Review – Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Fallen Kingdom Poster

Fallen Kingdom Poster

The Jurassic Park franchise roared back to life in a huge way back in 2015 with Jurassic World. This sequel hopes to keep it going.

The dinos left on the abandoned island are in danger. In an ironic twist, it turns out that expenses were spared when it came to geological surveying as Isla Nublar is about to erupt. Yeah, it’s a volcano. Good thing the park has already closed a couple years ago, right?

The debate of the day is whether or not to save these un-extinct creatures. Claire and Owen reunite in order to pull off a dangerous and unauthorized rescue mission but – dun dun dun – things are not what they seem.

With a plot that twists and turns so much it ends up just turning back in itself to become a straight line, Fallen Kingdom relies almost exclusively on people being dumb. Even the smart people. Ignoring logic and common sense, as well as gaping plot holes, it plows forward like a freight train puzzle that loses pieces strewn along the tracks. There are dozens of interesting ideas, compelling scenes, and thrilling moments. Trying to be so many things at once though, the most worthwhile ideas are never fully formed or even revisited in some cases. “But wait, what happened with…” is a common sentiment. Moments that try to lean into the old school terror of dinosaurs hunting people down are shoehorned and cut short instead of allowing them to become anything beyond good trailer fodder. In the end its pretty generic blockbustery stuff with a few scary parts just itching to come into their own.

The cast and director do what they can to breathe life into a script that reads like a first draft consisting of “wouldn’t this be cool,” ideas for a Jurassic Park movie. But then they forgot to actually focus on any of those ideas and just threw them all in there. It has some super creepy moments, some visually inspiring scenes, some heart-racing action sequences, some great practical effects and good CGI. It has some far out ideas and fairly interesting characters. It has a lot going for it. But then it doesn’t do anything with all those things. It’s just strung together like popcorn on a Christmas tree. It looks nice all together but isn’t really that good to eat. It’s not so much a bad movie as it is just sort of bland, which shows all the more given just how hard it’s obviously trying. I wish it was as good as the trailer below, but it’s not.

Considering this was always supposed to be a trilogy (at least), I don’t think it’s much of a spoiler to say that there are dinosaurs still alive by the end of this movie, and that there will be dinosaurs in the next one. We are left with a world that may or may not be about to change drastically in terms of the foodchain, and here’s where I offer free, unsolicited advice to the producers – for the sequel, skip forward. A lot. Sorry Chris Pratt. I want to see a post-apocalyptic world with dinosaurs. Give me Zombieland meets Mad Max:Fury Road meets The Road meets War for the Planet of the Apes. But with dinosaurs. While an entertaining enough blockbuster, Fallen Kingdom is fairly generic and forgettable. Unless something is done to really kick this franchise in a new and exciting direction (doesn’t have to be my idea, but whatever) than I’m afraid it’s going to go extinct soon.

Mrs. Hamster did not screen this film

Brother Hamster says:

“Had some interesting ideas but failed to really develop any of them. And seriously, how many times do the dinosaurs have to go nuts before the scientists realize it’s still a bad idea to mess with them?”

My rating: Three out of five hats

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Trailer: 

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom erupts in 4,475 theaters, including IMAX 3D, June 22

One thought on “Review – Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

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