Battle at Big Rock is an all-new original short film released by Universal Studios that looks at the state of the world following the events of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
For those who may have forgotten, Fallen Kingdom left audiences with one of the franchise’s biggest cliffhangers of all time, a world with dinosaurs running rampant outside of the island. After several tense sequences in a mansion, Maisie (the film’s resident child character) decides to free the dinosaurs into the world, much to Owen’s (played by Chris Pratt) dismay.
Fallen Kingdom was received pretty poorly by both audiences and critics last year, calling it forgettable and nonsensical, among other things. I myself found the movie fairly disappointing, especially in comparison to the surprisingly solid first entry, Jurassic World. It was unable to juggle the jarring tonal shifts in the second arc, and certain bizarre character decisions left me feeling pretty despairing for the future of the franchise.
That’s not to say that the franchise doesn’t have a future.
When considering the fairly large box office numbers that Fallen Kingdom was able to rake in, Universal definitely has put the beats in place for more to come in this expanding universe.
Close Encounters With The Extinct Kind
The premise of Battle at Big Rock is simple enough. A family is out camping when they are suddenly caught in the middle of a battle between an Allosaurus and a family of Nasutoceratops. It’s short, simple, and full of those large-scale, and incredibly tense, dinosaur action that we love from the Jurassic Park franchise.
I won’t get into spoilers. In fact, I would very much recommend you give the short film a watch. It is well worth your time.
What Collin Trevorrow (writer and director) does well is capture the heart of Jurassic Park‘s tense and incredibly atmospheric environment. The score blends well with the sound design of the dinosaurs, and what we are given is a beautifully terrifying amalgamation of man versus creature.
Moreover, in a really concise take, the main characters are established within the first minute of the film, allowing us to actually care for the characters when they are thrown into battle. Of all the scientists and dinosaur experts that the Jurassic Park/World franchise likes to feature, it’s quite endearing to see this world from the perspective of an ordinary family just trying to survive.
The film also concludes with a compilation of home videos or dash-cam footage of people encountering dinosaurs. I find this part to be very enjoyable, because it gives us a very holistic look at the world that exists now that dinosaurs are free.
It’s a nice update for avid fans who are curious on how the world is going.
The Future of Jurassic World
From a Weekly Entertainment report a few months ago, we know that Universal has an animated series that they plan to drop on Netflix. It will feature a group of teenagers trying to survive after being left behind on Isla Nublar. Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous will be set after the events of Jurassic World in 2015 and is expected to debut sometime next year.
On top of that, Jurassic World 3 is set to be released the year after in 2021 and will focus on the ramifications of Maisie’s actions in releasing the dinosaurs. Collin Trevorrow is also slated to helm the film, alongside starring cast members Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt.
One could only hope that we will get the return of iconic characters like Ian Malcolm, Alan Grant (played by Sam Neil) and Ellie Sattler (played by Laura Dern).
Of course, we cannot forget the long-awaited renovations to Universal Studios Hollywood’s Jurassic Park ride, rebranding as the new and improved Jurassic World ride, featuring new dinosaurs, a new story, and lots of digital screens. From what I hear, reviews have been mixed, but I will leave judgement till after I get on the ride for myself.
Jurassic World certainly has more stories to tell now that they aren’t restricted to the islands. While we have had dinosaurs running rampant in cities before (think the San Diego incident in The Lost World), it will be interesting to see what moral dilemmas arise as a result of the characters decisions in Fallen Kingdom.
While I have to admit that Fallen Kingdom did not leave me very hopeful, I am more than impressed with Trevorrow’s new short film, and cannot wait to hear more stories about this new Jurassic World.