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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Album Cover Art
Composed and Produced by:

Conducted by:
Ludwig Wicki

Orchestrated by:
Jeff Kryka

Original Themes by:
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Backlot Music
(June 15th, 2018)
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Regular U.S. release.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you can appreciate Michael Giacchino's continuously challenging task of addressing the increasingly hopeless, apocalyptic fantasy of this franchise while remaining as true as possible to its musical roots.

Avoid it... if you cannot accept the reality that the optimism and soaring fantasy of John Williams' music for this concept is officially dead, the franchise no longer accommodating of innocence and wonder in its effort to accentuate cheap thrills.
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WRITTEN 10/13/18
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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom: (Michael Giacchino) For most of the 2000's, director Steven Spielberg attempted to guide Michael Crichton's original idea of dinosaur resurrection into a meaningful future, eventually disowning Jurassic Park III and giving up on a fourth feature with the original cast. Upon 2015's Jurassic World and 2018's Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the franchise reaped the benefits of the concept's reputation without ever solving Spielberg's original dilemma: How do you maintain the mystery and intrigue of a dinosaur return without resorting to the ever-increasingly desperate cheap thrills of seeing the creatures kill and disrupt human activity? By Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the battle had been lost, the cynicism, fear, and bloated melodrama of a mass conflict of culture emulating the real-life divisiveness of global socio-political strife stoked masterfully by the likes of Donald J. Trump and others. The plot of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is rather meaningless outside of the conclusion that man's ridiculous, militaristic urge to perpetuate the dinosaurs as weapons or war will obviously lead to his own undoing. Along the way, most of the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park's original Isla Nublar are destroyed in a practically impossible volcanic eruption. All the tenderness from Jurassic Park and the potential upside of this franchise's future was literally killed during Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom's extremely poignant scene in which a brachiosaurus dies tragically on the shores of the island while the storyline literally sails away to its doom. The presence of Jeff Goldblum and BD Wong from the glory days of Jurassic Park, joining Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard from the Jurassic World era, are only roughly as satisfying to the concept's genesis as composer Michael Giacchino's score is compared to the original John Williams classic. And yet, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom overcame its middling reviews to achieve monumental box office success and immediate production on another sequel. The toilet water continues to swirl...

It's difficult not to reminisce about how Spielberg adapted Jurassic Park so that there was a perfect blend of optimism, warmth, and fantasy to mingle with his adventure and horror, allowing Williams to explore an extraordinarily well-rounded emotional score for the occasion. By Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Giacchino, the era's foremost leader in the compositional extension of Williams' techniques, was left with mostly the adventure and horror portions in conjunction with alternations between tragedy and outright apocalyptic, religious pomp. Giacchino attempts to continue the piano, harp, and celeste presence of sensitivity originated by Williams, throwing solo cello into the mix at times, but these passages lack the genuine heart of the earlier maestro's equivalent sequences, presenting Giacchino with little room to succeed outside of his accentuation of the grotesque fantasy element. When separating Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom from its context, the score is actually a straightforward expression of tonal, apocalyptic bombast and a surprisingly satisfying one at that. Giacchino faced the task of adapting not only Williams' lingering thematic legacy into this tapestry, but his own original ideas from Jurassic World as well, the latter inspired heavily by Williams' structures to begin with. It's difficult to really pinpoint if and where Giacchino's treatment of Williams' material dissatisfies; on a technical level, he continues to masterfully interpolate fragments of the Williams progressions and instrumentation into these newer scores, and yet the result still seems unnecessarily reinvented. The references to the Williams themes in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom aren't as artificial as those in Jurassic World, but there are several instances in which proper closure of the legacy themes were missed here. Three Williams identities are outwardly reprised, including the concept fantasy, adventure, and mystery identities, and the original carnivore theme arguably makes a distorted cameo as well. From the preceding score by Giacchino, the main Jurassic World theme and the motif for the Indominus dinosaur return, with fragments of a family-related theme arguably interpolated as well.

