Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom - Every Character Ranked Worst To Best

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Jurassic Park franchise hasn't really served up many compelling or memorable characters since the classic original, and you know what? The recently-released Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom sure is no exception.

To the movie's mild credit, it does let the dinosaurs - many of which are distinct characters themselves by this point - firmly steal the show, even if the original proved it was possible to craft likeable and interesting humans alongside all the dino mayhem.

Compelling people aren't easy to come by in Fallen Kingdom, though in fairness, at least a few of them are intentionally simplistic caricatures quickly set up to die horrible deaths at the hands of the dinos.

Some of the younger characters, meanwhile, are especially problematic, and the protagonists still can't hold a candle to the likes of Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Satler (Laura Dern).

From human to dino, here's every character in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ranked from worst to best...

17. Franklin Webb

Long before Fallen Kingdom was even released, Franklin (Justice Smith) was deservedly referred to by many fans as the Jurassic Park franchise's answer to Jar Jar Binks.

The trailers made it abundantly clear that Franklin wouldn't amount to being much more than irritating comic relief, spending most of his screen time shrieking, trembling and dropping cringe-worthy one-liners as he does (before mercifully disappearing for most of act three).

It's nothing against Smith, because few actors could've made Franklin remotely likeable, but it remains a mystery why the script even needed to include a character like this.

Moreover, he's so annoying you might've even started rooting for the dinos to give him an excessively brutal death scene (much like Zara in the previous film). Come on, he totally earned it.

16. Iris

Iris (Geraldine Chaplin) is the housekeeper of the Lockwood estate, Maisie Lockwood's (Isabella Sermon) nanny and one of the few people who knows the secret of her creation.

Aside from appearing in a decades-old photograph with Benjamin Lockwood's (James Cromwell) daughter, Iris does precious little beyond teaching Maisie how to say "bath" with a plummy English twang.

Ultimately she's a pretty pointless character who squanders Chaplin's talents, and the actress was presumably only cast because she's director J.A. Bayona's good luck charm (appearing in all four of his feature films to date).

But at least she's not nails-on-a-chalkboard grating like Franklin, right?

15. Dr. Henry Wu

Dr. Wu (B.D. Wong) is of course the main antagonist of the Jurassic Park franchise after being reintroduced in Jurassic World as an impossibly ambitious, ruthlessly determined geneticist.

Though it seemed like Wu was set to have an expanded role in Fallen Kingdom, he's sadly only around for a few brief scenes, dropping half-baked exposition about the Indoraptor being a sociopathic prototype.

He once again lives to scheme another day, though, after being tranquilised by Franklin during the mayhem of the dinosaur auction. He'll most certainly be back in the next one, where he'll probably finally, hopefully get his comeuppance.

His showing here was a bit of a damp squib, however, and so much more could've clearly been done with the character.

14. Benjamin Lockwood

The brilliant James Cromwell plays the ailing, idealistic former partner of John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) in the movie's first act.

Cromwell appears for just a few scenes, but he exudes an affable warmth and genuine desire to save the dinosaurs, setting the plot in motion if also being tragically doomed to die at the hands of his right-hand man Eli Mills (Rafe Spall).

As a link back to the departed John Hammond, Lockwood's an intriguing character even if he's in the movie only briefly. Plus, as genial as he seems, his decision to clone his dead daughter and raise her as his granddaughter injects adds some compelling shading and moral ambiguity (as absurd as that reveal was).

13. Dr. Ian Malcolm

Fans were jubilant when it was announced that Jeff Goldblum would be reprising his iconic Dr. Ian Malcolm role for the first time since The Lost World, but despite his considerable presence on the press tour for Fallen Kingdom, the acting legend appears for all of around two minutes.

Malcolm's single scene sees him waxing philosophical and delivering a gloomy message for humanity, which is then spliced in half and used to bookend the film. Goldblum kills the scene and Malcolm offers up some of the only sensible character logic in the entire movie, but it really stung to see him featured so little overall.

