Title – Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)
Director – J.A. Bayona (A Monster Calls)
Cast – Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall, Justice Smith, James Cromwell, Toby Jones, Daniella Pineda, Jeff Goldblum
Plot – With the dino-filled island of Isla Nublar facing imminent demise at the hand of its active volcano, previous park employees Owen Grady (Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Howard) return to the island to save the remaining dinosaurs at the behest of shady businessman Eli Mills (Spall).
“These creatures were here before us. And if we’re not careful… they’re going to be here after”
Review by Eddie on 22/06/2018
There was a lot of love in everyone’s heart’s for the reimaging of the Jurassic Park franchise in 2015, when the Chris Pratt led Jurassic World made its way into cinema’s and into the top tier class of Box Office behemoths with over 1.6 billion in takings world-wide.
Most critics loved director Colin Trevorrow’s take on the dinosaur’s come to life plotline, while Pratt doing his best incarnation of Star Lord the Dino Whisperer alongside some well-designed CGI carnage got the audiences approval but after 3 years between drinks, it’s hard to see the same type of love being afforded to The Impossible and A Monster Calls director J.A Bayona’s newest entry into the long standing franchise.
There’s little doubt the tills will be filling up with audiences keen for more Jurassic action but Fallen Kingdom lacks the spark, creativity and spectacle that has been found in the best of the Jurassic films and ends up becoming a dino-filled experience that lacks the enthusiasm and bite needed in a series that is now in its fifth instalment.
Bayona has made a name for himself with a visually powerful catalogue of film’s that also includes the great horror flick The Orphanage and few could ever forget his amazing representation of the Boxing Day tsunami in The Impossible but despite some early set-pieces and a thrilling extended sequence on the island of Isla Nublar where an active volcano decides to explode, Fallen Kingdom fails to deliver the thrills and dino-chills that have been found in the best of the series.
There’s no trembling cup of water, no velociraptor chases through long grass or bike v dinosaurs which makes Fallen Kingdom feel rather plain and boring, especially when considering that Bayona has a clear divide in tone, as the attention of the film shifts in its second half to a more odd take on the gothic monster tale as a genetically created dinosaur known as the Indoraptor comes into the picture in a human infested mansion in the woods that’s supposed to be more horror orientated than action focussed.
It’s an odd shift of tone and while it’s nice to see Bayona try to shift the focus away from previous films, it doesn’t fully work, especially when the human players in the film fail to connect also.
If you’ve seen the first Jurassic World then you know what to expect from its returning stars Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, even if both performers have a lot less to work with this time around, but most of the new additions, bar the comic relief of Justice Smith as nerdy IT guy Franklin, fail to make any form of a mark.
A problem stemming from the last film, the series in particular has failed to find a genuinely good human big-bad and that’s the case again here with new villains, Rafe Spall’s slimy businessman Eli Mills and Ted Levine’s grizzled tooth-collecting gun for hire Ken Wheatley, both so generic and bland that you’ll forget they even existed come the end credits, while the newest addition of “lab-made” super-monster is just as tiresome as you’d expect.
It’s all good for a film of this nature to give itself to its dino-creations, but when the humans get such short-shift, there’s only so far the film can go.
Final Say –
With a weakish script and a bunch of poorly developed new characters, Fallen Kingdom is a rather so-so affair and its divide between two distinctive halves is a move that doesn’t pay off, as its much better (if rushed) opening half gives way to a 2nd act that fails to inspire like the best of the Jurassic franchise entries.
With a planned trilogy finale scheduled for a few years’ time, the next Jurassic World entry has its work cut out for it should it wish to get viewers excited again after this middle of the road offering.
2 ½ goats out of 5