RTF Film Review: “Connor Says JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM Offers Same Old Spectacle”
By Connor Behrens (@ConnorBehrens)
Following the 2015 predecessor that broke records and grossed over $1.5 billion at the worldwide box office, the new Jurassic World film sputters out of the gate, a sometimes fun, but ultimately stale entry in the ever-growing Jurassic Park franchise.
Three years after the devastation of the Jurassic World theme park, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) return to the island of Isla Nublar to save the last dinosaurs from a volcano that’s about to erupt. The two soon realize this rescue operation was constructed under false pretenses and quickly discover a terrifying conspiracy that threatens the entire planet.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has a lot of ideas in its script penned by Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly. Unfortunately, a lot of these ideas never come together in a cohesive manner. Instead, audiences are given two movie concepts thrown into a blender and spat out in a final product that resembles 1997’s The Lost World.
The first part of the film is not awful in its execution. It features well-crafted action sequences, and the addition of lava makes these action scenes feel like a classic monster movie as the protagonists fight for their lives against the many different species of beasts on the island, while a force of nature tries to consume all of them.
But as soon as the dust settles and the film moves to a more urban setting, it is then that the screenplay falters, losing momentum as viewers are taken out of the exotic “Fallen Kingdom” and into a generic subplot involving scientists playing god.
These story elements have been utilized before in other franchise films and it’s something that’s already been touched upon in past entries of the Jurassic Park franchise.
The second half of the film is the weakest portion. When Fallen Kingdom regurgitates plot points and action sequences that, while well-shot and choreographed, have been seen by audiences countless times before, how is it supposed to be exciting? It also does not help that the human antagonists are one-note and almost cartoonish. The military characters are rudimentary and generic.
The only saving grace with the cast is the dynamic duo of Howard and Pratt, who once again both give much needed emotional moments to the audience and at times provide excellent chemistry and humor. Those two are some of the only human characters in Fallen Kingdom who feel real and tangible.
Credit must also be given to director J.A. Bayona who does create some legitimately creepy moments as our band of heroes are chased through a mansion’s tortuous passageways. There’s a weird, gothic undertone in the way Bayona shoots his action that works for moments like this. But, these moments are sadly few and fleeting.
Final thoughts: While the majority of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a rehash of the franchise’s past narrative beats and an overall oddly assembled story, the ending does promise establishing a far more ludicrous and actually interesting idea that could push future sequels in the series to exciting heights. Or maybe it won’t. Perhaps the best days of the Jurassic Park franchise are behind it.
Staff reporter at the oldest newspaper in Texas. Film fanatic. Bylines: Washington Post, BuzzFeed, Batman-On-Film, and now Revenge of The Fans. Proudly autistic.