Okay, so now that it’s been out for a few days, I assume you’ve seen Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom by now, right? If you haven’t, then you’ll probably want to turn back, since there are some spoiler-y things about to be discussed here. The headline should’ve clued you in.
Alright, everyone else good? Cool.
So, there’s been a lot of posts floating around the internet these past few days concerning the end-credits stinger in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. For a refresher, partway through the film’s third act, it’s revealed that Maisie (Isabella Sermon) is a clone herself. Armed with this knowledge, she decides to hit a big red button that frees all the dinosaurs from the subbasement of the Lockwood mansion in scenic Northern California.
The dinosaurs run amok, kill the few remaining bad guys, then disappear into the wilderness. Afterward, we get a montage of dinosaurs on the verge of unleashing prehistoric chaos onto the real world, ending with the hyperintelligent raptor, Blue, standing on a cliff and overlooking some kind of peaceful suburban enclave. Roll credits.
Ah, but wait, if there’s anything modern moviegoing has instilled in us is to sit and wait through three or four minutes of credits in anticipation of yet another scene, undoubtedly to the frustration of theater employees the world over.
A quick aside, I was at a movie a couple weeks back and about halfway through the credits, most of the audience still in their seats. Some poor employee was waiting in the aisle with a broom and dustpan finally broke down and said “I saw this yesterday, there’s no end credits scene, I promise!”
Anyway, Fallen Kingdom does have an end credits scene, which shows two pterodactyls perching on the Las Vegas Eiffel Tower, while hundreds of people scream in terror below. As a result, dozens of entertainment outlets flooded the internet with some variation of ‘The end-credits scene in Fallen Kingdom, explained’ stories.
Which begs the question: why was this necessary? Unlike most post-credits scenes, which usually adds some kind of hint about the next installment of either a sequel or ever-expanding franchise (looking at you, every single MCU movie), Fallen Kingdom’s was really just another snippet of what we’d already seen in the film’s “proper” ending. The dinosaurs are now loose in the real world. We get it.
So, given this relatively straightforward and arguably unnecessary post-credits stinger, why is there such an incessant need to ‘explain’ this?
A lot of this has to do with outlets and their need for content. Hell, I get it. I’ve been doing this kind of thing for a few years now and every time there’s a major blockbuster or game-changing episode of television, outlets crave these kinds of articles to draw in new readers and keep their existing audience clicking away. And, to be fair, those clicks are what allows people like me to earn some semblance of a living.
That being said, do we really need countless articles explaining what was really the most straightforward post-credits scene since Ferris Bueller came out in his bathrobe and told the crowd to go home?
I mean, to be fair, lots of these post-credits tidbits do require some kind of tutelage. When Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) tells Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr) about “the Avengers initiative” at the end of the first Iron Man, comic book readers (myself included) knew exactly what he was referring to. However, the majority of filmgoers likely had no idea, so it helped round out their experience to have someone write a few hundred words detailing exactly what The Avengers was, and what this could eventually be leading up to. All of which ended up coming to fruition just four years later.
Similarly, last night’s Westworld finale included a post-credits scene and I’ve gone out of my way to devour every article I can find, because I’ve been watching that show since the beginning and am only about 65% sure of what’s all going on there.
And no disrespect to Fallen Kingdom, but we’re not exactly talking about some cerebral cinematic experience here. It’s a big-budget popcorn movie specifically designed for mass audience appeal. Which is totally fine! But does that mean it requires countless articles, each with their own elaborate dissection on two renegade pterodactyls moments before they (presumably) wreak havoc on the Vegas strip?
I would argue that it does not.