Sure, nobody was expecting Malcolm to have a physical role, but at least give the guy two or three scenes, no? How disappointing.

12. Maisie Lockwood

There's certainly no character in Jurassic World more baffling than Benjamin Lockwood's "granddaughter" Maisie, that's for sure.

Because every Jurassic Park movie apparently needs at least one token child character, Maisie's thrown into the mix this time, and finds herself ultimately becoming Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire's (Bryce Dallas Howard) surrogate daughter by the end of the movie.

Young Isabella Sermon deserves a world of credit for delivering a strong performance given the material she had: she defies the Jurassic Park child actor tradition by not being incredibly annoying, and with a better script she probably could've made Maisie a genuinely likeable character.

The clone reveal is a step too silly for its own good, though, and seems intended solely to set-up the braindead climactic moment where Maisie decides to let the dinosaurs loose into the world.

That decision alone makes it hard to like Maisie all that much, as well-cast as Sermon was.

11. Ken Wheatley

Ken Wheatley (Ted Levine) is the head mercenary leading the Isla Nublar rescue operation, and he's basically a bit of an homage to the Robert Muldoon (Bob Peck) and Roland Tembo (Pete Postlethwaite) characters from the earlier Jurassic Park movies.

He's pretty much a walking cliche - making sexist wise-cracks at Zia (Daniella Pineda) and treating the dinosaurs like garbage - but he's also fairly entertaining thanks to Levine's gruff portrayal.

Plus, the guy gets a suitably grim punishment for trying to snag himself an Indoraptor tooth: the new hybrid dino pretends to be tranquilised before tearing Wheatley's arm clean off and devouring him alive. Lovely.

10. Gunnar Eversoll

Gunnar Eversoll (Toby Jones) is the auctioneer who oversees the dinosaur auction at the Lockwood estate, and though he's a pretty inconsequential character all things considered, he's nevertheless brought to amusing life by Toby Jones' knowingly daft performance.

With a Donald Trump-like hairdo, a distracting set of glistening, false teeth and a bizarre accent, Jones does fine work making Eversoll an entertainingly silly quasi-villain rather than a forgettable also-ran.

Especially hilarious is Eversoll's inevitable (and satisfying) demise: when the Indoraptor roars in his face, that ridiculous mop of hair gets violently blown back.

9. Owen Grady

Chris Pratt continues to be a peculiar casting choice for this franchise, especially because his dinosaur trainer Owen is just a bit of a bland bore without much of a personality.

Pratt's not given much to do beyond smile and occasionally crack wise, while Owen inexplicably survives so many insanely dangerous moments - namely outrunning the volcano's pyroclastic flow and leaping through the jaws of the T-Rex - that it's hard to much care for his safety at all.

Considering Pratt's charm, it continues to be disappointing that he's given such a flat character to work with. If the series is going to be this silly, why not make Owen into a fully-blown cartoon character of a hero?

8. Dr. Zia Rodriguez

Zia is the Dinosaur Protection Group's paleoveterinarian and the less-irritating of the two millennial-baiting characters in the movie.

She doesn't shriek or constantly jabber on about how dangerous Isla Nublar is, and she actually proves herself smart and resourceful, being vital in administering the blood transfusion to Blue.

She's also sassy as hell, resulting in a few amusing squabbles with Ken Wheatley, even if it's easy to see why some might find her outspoken attitude verging on obnoxious.

Still, she's miles ahead of Franklin and competent enough that she could probably return in the next movie without too many objections.

7. Eli Mills

Eli Mills is an hilariously one-dimensional, money-grubbing antagonist, and from the second he appears on-screen, it's hilariously obvious what his motivations are.

Credit to Rafe Spall, then, for leaning into the schlock and helping make Mills an amusing caricature of a Bond villain. He over-explains himself, imprisons the heroes when he had the perfect opportunity to kill them, and without any sense of moral ambiguity whatsoever, he's just comically evil for the sake of it.

