Review: ‘Jurassic World: Chaos Theory’

The “Nublar Six” Reunite To Uncover Another Dino-Mystery

The Jurassic World movies, while fun, haven’t been as well-received as Spielberg’s original film (which still holds up more than 30 years later), but one fun bonus to the Jurassic Park franchise surprisingly was the Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Netflix series. The first season started with the notion that there was going to be a summer camp during the events of the first Jurassic World movie. However, when everything hit the fan, six camp kids were accidentally left behind, and for the next five seasons, those kids had to learn how to adapt, survive, and depend on each other to survive being on their own on Ilsa Nublar for a year and a half. Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous was a surprisingly good series with fans and critics alike (I even listed it as one of my favorite new TV shows of 2020).

The show gave us engaging characters, creative animation, plenty of fun dinos, and what I call “The Dave Filoni Clone Wars-ification” of the Jurassic Park franchise by telling a bunch of serialized stories to help fill in the gap between movies and expand the lore of the franchise. Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous introduced us to the sinister Mantah Corp who wanted dinosaurs for their own nefarious purposes and led to the events of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Despite a satisfying ending to the show, it’s no surprise that Netflix wanted to keep this story going, so we have Jurassic World: Chaos Theory.

At the end of Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, Darius (Paul-Mikél Williams) Ben (Sean Giambrone), Yaz (Kausar Mohammed), Brooklynn (Jenna Ortega), Kenji (Ryan Potter), and Sammy (Raini Rodriguez) were able to stop Mantah Corp’s plans and escape their island back to the mainland. Now dubbed the “Nublar Six” by the media, they are almost pseudo-celebrities for surviving their harrowing ordeal. But in the six-year time jump between the two shows, the events of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Jurassic World: Dominion have happened and now dinosaurs are everywhere. The kids are now in their late teens and while they remain a close-knit family, they also have tensions with each other.

That all changes when one of their own has been killed by a dinosaur. Brooklynn, the former teen social media influencer has left behind her life of viral fame to become an investigative reporter. The events of Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous with Manha Corp have made her want to seek out the truth and expose corporate corruption. Unfortunately, she is attacked and killed by an Allosaurus, which causes pain for the Nublar Six, and they drift a little apart. Darius who did work for “The Department of Prehistoric Wildlife (DPW),” but after Brooklynn’s death has become reclusive in a cabin in the woods. That all changes when Ben (who has become a dark-web-obsessed paranoid college kid) finds him and comes up with the theory that Brooklynn wasn’t killed by a random dinosaur, but someone wants to kill all of them.

At first, Darius thinks Ben’s just being paranoid, but after a group of raptors attack them in his cabin (and bypass his security traps), he starts to see that Ben might be right. After the gang gets back together, they realize they have a mystery to solve. They have to stop whoever is trying to kill them, and they have to get justice for Brooklynn’s death. Each of the Nublar Six is doing different things: Ben is in college (and swears he has a European girlfriend), Yaz lives at a “dino-free” island and helps people deal with their PTSD and trauma from dealing with dinosaurs (as she suffered from PTSD while on the island), Kenji has opened a rock climbing business, and Sammy tends to her family farm as well as take care of Bumpy, everyone’s favorite loyal Ankylosaurus.

Throughout Jurassic World: Chaos Theory, the kids are trying to solve the mystery, but also have preordained dinosaur attacks on them at every turn by Mantah Corp trying to advance their new agenda. At the same time, the kids have to try and resolve issues that have happened six years off-camera. Darius and Kenji had a falling out in the aftermath of Brooklynn’s death and weren’t on speaking turns. Sammy came out to her parents, who stopped speaking to her. To make matters worse, Yaz is distant from Sammy, which is causing a strain in their relationship. Throughout the ten-episode season, all of them go through significant character arcs and grow as a family. The writing for the show is very good and these characters feel even more alive and real than they did as teens in the previous show.

One thing that will take some getting used to in Jurassic World: Chaos Theory is the animation style as it is significantly different from Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous. Everyone’s faces are smoother. It feels more like Pixar than Dreamworks, even though it is Dreamworks. Having Darius look like every other black teen in animation (dreads on one side, fade on the other) at this point is stereotypically cliched. It’s just a sharp contrast in how the kids looked in the previous series.

That said, the dino animation and action sequences have never been better! We still get a lot of bloodless just out-of-camera view off-screen deaths throughout the series. And yes, there are a lot of deaths! After all, this is no longer dinosaurs on an island, but throughout the whole world. And once again, Bumpy rocks! We watched her grow from a hatchling all the way to a 10,000-pound dino who will square off against the biggest carnivore to protect Ben and the crew. Jurassic World: Chaos Theory is a great start to the next chapter in the lives of these characters as they navigate a new world with new dangers and they have to continue to rely on each other for safety and strength as they try and solve yet another problem that only they can.

Netflix will premiere Jurassic World: Chaos Theory on May 24th.