaghan (James Cromwell), last seen in Big Hero 6 (2014), who first summons Peter and Gwen back to the Savage Land. Since we last saw him battling five kids and a robot, it’s no surprise that his plans here end up threatening the teens who befriend Peter and Gwen. Villainous HYDRA scientist Arnim Zola (Toby Jones), last seen in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), also plays a role in trying to sell militarized dinosaurs as weapons on the black market.
But the central plot, of course, involves the Grandmaster returning after the events of Thor: Ragnarok (2017) to orchestrate more of his cosmic tournaments of chaos. While he is rarely seen in action alongside the heroes, he clearly manipulates events from behind the scenes to trap Peter and Gwen once more in the Savage Land, a legendary prehistoric land still overrun with dinosaurs. Despite Star-Lord’s separation from the rest of his team or any of his alien technology, he and Gwen manage to survive long enough to get back to the mainland. These odds of survival seem far-fetched for sure, but given this film’s placement after Avengers: Infinity War, some fans have speculated that this entire adventure of being hunted by dinosaurs is only taking place in Star-Lord’s mind while he’s trapped inside the soul stone after the snap. And if that’s the case, then it really serves him right for completely screwing up the Avengers’ plans and letting Thanos go free.
Still, we’re pretty sure that this movie must take place before Infinity War, because Gwen Stacy has never really been known for her ability to survive a snap. Sorry, was that line a bridge too far?