These creatures were here before us, and if we’re not careful, they’re going to be here after.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is the sequel to the mega-hit that was Jurassic World in 2015. It’s directed by J.A. Bayona and the basic premise is that the dinosaurs left on Isla Nublar/Jurassic World are in danger from extinction when the island’s volcano starts to erupt. It stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, Rafe Spall and Jeff Goldblum.
This year I promised myself that I won’t go late to the movie like I did with the first Jurassic World. Well, I did and I most probably will do it again for the third one. Anyways when I went to see the first one I remember it being packed, a lot of people were excited to visit this franchise after a fourteen year hiatus. My local cinema is almost never packed, the only times it is packed is when it’s a major franchise like Star Wars or Marvel With the sequel it was maybe even the same amount of people there were for the first one and it was filled with parents and children similar to your typical Star Wars audience. They cheered, gasped a bit as well and you could tell they had a fun time.
I went into this movie expecting a big summer blockbuster which was entertaining and I got that. Fallen Kingdom is definitely enjoyable, it has some memorable action scenes and it has some thrilling scenes as well. I liked it quite a bit, it reminded me a lot of The Lost World. It has a thought-provoking ending, one which I feel will take the franchise either to a whole new level which will feature some fresh storytelling or a boring and predictable sequel. I think it’s a better film than the first one. The first Jurassic World played it safe and stuck to nostalgia like The Force Awakens but this one made a name for it’s own. This one deals with the darker themes a story like this would deal with.
This movie is a great entry in this franchise, I would say it’s my third favourite movie in the entire franchise, first being Jurassic Park and the second being Jurassic World. Even though Fallen Kingdom is the better film, I still have a soft spot for the first one. The first half is great but the second half is just non-stop action. I think that the PG-13 rating hurts this franchise because there isn’t really an element of consequence, the most they can do is move away if someone gets killed, there’s never that fatal aspect included. There is this plot line with the Lockwood family which to be quite honest I couldn’t care less about, when I talked to my friend he said he didn’t remember a single thing about the Lockwood characters, in fact we talked during most of the scenes they were in. This movie however takes the franchise in a new direction with it’s ending. The ending was very forced in my opinion but it did leave me thinking. The new characters were fine but for a big chunk of the movie they disappear and you forget them immediately. The script didn’t know what to do with them so it literally ignored them until it needed them.
What I really loved and what I took away from the film was the theme of Nature vs Man, this movie really makes you think. There’s this one shot that’s still stuck in my head and it’s the perfect shot to describe what I’m talking about. The dinosaurs are given a lot more attention this time and what I really love about this movie is that it doesn’t show you the bad parts only, yes they kill people but only because they are put in a tough position. It makes you feel for them and when you think about it, it changes the way you look at this franchise and I praise the movie for doing that. The character of Owen Grady played by Pratt has an odd change of heart at the beginning which I didn’t really understand. Also Blue is the new T-Rex, you’ll understand when you’ll see the movie.
In terms of pacing, this movie suffers as well because the first half went by really quickly but since the second half is mostly action it gets a bit tiring and the pacing starts to suffer. I loved the tones this movie carries, it’s surprisingly emotional at times, my friend started to tear up during this one scene, you’ll know it when you see it. It was also dark but not too brooding, it had a lot of humor which in my opinion worked, none of it felt forced. Pratt’s comedic timing is excellent, he is hilarious! As for the horror aspect it wasn’t fully utilized within this story, the Indoraptor appears very late into the movie although with the little amount of screen-time that it has it proves to be one of the most intelligent and wicked dinosaurs this franchise has ever put out. Another praise I give this movie is for creating exciting set pieces. I loved when they were on Isla Nublar and I loved when they were in the mansion. Bayona said that as the movie progresses the locations get smaller and more claustrophobic and it was a very effective and clever move. Also obviously the practical effects on the dinosaurs are amazing, I am so glad that they’re not all CGI but that they actually do put effort into bringing dinosaurs back to life. The score by Michael Giacchino is intense and diverse, I am so happy he came back to compose this one.
Overall Fallen Kingdom proves to be a worthy entry in this saga. It’s exciting action scenes are matched beautifully with it’s grand locations and set pieces. It’s a good time at the movies, fans won’t be disappointed. It delivers an important message, it puts the franchise in a really tough spot (story-wise) with that ending and I can’t wait to see where they go with it. For the simple reason that themes and emotional aspects of the movie strengthen the script, making it the best one since Jurassic Park because like that movie, this one has something to say!