Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Movie Review
Three years after the destruction of the Jurassic World theme park, Owen Grady and Claire Dearing return to the island of Isla Nublar to save the remaining dinosaurs from a volcano that’s about to erupt. They soon encounter terrifying new breeds of gigantic dinosaurs, while uncovering a conspiracy that threatens the entire planet.
The most annoying thing about the new Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is the fact that there are dinosaur rights activists at all. Sure, I can understand not wanting to see any animals lives being threatened by an active volcano about to wipe them all out for the second time, but at this point in time, people should pretty much get that dinosaurs are a really bad idea. There have been two disasters that have shut down major theme park operations, killed dozens and dozens of people, and pretty much everything goes straight to hell when these animals pop up. In fact, the evil Dr. Wu (B.D. Wong) even admitted that they changed the ways all these dinosaurs looked from the get-go to make them more appealing to people visiting the parks. So, I’m not sure what these people are trying to save, because all Isla Nublar has are a lot of genetically engineered monsters on it.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has a new director in J.A. Bayona and I have to give him credit because the opening sequence of the film really gets your heart pumping. However, it quickly becomes apparent that’s he’s a one trick pony when it comes to this film. His gimmick? Constantly (and I mean constantly) having things just behind hind characters suddenly come into view and then disappear at just the right moment. It’s as if he’s trying to get the audience to scream out “look out behind you” every few minutes. While this certainly is effective at sometimes, it’s not something that needs to be done constantly. It even starts to become obnoxious by the end when the audience inevitably stops shouting “look out behind you” and switches “how could you not hear the T-Rex sneaking up on you!?!”
Of course, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom follows the same old theme that greed leads to stupidity and eventually chaos. This time around Owen and Claire find themselves tangled up with animal traffickers that have their sights set on something a little bigger than rhinos. Luckily for the audience, they’re led by Ted Levine, who proves to be one of the less annoying villains of the series. Though that isn’t saying much since the bad guy in the first film was played by Newman (Wayne Knight). Still, the movie does continue to beat the ideas and themes that it’s been sticking to since the 90’s halfway to death.
There are plenty of other plot holes and minor annoyances I could continue to pick at, but I think it’s time to talk about some of the things Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom got right. For one thing, Chris Pratt is proving time and time again that he’s a pleasant addition to any film he’s a part of. This time Owen let’s his gold old boy side out a bit more, but he also shows that he’s a lot smarter than any of us would have suspected after the first movie (he showed common sense).
While Bryce Dallas Howard is back alongside him, and her character has undergone an upgrade in the personality department, but she’s still not much more than background dressing. The real co-star of the film is the Raptor Blue, who plays an even bigger part in the sequel and feels like a much better fleshed out character overall. Which I guess isn’t really a sign that Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is continuing the perceived sexism of the first Jurassic World, since Blue is quite a lady.
Needless to say, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a movie with plenty of faults, but these films have never been that great since the first one. They’re not supposed to be Oscar-caliber movies though. After all, they’re movies about dinosaurs. That isn’t an excuse for the problems that this new movie has, but it’s more a warning to level your expectations for what you’re walking into. If you want to see people run for their lives from CGI dinosaurs, then you’re going to find yourself having a pleasant night at the movies. If you’re looking for any sort of real substance and not just another mindless summer blockbuster, well, at least this one has dinosaurs.