Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Movie Review
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Movie Review Metadata
It’s not a popular opinion, but I don’t get paid for you to like me. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) could have been a natural progression of scientists studying, profiteers double-crossing, and dinosaurs being terrifying. We only get one and a half of those things, and for a two-hour movie, we expect a lot more.
It’s 3 years later and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen (Chris Pratt) find themselves back on Isla Nublar, which is suffering a catastrophic volcanic event. Their trip to save at least eleven species of dinosaur flourishing on the island for relocation is financed by the not inconsiderable estate of John Hammond’s former partner, Ben Lockwood (James Cromley) and his aide, Eli Mills (Rafe Spall). Lockwood’s group could just go and get them, they certainly have the mercenary manpower, but Claire is needed to unlock the former Park’s high-tech tracking system and Owen is needed because he’s the only one that can corral the super smart and (barely) human-trained Raptor, Blue.
We have no reason to question the motives of the ego-driven super-rich, amirite?
For the sake of diversity, paleo-veterinarian (it’s apparently a thing) Rodriguez (Daniella Pineda) and out-of-his-cultural-and-social-depth super nerd, Franklin (Justice Smith) are also taking the trip. Everyone has a role to play, and Rodriguez’s is to be double-crossed and kidnapped for the sake of a convenient plot point, and Franklin’s is to be a convenient plant in unlikely situations considering his complete lack of social DNA.
Meanwhile, Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon) is the precocious granddaughter of Ben Lockwood and she holds what’s likely to be a “Mother of Dragons” plot twist in future movies (should they continue to make these and I really hope they don’t). There are betrayals (of course), loose dinosaurs (naturally) and an auction attended by the dark underbelly of the super-rich – heads of drug cartels, terrorist leaders, Russians – because weaponized dinosaurs and dinosaurs used in big game hunting would totally fly under the radar.
I wanted to like this waaaay more than I did. Where Jurassic World (2015) at least made logical sense – sure, LET’S GO BACK TO THE MURDER ISLAND AND BRING 20,000 PEOPLE FOR FUN. In Fallen Kingdom, we’re supposed to believe that despite letting current species go extinct faster than we can save them, not to mention islands that are fully populated by humans going the lava float route (looking at you, Kilauea), this movie concerns itself with creatures that ethically shouldn’t have been brought back. It’s not even a fun escapist thought, it’s pretty dang depressing. As if we care more about the idea than the hard practical work.
Yes, this movie is exciting, and angry dinosaurs running rampant are thrilling, and seeing bad guys get their comeuppance is satisfying, but we’ve been to this well A LOT. In fact, we just saw this in Rampage (2018) and while silly, was way more fun. The action sequences are amazing and tight, but in order to get there, the characters have to do very stupid things. Why run outside to freedom when you can just run upstairs to your bedroom and hide under the covers? Use the weapons of fallen mercenaries to make a path? NO – scream a lot instead. The exposition scene to action scenes are not organic and when they feel forced, you start to think the story is decidedly secondary.
Yeah, the dinosaurs are cool but since this isn’t a movie of just dinosaurs it would have been nice to see the humans acting just as intelligent. By the way – Jeff Goldblum’s Dr. Malcolm is only around for about a paragraph of dialogue, with a few sentences at the beginning and the end. He may have more dialogue in those apartment finder commercials.
Be advised there is a short post-credits scene so stick around while everyone files out.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is rated PG-13 for creatures running from flowing lava, people getting shot with darts, dinosaur surgery, dinosaur phlebotomy, dinosaur dentistry, people eaten by dinosaurs, dinosaurs eaten by dinosaurs, dinosaurs running amok, and the general evil that comes from having lots of money but few morals.