Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Review
Runtime: 128mins | Director: J. A. Bayona | Rating: 2.25 Stars
When I saw Jurassic World back in 2015 I wasn’t blown away at all. In fact, I’d almost go as far as to say I disliked it.
Sure, it wasn’t horrible, but there were a lot of things which irked me – a tired, stereotypical plot, cheesy slow-motion raptors saving the day and the main character running around the park in completely inappropriate high heels to name but a few.
So, when I went into Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom my expectations were low. And, as expected, the film met them.
In Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom, both Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) are reunited when they are recruited on a mission to return to Isla Nublar – the island where Jurassic Park was built. Their mission is to rescue the remaining dinosaurs on the island before an active volcano erupts and wipes them out (again). Soon, however, the couple realise there are greater threats than the volcano at work which they must then try to stop.
Now, not all of Fallen Kingdom was bad – in fact, some of it was good, so I’ll begin with that.
At the beginning of the film, the plot was compelling and, dare I say it, actively interesting.
For me, the hypothetical debate of whether the man-made dinosaurs deserved to live, and by extension, have the same rights as other endangered animals was extremely interesting. This was the road the film should have continued to go down, but, instead, in the latter two acts, it repeats the monotonous and tired plot of Jurassic World. But, we’ll get to that later.
Secondly, it can’t be denied, Fallen Kingdom is a stunning film to look at. Whether you’re watching a giant volcano explode, engulfing the island in lava, a fight between two terrifying dinosaurs, or vast, sweeping vistas of Isla Nublar, the film is captivating and cinematographer Óscar Faura along with the CGI team did a fantastic job.
Finally, despite being criminally short, Jeff Goldblum’s cameo was fantastic – the man can do no wrong.
Unfortunately though, despite its redeeming moments, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom remained average at best.
My chief gripe with Fallen Kingdom is that it was unoriginal and frankly, bizarre.
One of the reasons I disliked Jurassic World was that the plot felt stale and unoriginal. Rather than being a film about dinosaurs which displayed both their beauty but fearsome nature, instead, it devolved into a monster movie where a scientist concocts something nightmarish in his laboratory, it goes wrong and ends up killing people.
Can you get any less original?
Apparently so, as that is exactly what ends up happening AGAIN in Fallen Kingdom.
Rather than focussing on the genuinely interesting part of the film - whether dinosaurs deserve the same rights as other non-man-made creatures – instead, they repeat Jurassic World’s mistakes and simply create another nightmare dinosaur which then stalks them.
To add to this, Bayona steered the film in a totally new direction.
Whilst the first act is reminiscent of the previous films with large-scale disaster, the second and third act devolves into a gothic horror, reminiscent of Bayona’s past works like The Orphanage. And, whilst some may have liked this genre change and found it refreshing, I didn’t enjoy it at all. It felt very odd and out of place having a giant, genetically spliced dinosaur stalking people through an old, giant mansion whilst lightning stereotypically flashed through the cobwebbed windows.
Another example of Fallen Kingdom not learning from its predecessor’s mistakes was that Claire and Owen’s relationship was still uninteresting and, more importantly, frustrating. As with the last film, Claire comes across as dull and argumentative and Owen tries to crack a joke at any given opportunity which soon becomes tiring. Essentially, there was no character development at all – something every half-decent film needs.
Luckily, because I went into Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom with low expectations that meant that I wasn’t let down. As expected, it was a distinctly average film which provided some moments of entertainment and laughter but, on the whole, was entirely forgettable.
My advice is to go and see Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom at the cinema and see what you think. Sure, you may come out underwhelmed, but if you watch it at home, you’ll miss out on the spectacle of it on the big screen which is one of the few positives it has going for it.
If you don’t see it though, I can’t say you’re missing out.
To watch the trailer – click here.