Freshly minted for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a two-part main theme for the dinosaurs' newfound freedom and the repercussions on humanity, delivering on the apocalyptic implications with full symphonic and choral glory. More malleable is Giacchino's newfound theme of tragedy, its placement in the movie suggesting that goodness itself is going extinct. A militaristic march for the mercenary gang occupies the first half of the score as needed, and four singular motifs for specific scenes generate momentary interest in ways similar to Williams' handling of singular concepts within the larger picture. While there are several filler cues in this score, meandering minutes on end without achieving much development outside of underlying mood, Giacchino does state his main themes with enough frequency to make each attractively explored. The main Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom theme of religious weight is first heard in its massive choral incarnation during the lava-flowing title display near the opening of the film. It lays low for much of the first half of the story, expressed in eerie choral form at 0:13 in "Nostalgia-saurus" and softly for celeste and choir at 0:45 in "Operation Blue Blood" before returning to brief, full-throated form in the concluding crescendo of "Jurassic Pillow Talk." After a hint at 0:41 in "Wilting Iris," the theme receives its harshly brass, organ, and choral evolution of magnificence at 0:52 into "Thus Begins the Indo-rapture." A similarly stomping rendition at 1:53 into "You Can Be So Hard-Headed" contrasts with a strained and faint fragment at 0:37 into "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Free," which continues with the theme's pounding bass chords at 1:09. The theme runs the range of usage in "World's Worst Bedtime Storyteller" again, at 0:22 exploding with harsh brass layers before the idea dissolves with solo celeste in dissonance at 1:47. A sudden fragment at 2:59 into "Declaration of Indo-pendence" previews more organ and timpani-stomping grandeur, and "The Neo-Jurassic Age" understandably traverses from subtle celeste and choir at 1:24 to a suspenseful atmosphere of dread at 2:09 before erupting with full ensemble force at 3:00 as the creatures are seen mingling with humans, a closing scene as ridiculous as one could possibly imagine.

Starting in "Thus Begins the Indo-rapture," Giacchino presents an interesting secondary interlude to the main theme of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, one specifically meant to accentuate the apocalyptic gravity of the situation. Heard first at 1:25 with full choir and organ in that cue, the motif continues similarly at 0:54 into "World's Worst Bedtime Storyteller" before adopting the score's softer, melancholy half at 1:51 and 2:37 into "The Neo-Jurassic Age." This passage is a bridge between the main theme's overt dominance and the score's lovely but defeated tragedy theme. Introduced on piano at 0:35 into "The Theropod Preservation Society," this idea is typically joined by a rising harp motif containing a series of three notes underneath. Giacchino references this theme most powerfully for the aforementioned brachiosaurus death scene in "Volcano to Death," the soft choir, solo cello, and chimes allowing the soundscape enough room to feature the animal's disturbing death cries at the forefront of the mix. The piano over harp and later solo clarinet expressions of this theme continue at 1:41 and 2:41 into "Operation Blue Blood" and dissolve to only the underlying harp motif at 1:28 into "Jurassic Pillow Talk," 0:15 into "Wilting Iris," and, more urgently, 2:36 into "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Free." The same harp motif returns in "Declaration of Indo-pendence" at 0:39 in a defiant brass form and morphs into a religious statement at 3:35 in that cue. The main progression returns but is strained at 1:01 into "To Free or Not to Free" for higher dramatic impact. For the mercenaries of the film on Isla Nublar, Giacchino offers a stomping march worthy of the Nazis in Spielberg's Indiana Jones movies, most notably the desert truck chase in Raiders of the Lost Ark. (Not surprisingly, an old truck chase of sorts is reprised during the island escape scene here, albeit involving lava bombs.) This deliberate march exists at 0:16 into "March of the Wheatley Cavalcade" and at the outset of "Raiders of the Lost Isla Nublar," the cue title exposing an in-joke. A mutation of Giacchino's family-related material from the preceding film is applied to similar characters here, heard on piano at 2:44 into "The Theropod Preservation Society" and on harp and piano at the outset of "Maisie and the Island." It's innocuous filler material that becomes overwhelmed quickly by surrounding fantasy passages.

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Average: 3.35 Stars
***** 55 5 Stars
**** 74 4 Stars
*** 67 3 Stars
** 54 2 Stars
* 18 1 Stars
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Welcome to Jurassic Score   Expand >>
Master Composer - October 14, 2018, at 6:55 p.m.
2 comments  (1416 views)
Newest: October 14, 2018, at 7:02 p.m. by
Jonathan Gabriel Irons

Track Listings Icon
Total Time: 75:48
1. This Title Makes Me Jurassic (2:55)
2. The Theropod Preservation Society (3:48)
3. Maisie and the Island (2:09)
4. March of the Wheatley Cavalcade (2:15)
5. Nostalgia-saurus (1:06)
6. Lava Land (3:18)
7. Keep Calm and Baryonyx (2:47)
8. Go With the Pyroclastic Flow (3:44)
9. Raiders of the Lost Isla Nublar (3:22)
10. Volcano to Death (1:40)
11. Operation Blue Blood (3:45)
12. Jurassic Pillow Talk (2:48)
13. How to Pick a Lockwood (3:11)
14. Wilting Iris (1:12)
15. Shock and Auction (2:29)
16. Thus Begins the Indo-rapture (3:42)
17. You Can Be So Hard-Headed (2:30)
18. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Free (3:30)
19. There's Something About Maisie (1:22)
20. World's Worst Bedtime Storyteller (2:28)
21. Declaration of Indo-pendence (4:04)
22. To Free or Not to Free (3:02)
23. The Neo-Jurassic Age (3:34)
24. At Jurassic World's End Credits/Suite (10:55)

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The insert includes a list of performers and a note from the director about the score.
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or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom are Copyright © 2018, Backlot Music and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 10/13/18 (and not updated significantly since).
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