a critiQal film review Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

Plot: When the dormant volcano on abandoned island Isla Nubar begins roaring to life, Owen (Pratt) and Claire (Howard) mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. Owen is driven to find Blue, his lead raptor who’s still missing in the wild, and Claire has grown a respect for these creatures she now makes her mission. Arriving on the unstable island as lava begins raining down, their expedition uncovers a conspiracy that could return our entire planet to a perilous order not seen since prehistoric times.

582 words (Est. Reading Time 2m 54s)
  • ...full of popcorn-munching thrills and chills, but not quite up to the high expectations left by the previous film.

When Jurassic Park (1993) came out, it was an instant classic (even if that is an oxymoron). Steven Spielberg’s impressive film that brought dinosaurs to vivid life on the big screen quickly spawned a sequel…and sadly, The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) and Jurassic Park III (2001) plummeted the series straight into extinction. But then word came of a new film in the series – and Jurassic World (2015) breathed brand new life into the tired theme. But, would Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom follow the same trend as the first set of films and bring the series down? Or is there still (revived) life in the dino story?

Chris Pratt, who burst onto the scene with Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), helped make Jurassic World (2015) as good as it was. With Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, he’s back, and still doing a solid job. His relationship with the raptors was a high point in Jurassic World (2015), and that continues here, with him still bringing a sense of parenting to his interactions with them. It’s a rather odd role, yet by now, it’s definitely his, and viewers should be glad he’s around again.

Bryce Dallas Howard, who seemed a bit of an odd choice in the previous film, is also back in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Still, at the beginning of the film, she still seems like an odd choice, despite the viewer’s memory of her from the previous film. And, as before, as the film progresses, she falls more readily back into her role, and the viewer will be surprised (again) by her acclimation by film’s end.

The rest of the cast is mostly so-so. While Ted Levine (still sporting his mustache) pops up as an “expeditionary leader” (and does a good job), the rest of the cast is largely wasted in crappy roles. There are some other familiar faces in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, but they are either basic cameos, or are largely wasted before doing anything great with their roles.

The plot itself seems a rehash of films from the original trilogy. While it may spend more time on one section and less on another than previously, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom seems almost eerily familiar. It’s too bad, really, since viewers had high hopes after Jurassic World (2015), and watching the filmmakers basically retread a plot from the original trilogy is a little bit less exciting than expected.

While there are enough chills and thrills to excite viewers, there’s just something disheartening about the plot retread in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. While there seems to be a vision behind it, providing more suspense than expected, it’s still obviously a Hollywood-made part 2 of 3, with all of the unfortunate side effects that comes with that. Still, at least it tries to throw viewers a twist or two. Even if those twists are easy to see coming, there’s still something appealing about the film at least trying.

With Chris Pratt balancing out the uneven Bryce Dallas Howard once again, and a director that’s trying to surprise and entice the viewer, there are things to like about Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. But with the obvious remixes of previous sequences from the film series, and a rather forced “how do we get to see the dinos again?” plot, this film doesn’t make viewers wonder as much as it makes them groan. Sure, it’s still better than The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) (and thankfully, they’ve still stayed away from the over-used raptors-as-villains thing), Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (mostly) doesn’t have the magic that the previous film brought back to the series.

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