Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Movie Review
Does the kid inside you still like dinosaurs? Because I still find something magical about all the “Jurassic” movies bringing dinosaurs to life on the big screen. I’m an admitted fan of every single movie. Sure none of them were as moving as the first time Steven Spielberg gave us that vision of the giant creatures walking among us with John Williams’ rising inspirational score back in 1993’s JURASSIC PARK, but I definitely have enjoyed the ride ever since. JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM is completely and wildly ridiculous, but it’s also wildly fun popcorn entertainment.
It has been three years since the tragic events from 2015’s JURASSIC WORLD. The amusement park has been abandoned and the dinosaurs have been living freely on the island. When the dormant volcano begins showing signs of activity, a “save the dinos” movement begins to erupt across the world. While the government wisely chooses not to intervene, due to a helpful and logical testimony from Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum reprising his role for a brief scene) explaining that we should let nature correct the course that man has forcefully disrupted, a secret excursion is set in motion anyway. A brave Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) has grown a softer heart towards the once extinct animals and enlists the help of a more humorous and always heroic Owen (Chris Pratt) who wants to save his genius pet Velociraptor Blue. Along with some hired guns, the two are aided by the estate of John Hammond’s sickly former partner Benjamin Lockwell (James Cromwell) and his second-in-command Eli Mills (Rafe Spall). Obviously things don’t go quite as planned as our foolish heroes find their big hearts have put themselves in a danger that extends further than dinosaurs and volcanoes.
The number one problem about JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM is that our heroes are in the wrong from the get go. Don’t misunderstand me, there are far bigger villains in the film, especially when it comes to a later topic dealing with dinosaur trafficking. However the motivation to save man-made dinosaurs at the risk of human life seems almost indefensible. But while some of my colleagues and I’m sure some audiences will scoff at the film’s many absurdities, I found myself embracing the crazy. The poor character decisions and some of the funny dramatic lines have a tongue-in-cheek vibe as if the film is in on the joke to up the insanity for a summer blockbuster. Pratt and Howard have truly embraced their roles and appear to have fun doing so. They have some humous supporting help from an outspoken, brave young doctor (Daniella Pineda) and a young techie guy who wants to be nowhere near any danger or even outside at anytime (Justice Smith).
While JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM may not warrant repeat viewing, I do recommend a large audience. I was pleased that my fellow moviegoers were outwardly reacting the same way I was throughout the film. Like any frightfully fun horror movie, the laughter and screams are almost contagious as one of the dumb, unnecessarily mean, bad guys is clearly about to get his comeuppance. Director J.A. Bayona (THE IMPOSSIBLE, A MONSTER CALLS) tends to make that transition from adventure to horror a bit towards the end with some fantastic production and impressive imagery as the scary dino shadows creep through halls and inside a child’s bedrooms like a giant monster boogey man.
JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM didn’t quite recapture my joy and imagination the way JURASSIC WORLD revitalized the franchise a few years ago (I loved seeing the park in full operation). Ultimately, I think the 128-minute film would have been better served spending more time on the island’s energized activity rather than moving the location so quickly to an ominous mansion for the final act. Nevertheless, the film still manages some amazing set pieces with some truly thrilling scenes. If nothing else, the death defying escape from a roaring volcano while simultaneously trying not to get trampled let alone eaten by fleeing dinosaurs makes FALLEN KINGDOM definitely worth a viewing. It might be super silly, but it’s also super fun.