WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, in theaters now.
The Jurassic franchise has always been one to mix a bunch of scares, action and moments of levity. Whether Sam Neill is on the screen or Chris Pratt, the movies all feature chaotic dinosaur-induced destruction, moments that left us hiding under our sheets and scenes that had us cheering along. Bottom line: There is simply no shortage of excitement in a Jurassic film, and the newest entry in the franchise, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, doubles down on all of it. With monsters lurking in the shadows, the film features more frights than any previous installment, and with a major set scene featuring a volcano on the verge of erupting, Fallen Kingdom also features more action-packed sequences than any previous installment.
More than a non-stop action ride, Fallen Kingdom also pulls at your heartstrings. Actually, it does a whole lot more than that: it reaches right into your chest, pulls your heart out, and stomps on it repeatedly with what might just be the most heartbreaking death scene win recent memory. Not only is it easily the most devastating moment of the franchise, it’s arguably one of the saddest movie moments of the entire year.
The first half of Fallen Kingdom is almost entirely devoted to a rescue operation to get as many dinosaurs off of the island of Isla Nublar before an impending volcanic eruption. Naturally, there is very little time to prepare. When the volcano explodes, it sends flaming rocks crashing down, and a deadly flow of lava gushes out, consuming the entire island. At this moment, it’s a race against time as Owen, Claire and Franklin rush to get on the last freighter that’s leaving the island, with magma right on their tail.
Thankfully, the heroes of the film jump onto the boat without a second to spare. They’re safe from the volcano and, even better, many dinosaurs were rescued by the contractors hired. However, not all of them make it. As the boat departs the island, the passengers are compelled to look back when a heartbreaking screech is heard. A poor, lonely bracchiasaurus has been left behind, walking towards the edge of the dock, trying to reach the boat and escape the fiery destruction of the volcano. The long-necked dinosaur howls in desperation, a sound that effectively rips your heart in half.
The boat slowly continues to advance, unable to turn around. The helpless bracchiasaurus shrinks into the distance as smoke from the flames start to overcome it, until we can no longer see it and it finally stops crying, consumed by the destruction. The scene is incredibly difficult to watch, the horror and the sadness of this poor dinosaur left all alone to die on the island simply too much to bear. By the end of the scene, we were all just like Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire, trembling, with tears in our eyes — heavy tears that we simply couldn’t control.
Directed by J.A. Bayona from a script by Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and B.D. Wong, joined by Toby Jones, Rafe Spall, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, Ted Levine, Geraldine Chaplin, James Cromwell, and Jeff Goldblum.
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