Spoiler warning: There are details about the ending of the "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" in this post.
“We’re entering a new era. Welcome to Jurassic World.”
The last line of "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" is a more somber statement than kindly John Hammond’s buoyant “Welcome to Jurassic Park” introduction in the original 1993 dinosaur-filled blockbuster. At least the bad news in the new film (out Friday) comes from the mouth of official national treasure Jeff Goldblum.
The lovably quirky actor reprises his role from the original "Jurassic Park" movies as mathematician/chaos theorist Ian Malcolm in "Kingdom’s" bookend scenes. While a few minutes of Goldblum is not nearly enough — honestly, you can never have too much Goldblum — his character is used in a really interesting way: as both moral conscience and voice of reason for a landscape where dinosaurs could make us extinct this time around.
"Everyone wants to see more of Ian Malcolm, he’s such a brilliant character," director J.A. Bayona tells USA TODAY. "But you need to move the story forward. It’s dangerous to get too much into the nostalgia."
Malcolm first shows up to testify before Congress when the government weighs in, stepping in and helping the trapped dinosaurs on Isla Nublar escape before an active volcano becomes an extinction-level event. Malcolm suggests that while there is an animal-rights arguments to be had with genetically cloned beasties from millions of years ago, human beings shouldn’t have gone there and a correction needs to be made before our natural status quo goes completely kablooey. “Change is like death,” he says. “You don’t know what it looks like until you’re standing at the gates.”
His argument tracks with what we’ve seen from the character over the course of the "Jurassic" series. When Hammond (Richard Attenborough) brings Malcolm to the original 1993 "Park," the scientist constantly warns of the potential dangers of cloned dinos and monkeying with Mother Nature — in a discussion about how a group of all female creatures could ever possibly breed, Malcolm spills his signature line, “Life, uh, finds a way.”
Those predictions come to deadly fruition when he’s injured in a T. rex attack and, while recovering, Malcolm gets his sexy on in an infamous shirtless scene. He then returns in the 1997 sequel "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" to save his paleontologist girlfriend (Julianne Moore) and keep a bunch of dinos from being transported to the mainland.
Unfortunately for civilization, that’s what happens at the end of "Kingdom," where the remaining dinosaurs are let loose around the globe thanks to the actions of human clone Maisie (Isabella Sermon). Malcolm talks of “radical, irrational change” in voiceover as a lion and the T. rex roar at each other and a velociraptor looks out over suburban homes perched on a mountainous cliff.
It sets up an epic dinos-among-us story line for the next "Jurassic World" (slated for June 11, 2021), and raises the possibility of more than just two scenes of Goldblum magic. "Kingdom" co-star Bryce Dallas Howard, for one, says she’s so thrilled to have him in “the family” and cannot wait to work with him on "Jurassic World 3" (or "Jurassic Park 6" if youre a stickler for original numbering.)
To borrow a phrase, life better find a way.