The success of Jurassic World reinvigorated the dormant franchise and while nobody would claim it to be a masterpiece, its amusement park ride was entertaining. Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom its sequel returns with some interesting twists on a familiar formula. It is a better film than its predecessor but also suffers from fatigue with its spectacle as now magnificent creatures once again return to its screen.
The island of Isla Nublar is now a relic of the Jurassic World amusement park and its long-dormant volcano has suddenly become active. While governments debate what should be done, a rich philanthropist steps forward to take some of the animals to a sanctuary. Two veterans of the original Jurassic World disaster, Owen and Claire, are recruited to help this operation.
It’s fair to say that from the outset Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom feels hampered by problems. The main and obvious one is that we have now seen dinosaurs do dinosaur stuff for five movies. It doesn’t help when you try and evoke nostalgia when constructing set pieces either. It really is weird to feel fatigued in the opening scenes of a movie. To be completely fair I still feel a mild thrill after seeing a dinosaur, but the word mild is key.
It doesn’t help that the double crosses and sanctimonious preaching against capitalism and cloning are present here again. The expected plot twists are here as is that ever-present idea of Ian Malcolm – just because we could doesn’t mean that we should. It’s all a bit yawn inducing. Yet I put all the negatives up front because Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom does manage to surprise and rise above the dead weight of being part of a franchise.
It starts subtly at first with hints of character development. Park Operator, Claire has moved from entertainment and organisation to activism and regret and while the audience is not-exactly privy to that change it still makes a statement. Still, Owen is merely roguish one-dimensional goodness and hacker guy and tough veterinarian girl all are a bit lacking in anything resembling more than a stereotype. The helpless kid is there but something more is going on there that I won’t ruin.
Again, dinosaurs also surprise. The velociraptor known as ‘Blue’ has an arc of his own as the audience is treated to flashbacks from his past and a knowing look at a cage in the final shots of the movie make for some interesting character development. There is also a gut-wrenching scene that managed to elicit a few small tears as we watch the destruction of dinosaurs.
Even some of the set-pieces manage to surprise. Sure, there is an absolute truckload of running away from scary menacing dinosaurs but there are scenes like getting a blood transfusion from a half-sedate T-Rex or using a Stygimoloch to headbutt your way to freedom. Add to that some interesting plot twist and the potential direction for Jurassic World 3 and you will ultimately find yourself surprised by the Fallen Kingdom.
Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom Review Summary
Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom is an entertaining and surprising movie weighed down by too much familiarity. Its popcorn spectacle provides us with some surprising moments and unfamiliar directions for where the franchise might be headed. Its sanctimony and often one-dimensional character aren’t always overcome by heart-felt moments and occasional character development for human and dinosaur alike. Worth watching and occasionally unexpected in direction but not necessarily a must-see.
+ Surprises in dinosaur spectacle.
+ Interesting set up for future movies.
+Occasional character development.
-Lot of familiar running away from dinosaurs.
-same old message about capitalism and cloning.
-For as much done with character, a whole lot more is one dimensional