'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Review: Fall From Grace
The 90s were a magnificent time for film-making—at least for the nostalgic 90s kids among us.
CGI was taking off, old people had to stop calling special effects 'trick photography' and Steven Spielberg was at the height of his powers. Jurassic Park and The Lost World were two shining successes on his CV that reinvigorated an interest in dinosaurs and history, even if he palmed off a third instalment that practically no one saw or has even heard of. The films were not beloved by all, however, as readers slammed the films in favour of the original source material, often questioning the science behind the plot. 14 long years later and a reboot was on the horizon, with the rising star of Chris Pratt and the familiar face of Bryce Dallas Howard leading the way. This rebirth was rather well received and earned not only mountains of money but many fans eager for more dinosaur dynamics brought back to life again, from the Jurassic period to the 90s, to the... (I loathe to say) 'tenties'. Like most of its audiences, I really enjoyed Jurassic World—it wasn't too serious but by all means it was a blockbuster, so it goes without saying that I didn't require much encouragement to see it's predecessor.
"Since the park was practically destroyed and several characters either killed off or simply not returning for the sequel - just how will they keep up the all-out momentum that was built and on-screen chemistry capers that Dallas-Howard and Pratt committed to with such vigour?"
Things started glacial, with that patient slow-burn that these films have long settled us in with. Faceless goons searching the island for traces of the hilariously named Indominus Rex while all blatantly awaiting their inevitable doom by reptilian instinct. It very subtlety, perhaps not purposely, evoked the first scene of the first Jurassic Park where a man lost his life while transporting a velociraptor. When the introduction is out of the way, we're rather amusingly greeted with a news bulletin from the BBC! Documenting the protests in America over whether the bio-engineered dinosaurs remaining on the once-flush theme park island have a right to live. I couldn't help but chuckle at this as it very closely resembles some of the ludicrous antics going on overseas from our American cousins. This is a hot topic (excuse the pun) because the volcano on said island is about to erupt and so the question remains on whether to intervene or, as Jeff Goldblum's character chaos theorist Ian Malcolm suggests, let nature take its course. So the two protagonists team up once again to stage a rescue attempt, backed by a wealthy family who have historic links to the park and its creators, to save as many animals as they can to preserve the efforts of Dr. Henry Wu and reacquaint themselves with Grady's long lost raptor buddy, Blue.
If I don't make it back, remember... you're the one who made me come here.— Owen Grady
Initially, the cast held up and things went smoothly. Enter the two kids as comedic relief—a nerdy black kid (hacker) and a stroppy tattooed madam (dino-surgeon?) Two terrible characters that may have bargained a couple of laughs now and then but for the most part were bystanders who did computer stuff adults can't do or flat out impossible medical breakthroughs to warrant their existence. Worse still was the plot. Again, a fine start stalled and became embroiled in the political nonsense that Star Wars The Last Jedi shoved so eye-rollingly down our throats. 'Dem rich people are the baddies!' & 'Animal rights—WOO!' It was a great shame not to see Omar Sy reprising his role more so than anyone else and a complete insult that he was ignored in favour of two literal snot-nosed (teenage) kids. Pratt and Dallas-Howard were reduced to cracking jokes instead of rekindling any flames (the latter throwing in some overly serious dramatics that the film did not deserve too). The director clearly tried to instil some class as evidenced by a handful of homages to the original trilogy (think the kids in the kitchen scene) but he was left with the carcass of a once great franchise to pick the meat out of. Whilst the effects were captivating at times involving volcanic eruptions, weather and rampaging dinosaurs, what should be one of the most solid aspects of this type of film flutters at rendering lava seemingly makes it act like party popper streamers or a red hot flaming bogey.
So there you have it, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom - AKA a red hot flaming bogey.