Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Review

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom movie posterSynopsis
When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. (via IMDb)

Review
When Jurassic World destroyed the box office with its success, it was inevitable that a sequel would happen. When I saw the first trailer for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, I thought that the whole movie was going to be about rescuing the dinosaurs from the erupting volcano and that the trailer had just given away what happens in the movie (as trailers can often do these days). However, that is only the first act of the film. There is so much more.

While the first part of the movie is spent on the island, the rest of the film is spent on the mainland. In the last two acts of the film, the themes of the previous film are continued. Characters spend time discussing the ethics on engineering a living being and having control of the power of genetics (which includes a great monologue from the franchise’s most vocal voice of reason, Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum)). However, while the themes are continued, they are not built upon. As a result, this movie feels like an extension of its predecessor rather than a new film.

Since the movie starts with the volcano erupting, the pacing of the film is different than the other films in the franchise. Most films, particularly Jurassic Park and Jurassic World, slowly crescendo to the high-octane action towards the end. But here, the movie starts with adrenaline, then slows down before ramping up once more for exciting action sequences. This methodology hooked me into the film from the get go. It also gave me a sigh of relief that the initial trailer didn’t show too much of the ending like I thought it had.

Something that bothered me as I was watching Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was the plan to move the last of the dinosaurs from Isla Nublar (who were stated to be the last of their kind) to a sanctuary island. Did the characters forget about Isla Sorna, aka Site B? I mean, this island was the setting for two of the films before this one. Is that no longer around? What happened to the dinosaurs there, if anything? I usually don’t let plot holes get to me while watching a film, but that one seemed too big to miss, considering the fact that there were two islands with dinosaurs was previously a major point in series.

John Hammond is an iconic character in Jurassic Park and the theme park’s creation. I enjoyed learning more about Hammond’s history and the origins of the park itself. We learn of his partnership with Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell) and how the two of them got started with bringing dinosaurs to life. It’s a small part of the film but it’s one that I really liked included.

All this time I’ve been talking about the story but my favorite thing about this film is the chemistry between Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. They are both naturally funny and their types of humor work well together. I consistently found myself smiling and having a good time during their scenes. Steven Spielberg and Colin Trevorrow hit gold when they cast them as the franchise’s new leads.

I thought Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was GOOD πŸ™‚ It feels more like an extension of Jurassic World than its own thing but there is enjoyment to be had. The scenes of the exploding island were exciting and the claustrophobic feel of the action scenes in the third act lead to some edge-of-your-seat moments. It’s clear this is meant to be a middle movie so I’m intrigued to see where they take the series from here.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
JA Bayona – Director
Colin Trevorrow – Writer
Derek Connolly – Writer
Michael Giacchino – Composer

Chris Pratt – Owen Grady
Bryce Dallas Howard – Claire Dearing
Rafe Spall – Eli Mills
Justice Smith – Franklin Webb
Daniella Pineda – Zia Rodriguez
James Cromwell – Benjamin Lockwood
Isabella Sermon – Maisie Lockwood
Toby Jones – Mr. Eversoll
Ted Levine – Ken Wheatley
BD Wong – Dr. Wu
Geraldine Chaplin – Iris
Jeff Goldblum – Ian Malcolm

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