Film Review – Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) ** 1/2

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

14 responses to “Film Review – Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) ** 1/2

  1. Dude I have little to no interest in watching this, even passed on a screening Tue night (mainly cause I was tired, but if I were interested, I would have loaded on Coke lol!). Who knows when…or even if…I’ll get to this. Great review as always.

  2. I did see the movie last night. I thought it was pretty good. Of course, it doesn’t beat out Jurassic Park or Jurassic World, but I thought it was better than Lost World and Jurassic Park III. The film doesn’t really draw outside the “Jurassic” lines until the ending set up for the next installment. However, I still enjoyed it.

    • It had some moments for me Jason but that’s all they were, little moments. I think overall it was all pretty forgettable and I do wonder how fans will feel about it after the dust settles.

      • There are few problems in the movie (most of which didn’t hurt my enjoyment of the feature). Still, Fallen Kingdom sort of its that rut of being the middle installment in a trilogy. Neither beginning the tale nor concluding it.

  3. It felt like two films in one, and I prefer anything that wasn’t on the island. There was a sense of claustrophobia once they were off the island, be it on the boat, stuck with he T-Rex or Blue, or even enclosed within that ridiculously large looking mansion with there or four main rooms.
    It felt like Bayon was more comfortable with those moments, and moments is what we got instead of a fully cohesive whole.

    • It definitely did feel like 2 films, it didn’t particularly gel for me either. I can see where Bayona was going and read he wanted to make it like an odd-gothic horror, almost Hammer film like, but it didn’t suit this story well.

    • That’s the main thing now, really getting a good story to carry this one through! I am not sure they can fully recover from where this film has set things in motion but I am willing to stay a little optimistic.

  4. I feel like we weren’t even watching the same movie! I liked it even more than Jurassic World. It had more excitement, more white knuckle suspense, more jump-scares and more plot twists. It still had nostalgic moments like those scenes in the mansion that remind you of the kitchen scene in the original. While we didn’t realy get the chance to connect to Franklin or Zia, they were pretty cool, and I did feel emotionally invested in Maisie. It is now my second favourite movie in the “Jurassic” franchise.

    • Glad you liked it this much mate. I was keen to watch it and didn’t hate it just found it all incredibly forgettable and it left me in a space where I really don’t care to much about where things are heading or what’s in store for these characters that they’ve tried to build up for the trilogy.

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