The Jurassic Park and Jurassic World movie franchise has brought dinosaurs to life, explored interesting themes and ideas, and provided the world with entertainment for almost three decades. It’s hard not to love them all because of how much each installment brings to the series, but some happen to stand above the rest. Even though every Jurassic film is extraordinarily enjoyable, let’s rank each of them to see how they stack up against each other.
6) Jurassic Park 3
One of the most important elements of a Jurassic Park and Jurassic World movie is its clever social and political commentary. Jurassic Park 3, however, doesn’t really have that. Sure, it gives us more examples of why it’s a bad idea to clone dinosaurs, but that idea is obviously present in each of the other films.
Jurassic Park 3 is genuinely fun and entertaining with plenty of exciting action, but it’s just a basic monster movie at its core. It’s exciting to see new dinosaurs that had not previously appeared in the series and to see Alan Grant return, but the story is essentially just people running away from giant beasts because a rich couple were bad parents. Also, the dream sequence with the talking velociraptor aged hilariously.
5) Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom actually introduces a lot of brilliant new ideas to the series that haven’t been touched on previously. What if the story and the dinosaurs left the same two islands? What if the human villains actually succeeded in weaponizing dinosaurs and selling them on the black market? What if scientists used the cloning technology on a human and not just the dinosaurs? It’s a genuinely thought-provoking film. Plus, it makes the audience truly care for the dinosaurs as living beings.
There are a few things preventing it from being ranked higher, though. Jurassic World: Dominion takes the ideas that were introduced here and explores them much more and in more interesting ways. Most of the instances of dinosaurs chomping on their human-lunches occur offscreen. This movie also feels like the “awkward middle one” a little too much. A viewer might be lost without at least seeing Jurassic World, and it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger which makes it feel like its primary reason for existence is to set up the next story rather than having its own identity. This is the case with Fallen Kingdom more than any of the other Jurassic installments.
4) The Lost World: Jurassic Park
Adapted from Michael Crichton’s sequel novel, The Lost World: Jurassic Park branches off of the original film quite nicely. Where the first movie plays with the idea of whether or not humans should play God, this one asks the question “What happens now?” Dinosaurs have been brought back from extinction, so now what? The plot plays with the idea that even though some dinosaurs can be deadly, these prehistoric beings are still living creatures and should be protected. It also further explores the effect of the DNA-altering science which proves Ian Malcolm correct: “life finds a way.” This story is also a great example of the harm that humans have on animals and the environment around them. The action is nothing short of exciting as characters climb through a caravan as it dangles from a cliff and run from a T-rex through the streets of San Francisco.
That being said, the pacing is a little off. The action scenes are absolutely riveting, but it feels like there’s a lot of nothing between them at times. Plus, there’s a scene where a teenager fights a dinosaur with gymnastics, which is just plain dumb, even if it is pretty funny.
3) Jurassic World: Dominion
Jurassic World: Dominion is the most recent film in the series, and it’s one of the most exciting. After the five previous movies, it’s a breath of fresh air to see new settings and ideas be used. The action sequences and chase scenes are especially creative. The important commentary is just as present as ever, with themes that touch on humans having to live with their mistakes regarding their impact on the world, living beings needing to be protected, and corporations using their resources for personal gain rather than helping others when they have the means to do so. The characters from the classic films and the new ones come together for one last hurrah, and it’s wonderful. On top of that, quite a few long-running character arcs come full circle.
There are times when it feels like there’s too much for one film, but it’s extraordinarily fun, and even scary at times, nonetheless.
2) Jurassic World
After the franchise was away for almost fifteen years, Jurassic World was the most ideal reboot it could have ever received. After three movies of people trapped on an island with dinosaurs, this one changed things up by answering the question “what if the park actually opened?” Now instead of a small handful of people in danger, there are tens of thousands of people waiting to get chomped. It keeps similar themes and commentary from the original trilogy, but brings its focus to criticizing capitalism more than ever. There are even companies sponsoring new dinosaurs being made, which feels like something that would actually happen.
The commentary is clever, and there’s something about adding the terror of dinosaurs eating people to the fun of an open and fully-functioning amusement park that is twisted in the most entertaining of ways.
1) Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park is the one that started it all and is one of the greatest films of all time. Michael Crichton is a genius for writing the novel it’s based on, and the movie adapted it into something that audiences would love forever. The original Jurassic Park revolutionized special effects in filmmaking forever with its brilliant blend of CGI and traditional effects. It’s exciting, whimsical, action-packed, and has an extremely memorable music score. It lures viewers in with an entertaining film about being stuck on an island with dinosaurs and provides them with thought-provoking themes regarding humans playing God and that nature will always win if we try to compete against it, along with commentary on what those with power would do to be greedy.
This is a movie that changed movies going forward, and has a lot to offer for audiences of all ages. Whether you’re looking for intense action or a movie that makes you think, this is one movie that offers both. Despite there being five sequels, Jurassic Park still feels like a perfect standalone film. This suspenseful masterpiece is incredibly hard to beat.