'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' (2018) - Film Review

Updated on July 2, 2018

Director: J A Bayona.

Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, James Cromwell, Toby Jones, Ted Levine, Jeff Goldblum, BD Wong, Geraldine Chaplin and Isabella Sermon.

After the monumental success of 2015s Jurassic World, it seemed inevitable that dinosaurs would once again grace our screens in a new iteration of the Jurassic Park franchise. Whilst there were some differences between Jurassic World and its originator, there were also many similarities. In the hope of avoiding repetition, this time the writers have dug deep and come up with a new novel excuse to revisit Isla Nublar and thus put more tasty humans in unnecessary peril. The only problem is that it is not entirely novel, nor indeed new. In fact, you only need to go back to the original Jurassic Park sequels (1993 and 1997) to see some more familiar plot points. Conduct rescue mission on a dinosaur infested island? Check. Employ mercenary army with hidden agenda? Check. Trick gullible dinosaur experts into revisiting the island? Check. Transport dangerous dinosaurs in shipping containers by sea? Check. Finally, ensure the dinosaurs are kept securely and cannot escape and go on a rampage. Check as well. Well, sort of. Universal Studios are on thin ice here if they expect they can just rehash old plots and expect no one to notice, but luckily there is half a plot here that has potential.

It wouldn’t be Jurassic Park without a dangerous dinosaur on the loose to threaten the existence of humankind, but what of the future existence of Earth’s former residents, recently re-incarnated? In an interesting twist to the rescue mission format, Fallen Kingdom puts extinction back on the menu for our genetically engineered friends with the dormant volcano on Isla Nublar inconveniently erupting and threatening their very existence. The film carefully explores the idea of conservation as a sub-plot to all the main action, experimenting with arguments for and against the rescue or re-extinction of the aforementioned prehistoric species. The obvious difference to this kind of conservation is the consideration of “dinosaur rights”. Does a group of animals, re-created through genetic engineering for commercial purposes, deserve to be saved, especially given the original reason for their re-creation, effectively the Jurassic Park zoo, is also facing total destruction. Surely as a commercial enterprise, the Jurassic World theme park is no longer viable? Maybe so, but money is a dangerous motivator, and just like the Tyrannosaurus Rex, it rears its ugly head once again.

To monetise dinosaurs beyond their zoological appeal, as explored in the other films, is only the tip of the iceberg. As far as Lockwood estates is concerned, the now guardians of the Jurassic World inhabitants and patent holders to the DNA profiles and technology that created them, their investment needs to pay off. The outwardly benevolent Lockwood Estates was, we learn, the co-founder and investor in the technology that re-created the dinosaurs along with John Hammond. Back then, even before Isla Nublar, the research was carried out, as you do, in an underground bunker beneath the Lockwood Estates’ mansion in the country. Here, the ailing Benjamin Lockwood (Cromwell) lives with his young grand-daughter Maisie (Sermon), housekeeper Iris (Chaplin) and secretary Eli Mills (Spall). In a last-ditch attempt to preserve their creations, Lockwood decides to mount a rescue mission and enlists former Jurassic World employees “Raptor Whisperer” Owen Grady (Pratt) and operations manager Claire Dearing (Howard). The plan being to re-locate the dinosaurs to a new island site. Owen and Claire, we learn, have since parted ways after a brief romance, but the chemistry still exists and works well as the two leads go on a quest to save their beloved dinosaurs.

Meanwhile, in a public hearing and debate, original Jurassic Park star Jeff Goldblum reprises his role as Dr. Ian Malcolm, whose principle job in this movie is to discuss the plight of the dinosaurs and the case for and against their continued survival. Goldblum’s job here is limited to sitting down and talking, but his moral arguments form bookends for the film, initially setting up the film with useful information that casual viewers would find handy to accompany the action that follows, and reminding us all that dinosaurs are still dangerous and probably ought to take their chances against the volcano. It’s not long before we see that very event happening, as Claire and Owen join the rescue mission, flying in to reactivate the tracking system that will allow the conservation effort to track, capture and evacuate the beasts via ship and air before the volcano explodes. Special effects are terrific and in addition to the realistic dinosaurs (both CGI and animatronic), the volcanic activity adds real urgency and tension to the action, with the race to evacuate before everything is killed off. There are some genuinely tragic moments when you see some of the attempts fail, and for the first time, begin to see these big creatures as individual animals and not movie monsters of another era. The film actually begs you to care for them, and to great effect, because it turns out that something far more sinister is actually afoot.

As in previous Jurassic films, it turns out that mankind proves itself to be the most monstrous of all villains. In a twist that was not too hard to see coming, Owen, Claire and Lockwood find themselves being double-crossed, with the true face of corporate genetic engineering revealed. The film changes moral tact too, when it becomes apparent that saving the dinosaurs might have actually been a fate worse than death compared to the hitherto unknown alternative that was really on the table. Without spoiling too much of the ending, let’s just say that for every authentic dinosaur recreated by genetic engineering, there is the potential to create something far less authentic, but most definitely more dangerous. They did this as in ‘Jurassic World’ in order to create a new tourist attraction, but what possible use would another deadly new dinosaur with enhanced Raptor instincts have in our modern, friendly society? With the destruction of Isla Nublar, and the new dinosaur haven a hoax, the real reasons are not good.

The crux of the movie is the issue of genetic engineering’s place in society, along with the pitfalls and benefits (yes, there are benefits, as you will see), and it posits an ambiguous case where it is hard to see a definite winning argument for society to completely adopt or reject such technology, since it’s all about the context for its usage. Needless to say that the legacy of experimenting with nature, and the danger of abusing science for purposes beyond the improvement of life, becomes the responsibility of all of us, and to that end, we take the consequences of going beyond that remit. Ultimately, Fallen Kingdom is a great action film with plenty on the surface to entertain, but lurking in the shadows, it’s science-fiction credentials carry a strong moral message that not only warns against tampering with nature in the present for commercial gain, but also asks what legacy such activities will leave for future generations.


4 stars for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)