REVIEW: Battle at Big Rock
Updated: Sep 27, 2019
It is probably no surprise to you (especially if you have read "Existence"), that I adore dinosaurs. When I was a child, I went to bed snuggled warmly in a set of white sheets adorned with yellow, red, green and blue dinosaurs. My parent's dog now uses them.
When I was just a wee tyke of nine years old, I remember sitting in the kitchen, eating my cereal before school, and watching an interview on Good Morning American about the new Jurassic Park film. May parents strictly followed movie and video game rating suggestions, so I had never see a PG-13 movie before. Ever.
My parents took me to see Jurassic Park.
That's how much I loved dinosaurs. Still do.
Before I go on, I want to preface this with some context. I have notoriously low expectations for films. This low bar causes me to enjoy a number of popular films that most people despise. I enjoyed Michael Bay's Transformer films. I also expected no more than giant robots fighting. Logan got that. Logan was pleased.
More in line with the review (I'm getting there!), I loved Jurassic Park 3, Jurassic World AND Fallen Kingdom. Controversial, I know.
Anyway, on with the review. WARNING: Spoilers for Fallen Kingdom incoming!
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom did some interesting things with the franchise. Many of them followed a natural escalation from previous story lines, and some of them genuinely surprised me. My biggest surprise was at about the end of the first act.
I had read that half the movie turns all Resident Evil on us, with the big mansion and monsters running amok, but just how little of the Island we got was still a shock.
At the end of the film, we are left with a series of shots showing Dinosaurs now living on the periphery of the main land, off of their previously secluded island of Isla Nublar (still a little confused as to what happened with Isla Sorna). It was an intriguing premise and I am genuinely interested to see where Jurassic World takes us.
Battle at Big Rock gives us a glimpse of that, and I have to say, I welcomed that with open arms.
Not to spoil much of the awesome eight minutes and thirty seconds, the short centers around a family on a camping trip at some RV-centric campground at Big Rock National Park, just thirty minutes away from the Lockwood Estate. Things go terribly wrong when a Nasutoceratops and her offspring (frggin' adorable) wander into the center of the campground. Not far behind is an Allosaurous.
I'm sure you can see where this is going.
While extremely short, the production values are impressive. The dinosaurs are animated with love and detail, just as they were in previous films. The actors do a fine job of portraying their parts and the there a couple little twists that I enjoyed. I will say that the appearance of the Allosaurous is one of the most harrowing fifteen seconds I have seen in a loooong time. But I won't say why. That would ruin it.
Another highlight for me was during the credits. As the names of all involved are flashing on screen in that classic Jurassic Park font with a dead black backdrop, we are treated to a series of "found footage" style snippets of dinosaurs interacting with the human world. Glorious.
I think it is telling that Colin Trevorrow, the director of Fallen Kingdom, was also the director of this. Seems to me, the man is just as nerdy as I am about this stuff and loves the property. I know that a lot of people felt like Fallen Kingdom made some missteps, I would personally rank it just above Lost World (my least favorite in the franchise). That being said, I eagerly anticipate Jurassic World III. I want to see where they go with all this mess now. The fact that it has been announced that Dern, Neil and Goldblum are all returning makes me even more giddy inside.
I try not to rate things on stars or anything, as that is different for everyone. I do like to talk about what I enjoy and give recommendations though. With that, I highly recommend taking nine minutes to YouTube this short film (link below) and give it a watch. If you like the Jurassic Park franchise, or even just dinosaurs, I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
Battle at Big Rock -