The Park is Closed in ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’

by Christian Ramos on June 21, 2018

in Print Reviews,Reviews

 [Rating: Swiss Fist] 

Twenty-five years ago, Jurassic Park was released around the world and quickly became one of the highest-grossing films of all time and changed cinematic technology by bring dinosaurs to life with CGI. Now, numerous mediocre sequels later, another mediocre sequel is brought back from extinction. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (director J.A. Boyona of A Monster Calls), offers an all-too-familiar adventure to the series.

Three years after the dinosaurs escaped Jurassic World, the world is on edge about saving these savage beasts from extinction. Isla Nublar finally decides even it is done with dinosaurs, and unleashes its dormant volcano to kill them all. Pro-saving dino activists, lead by Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), along with newcomers Franklin the nervous IT kid (Justice Smith) and paleo-veterinarian Zia (Daniella Pineda), are hired by John Hammond’s former partner Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell) into secretly saving the dinosaurs. One dinosaur in particular, the velociraptor Blue, can only respond to Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) who has distanced himself from Claire, but will do whatever he can to make sure Blue is safely transferred to another island, free from human interference. Chaos ensues, dinosaurs attack and as seen in the trailer, that volcano does in fact go boom.

Fallen Kingdom really has two stories going on and therein lies for me, the major issues. The first half of this story is good. The volcano situation and the escape from the island before everything is destroyed? FUN! Even the third act when another (these people can’t stop themselves!) genetically modified dino escapes is the best part. It’s the second act where we see the shady dino trading deals of Lockwood’s right hand man Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) that’s boring as heck! We even get a glimpse into Lockwood’s granddaughter Maisie (Isabella Sermon) who has her own story but I won’t spoil it. If the story stayed on the island more, there really could have been a better way to get to the later act. It’s all so rushed.

I don’t care about shady business doings anymore in this dinosaur world because obviously it’s going to happen. It’s been happening since 1993 and nobody will ever learn that dinosaurs are dangerous!

If anything, there are two things I take away from seeing this movie. One, it stays too similar to The Lost World in tone and structure. Sadly, The Lost World isn’t even the best in the franchise. This movie goes from island to the states … hasn’t that been done before? And even the central evil dinosaur is just a replica of Jurassic World’s Indominus. A recycled plot masked by a surname.

Just to get it out in the open, Jeff Goldblum is in two bookended scenes. All that hype for two scenes.

So, Fallen Kingdom isn’t really all that bad, but it’s not totally good either. Jurassic World offered a new look at the park and because of that, Fallen Kingdom never rises to expectations. There’s a thrill, but it’s been used before in this franchise. These dinosaurs find themselves in a weak tale of morality in this movie. Should they be saved? Should they finally go extinct? Why is this movie so faux-heavy in morality, yikes!? I’m interested in seeing where the third and hopefully final installment will go, but I think even Miss T-Rex is tired of being caught up in human shenanigans. Give it a rest.

Christian Ramos is a recent graduate of KU with a B.A. in Film & Media Studies. When he’s not watching movies, he likes to brag about the pointless Oscar trivia he knows, remembers that time he dressed as Steven Spielberg for Halloween and shows off his tweet that Julianne Moore liked.

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