The third movie in the Jurassic World series (we don’t know the full title so let’s say Jurassic World 3 for now) will feature a franchise first by depicting a world in which the lizards are loose, leaving humans and dinosaurs no choice but to coexist. But that’s not the only startling blast from the past moviegoers can expect from the follow-up to Fallen Kingdom. The cast of the original Jurassic Park will reprise their now-iconic roles, with Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum all appearing in the upcoming film. (Hopefully they’ll have beefier roles than Goldblum’s cameo in Fallen Kingdom, which seemed to have been filmed exclusively to be used in promotional material.) They’ll bring back a long absent and sorely missed element of the franchise: sexual tension. That’s right, guys. The Jurassic movies are finally going to be horny again.
There are perhaps no two romantic leads in the history of film with less chemistry than Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt. Every time those two speak in the first two Jurassic World movies, it feels like they’re meeting for the first time. This is particularly noticeable given that their characters are supposed to have a longstanding history of romantic entanglement. It’s a shame, because sexual tension is more or less the glue that holds the original Jurassic Park together.
Yes, the dinosaur special effects are very good. Yes, the scene in which the T-Rex attacks the jeeps is thrilling. The score? It’s lovely. Of course all of those things are true. But there is an entire B-plot in Jurassic Park about Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm putting the moves on Dern’s Ellie Sattler, which makes Neill’s Alan Grant enormously uncomfortable. The simmering chemistry between these three is legendary, and while the film’s primary narrative may be driven by dinosaurs, some of its most memorable moments stem from that romantic frisson and angst. We’d venture to say that Jurassic Park wouldn’t be the classic it is without it.
Shirtless Jeff Goldblum? Chaos theory? Every dirty look Alan throws Ian’s way? The casual flirtation between Ellie and Ian? That tension is responsible for all those magic little moments. It’s no wonder the spark wasn’t recaptured when only Goldblum returned for The Lost World, or Ellie and Alan were split up in Jurassic Park 3. Without Alan to disparage his flirtatiousness, Ian doesn’t seem quite so charming. And without as well-rounded a romantic counterpart as Ellie to play off (or a leather-clad cad to butt heads with), Alan is just a boring dude who digs up old bones.
The Jurassic World franchise has been in need of the same chaotic horny energy that permeated the original film since the first reboot hit theaters in 2015. While it won’t make up for a lousy plot or an over-reliance on CGI (if these still end up being issues in the third film, that is), it’s a step in the right direction in terms of recapturing what made the franchise great again.
It’s also a shred of hope for anyone who’s ever hoped Ian Malcolm and Ellie Sattler might end up together in the end. Prayers up, y’all. It can still happen.