He also gets the movie's most satisfying and shockingly brutal death, being ripped apart by Rexy and a Carnotaurus as he attempts to escape the Lockwood estate. Gnarly.

6. Claire Dearing

Fallen Kingdom does deserve a small measure of credit for substantially improving the character of Claire, who was a stereotypical Ice Queen in the previous movie, and became infamous for running away from a dinosaur in high heels (successfully, no less).

Well, the high heels are quickly disposed of this time, she's got a less-terrible haircut and she's also undergone a bit of a personality transplant. No longer the soulless corporate robot she was in Jurassic World, Claire instead demonstrates a deep care for the dinosaurs and has a consistent arc throughout the movie.

Bryce Dallas Howard sells the danger of the scenario far more convincingly than Chris Pratt, and though Claire's still hardly a classic Jurassic Park character, she's decidedly easier to like this time around.

5. The Mosasaurus

And now we get to the truly interesting "characters" in these movies: the dinosaurs!

The Mosasaurus was one of the most memorable dinos featured in Jurassic World, what with its iconic, Seaworld-esque feeding show and its epic defeat of the Indominus rex in the movie's finale.

The Mosasaurus doesn't feature much in Fallen Kingdom, but it sure makes its screen time count, attacking the salvage mission in the movie's opening (snacking on a poor sod clinging from a rope ladder) and later attacking a fleet of surfers in the sea.

These moments are both terrific in spite of their brevity, and fingers crossed we'll get to see more of the creature in the third movie, what with it now being free to roam the world's oceans.

4. The Indoraptor

Though by any typical standard the Indoraptor is an incredibly bada** dinosaur, it's a bit of an underwhelming creature for the movie's final antagonist. Basically, it just feels like an unimaginative rehash of the Indominus from the previous movie (to the point that it's literally an Indominus combined with more raptor DNA).

The Indoraptor lacks the statuesque, imposing quality of the Indominus though somewhat compensates for this with its lightning-fast speed. It's also the first dinosaur in the franchise to literally grin at the audience, which is nothing if not an insane sight to see.

Furthermore, it got one of the better dinosaur death scenes in the series, being impaled on a giant Triceratops skull displayed in the Lockwood museum.

3. Rexy

Though Rexy's appearances in the Jurassic World franchise are basically token fan-service cameos at this point, she nevertheless stole the show several times.

Memorably, she chases the salvage crew away from the island at the start of the movie, rescues Owen and co. from another dinosaur during the eruption (before letting out her customary, iconic roar), and finally murders Mills at the end.

It'll be interesting to see what the future holds for Rexy, but she's still going strong, and is still an awesome sight to behold regardless of how nostalgia-baiting it all seems nowadays.

2. Stiggy

Stiggy is the adorable Stygimoloch who kinda-befriends Owen during the Lockwood auction and helps him cause all manner of chaos. She's also one of the movie's few attempts at comic relief that unreservedly works.

Stiggy is convinced by Owen to bash in the brick wall to her cell, allowing her to make a clumsy escape where she careens all over the place. Her true moment to shine, however, comes when she surprises Owen in an elevator later on, and he unleashes her upon the unsuspecting auction party.

Cue weapons traders, gangsters and suited-up businessmen being hurled into the air by Stiggy's rampage in a gloriously goofy moment that actually plays incredibly well.

1. Blue

And finally, we have the glorified mascot of the Jurassic World movies. The fan response to Blue's depiction in Fallen Kingdom has actually been pretty mixed, with many expressing frustration that the dinosaur has been effectively transformed into a cutesy puppy dog, stripping away the sense of threat typically associated with raptors.

True though that is, Blue is nevertheless still the easy highlight of the movie. Her "emotional" bond with Owen doesn't really convince, but she gets some neat action beats and her final battle with the Indoraptor is a barmy delight.

It probably would've made a certain amount of narrative sense to have Blue die at the end of the movie to save Owen and co., but it'll nevertheless be interesting to see how she fares out in the wild in the next movie.

What did you make of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom's characters? Shout it out in the comments!

Source: http://whatculture.com

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