Hold On To Your Butts
In 2015 we were introduced to Jurassic World, a continuation and modern rendition of the beloved Jurassic Park from 1993. Now, just three years later (the shortest span between any two films in the franchise), we get a new installment, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. I had the opportunity to view this film and its predecessor as a double feature at the Alamo Drafthouse in Littleton, Colorado. So how does it compare to the films that have spanned these 25 years? Out of all five films, this is the worst.
Please note, this is not a bad film by any stretch of the imagination. All five movies certainly hold their own in the scope cinema history. But within the tier of greatness that is Spielberg’s dino dreamscape, Fallen Kingdom falls a little flat. Granted, I enjoyed Jurassic Park III more than most. So keep that in mind as we move forward in this brief review. I do, in fact, have some bias.
There were several problems with the film, but ultimately only two that helped me reach my conclusion. First, this movie lacks character development. In the first Jurassic World, we are introduced to four main characters; Owen (Chris Pratt), Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), and Claire’s two nephews who were, in my humble opinion, the best part of that movie. In Fallen Kingdom, we see the return of Owen and Claire, the boys are sadly missing but I think we saw that coming.
The first act of the film is insanely brief. We get some quick exposition, recruit our heroes, and it’s off to the chases. As a result, we have some fun, but we are left wondering why we care about these people. Owen and Claire are separated at the beginning of the film, revealing that the relationship they formed in Jurassic World was short-lived and ended due to petty differences. Thus, the characters we already know are set to rehash their mildly interesting love story. Two new characters are introduced as the film’s levity. Unfortunately, though they are amusing, I saw them as cookie cutter characters churned out for the sake of needing laughs.
Isabella Sermon plays Maise Lockwood, the granddaughter of Benjamin Lockwood who controls what’s left of everything he and Hammond built. Maise at least had great potential, but a lack of sufficient screen time was a frustrating limitation on the only character I truly cared survived. The villain of the film had a tad more screen time, but was not unlike those villains that came before him. The real InGen type, if you know what I mean.
The second biggest flaw was that it seemed the writers could not decide what story they wanted to tell. In many ways, the story is comparable to that of The Lost World, but where it diverges is into something that doesn’t mesh well with that effort. I’m being a little vague to avoid spoilers (and yes, I do still recommend trying out this movie), but about halfway through I found myself thinking, “Oh, I guess we care more about this now?” And to those who said that this movie bridged action with horror, I’m sorry, I don’t see it. Never was there an edge of my seat moment or an intensity that I would liken to the original film. Not any more so, anyway, than Jurassic World.
When the credits rolled, I surmised that this was a fun, action-packed, worth seeing sort of a mess. Though not terrible, I think this movie serves only to be the segue between Jurassic World and the possibilities that lie in wait for our third installment of the modern franchise.
3 out of 5 Couch Cushions!!!