Paul-Mikél Williams … Darius Bowman
Recommended Reading: Jurassic Park: The Original Novel
Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Season 3 Review
Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous returns for another round of exciting Brontosaurus-sized adventure in a thrilling third season that ups the action, carnage, and mayhem, even while sticking closely to an increasingly formulaic story structure.
Season 3 kicks off with our intrepid heroes, namely Darius, Yasmina, Brooklyn, Kenji, Sammy, and Ben, once again attempting to survive the dangerous reptilian inhabitants of Isla Nublar following the events of Jurassic World. When we last saw them, the group had just overcome a pair of truly nasty humans and decided to take matters into their own hands and find a way off the island. As it turns out, said plan involves a Cast Away-styled raft that instantly crumbles against the surf and leaves our young adventurers stranded on the newfound Dino Kingdom … again.
Cue the Gilligan’s Island theme song.
At this point, you kind of know what to expect. Each episode begins with a problem — relationship, environmental, or dinosaur related — and culminates in a thrilling action scene that somehow gives way to a solution to said problem. Rinse and repeat. Except, by now, the creators of Camp Cretaceous know these characters so well, and have such a firm grip on audience expectations, that they manage to outmaneuver their episodic trappings and deliver a final product that satisfies, thrills, and, best of all, leaves you wanting more.
I dare not reveal too many secrets, suffice to say this new season doesn’t skimp on dinosaur mayhem and does a fine job developing its colorful cast of characters even further than before. Ben, in particular, continues to morph into Jurassic Park’s version of Rambo — a far cry from the awkward kid we first saw in Season 1. At one point he even contemplates staying on the island because that’s where he feels he belongs. Even Kenji, the spoiled punk, has grown something akin to a conscience, even if he’s not quite sure what to do with it, yet. While Sammy, Brooklyn, and Yasmina get their own individual moments to shine — the latter two even get an opportunity to show off their hang gliding skills during a particularly close encounter with a Dimorphodon. (Yes, I looked that up.)
Yet, the show’s central star (and all-around beating heart) remains Darius, the young explorer whose relationship with his now-deceased dinosaur-loving father led him to the island in the first place. After all the crazy action beats, close calls, relationship issues, and life or death encounters, Darius always seems to be the one to keep the group together; and even finds time to track down his dad’s favorite dino to satisfy his own personal journey.
Ultimately, that’s what Camp Cretaceous is really about. Sure, there are dinosaurs aplenty, and any number of splendid action scenes, including one that takes place in an all-too-familiar kitchen, and another featuring an all-too-familiar raptor with blue markings, but the show’s main emphasis is on the core group, who have evolved into something akin to a cohesive family unit. Though, after months stranded on an island dealing with never-ending, adrenaline-pumping circumstances, you’d think one or two of these adolescent teenagers would find some time for some, ahem, snogging action. Would the ever-looming presence of a Tyrannosaurus Rex offset raging hormones? Probably not.
Such nitpicks need not apply to this show. After all, these kids are presumably still wearing the same underwear they had on at the start of their journey. Though, while we’re on the subject of minute details, it is interesting that no one on the mainland has mounted a rescue party to search for these kids. In fact, one would expect the Masrani company to return with an army in order to protect its billion-dollar investment; or, at the very least, retrieve the dead bodies scattered across its now-abandoned theme park.
Instead, Jurassic World seems to only attract boneheads like the aforementioned hunters that cared more about blasting a T-Rex than saving the lives of six teenagers. Season 3 continues this motif by bringing in a new assortment of human baddies, including one all-too-familiar-random-side-character-turned-villain, whose actions potentially pave the way for a drastic shift in the series’ setting and tone moving forward.
Season 4, anyone? I’m so there.