“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” opened above expectations over the weekend with $US150 million at the box office, the second-biggest opening for Universal. Even though it failed to match the then-record-breaking opening weekend of its 2015 predecessor, “Jurassic World,” the movie has already grossed over $US700 million worldwide.
The movie has received mixed reactions from critics, with some calling it a “braindead ordeal” and others an “escapist summer behemoth.” Business Insider’s Jason Guerrasio said that everything in the movie “is taken way too seriously” and that there’s nothing “we haven’t seen before in a summer blockbuster movie.”
But the “Jurassic” franchise’s power with audiences can’t be denied, and it’s certainly a force to be reckoned with at the box office.
With “Fallen Kingdom” now in theatres, Business Insider has ranked all five movies – from Steven Spielberg’s original classic to the “Jurassic World” sequel – from worst to best. It’s hard to rank them considering that the sequels have never quite matched the quality of the original, but we’re doing it anyway.
Below is every “Jurassic Park” movie, ranked from worst to best:
5. “Jurassic Park III” (2001)
“Jurassic Park III,” directed by “Captain America: The First Avenger” director Joe Johnston, has some memorable redeeming qualities. The Spinosaurus is a menacing alternative to the overused T-Rex and the entire “bird cage” sequence is actually riveting. But it can never escape the fact that it probably shouldn’t exist in the first place: Sam Neill’s Alan Grant is coerced into returning to a dinosaur island and, shockingly, nothing goes according to plan! The ending is rushed, as if everyone involved in this movie wanted to escape it faster than the characters wanted to get off the island, and the disappointing, terribly CGI’d Spinosaurus vs. T-Rex fight was not worth the Rock ’em Sock ’em-style toy I owned growing up. Also, there was a missed opportunity to explore what PTSD could look like for someone who almost got eaten by dinosaurs, but the movie would rather just show Grant hallucinating a velociraptor that shouts his name.
4. “Jurassic World” (2015)
The “Jurassic Park” franchise is essentially about humans not being able to let go of the past, and the horrifying consequences of what happens when that gets out of control. Lets call it weaponised nostalgia. In “Jurassic World,” that concept gets very meta, but not in a cool, self-aware kind of way: 22 years after the first movie, a dino theme park now exists. Both Jurassic World the park and “Jurassic World” the movie are cash-grabbing, nostalgia-exploiting efforts that made millions of dollars off of humanity’s failure to not learn from our past. But it’s fun, and you might see a T-Rex, so it’s ok! Chris Pratt half-committing to an accent is more genuine than this movie, but I admit that I was entertained throughout.
3. “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” (1997)
The first “Jurassic” sequel, “The Lost World,” gets a bump for once again being directed by Steven Spielberg – some critics even argue that while it’s nowhere near as good as the first movie, it’s actually better directed. That direction keeps the tension mounting throughout the movie, until the infamous San Diego-set ending. Bringing back Jeff Goldblum and adding Julianne Moore to the mix helps things, as well, and by all accounts this movie should have been a masterpiece. But a terrible script ensured our disappointment before the cameras even began to roll.
2. “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” (2018)
The problem with the “Jurassic” sequels is that none of them have quite been able to justify their existence. It’s easy to regurgitate the same concept over and over again, but it’s actually hard to make it worthwhile. But “Fallen Kingdom” is the most self-aware of all of the “Jurassic” sequels: people are really dumb, we keep getting ourselves into the same situations, and that’s the point. The movie brings that to its natural conclusion, and is probably the only sequel that actually raises the stakes by the end of the movie. That makes it not only better than its predecessor, but the best sequel in the franchise (even if that’s not saying much). While the movie thinks it’s way smarter than it actually is (dinosaurs are a metaphor for global warming and civil rights and other social issues!), it at least tries to tap into some of those ideas. The logical question arises from that: do these movies need to be that cognisant? But I’d rather they were somewhat mindful of the world they inhabit than mindless.
1. “Jurassic Park” (1993)
Do I even have to explain myself? Spielberg’s original film, based on Michael Crichton’s novel, is classic, blockbuster entertainment with heart and smarts to match.
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