'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Movie Review

Updated on June 24, 2018
popcollin profile image

Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom | Source

Sometimes you get to be so good at something that you forget what got you there in the first place. The Jurassic Park series is the eleventh-biggest box office draw of all time (though, frankly, it’s only batting .500—the second and third films could be expunged from the series without even causing a hiccup), and it’s obviously all about the dinosaurs. Who among us doesn’t remember those first images of a brontosaurus grazing in 1993’s Jurassic Park? Twenty-two years later, Jurassic World featured them rampaging, chasing, and terrorizing theme park visitors. Plus we got the bonus of an all-new dino, the Indominus Rex. And the all-time best death-by-dino sequence.

So why, half-way through Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, do the dinosaurs go the way of—well, the dinosaur? Yes they’re physically there, but save for a couple, they’re all sleeping, sedated, or trapped in cages. And it’s then that we realize the series may have lost its teeth. Director J. A. Bayona (The Impossible) does wonders with what he’s given, but that isn’t much, and it makes Fallen Kingdom one of those movies that feels thrilling and exciting in the moment, only to disintegrate when you take a second to reflect on what you’ve just seen.

Bryce Dallas Howard returns as dino-lover Claire, now leading a non-profit group to rescue the de-extinct residents of Isla Nublar from an impending volcano. She recruits Owen (Chris Pratt) to return to the island, under the auspices of transferring the creatures to a nearby sanctuary owned by gazillionaire Ben Lockwood (James Cromwell), the late John Hammond’s old business partner. Lockwood’s slimy financial advisor Eli Mills (Rafe Spall), however, has other plans—he’s hosting an auction to sell the dinos to a group of the world’s worst people, and he’s using a cadre of mercenaries to carry out his dastardly plan. Heavens, what could go wrong?

The first half of the film, as Owen, Claire, nebbish computer whiz Franklin (a hilarious Justice Smith) and dino-vet Zia (Daniella Pineda) battle the elements and the dinosaurs on the island, is classic Jurassic stuff, and there are plenty of call-backs to Jurassic World, as the dilapidated, long-abandoned park serves as the backdrop. Heck, Claire even wears sensible shoes!

And then, just as all hell is breaking loose and we’re clawing our armrests in the throes of dino-fueled fury, the brakes screech, the record skips, and the rest of the film plods along in and around Lockwood’s palatial estate, where most of the dinosaurs are either caged, tranquilized, or both. Yes, the new, genetically-engineered Indo-Raptor has a bit of a field day causing some carnage, but the running-from-dinos-in-the-wild feel has evaporated.

Much of how you end up feeling about Fallen Kingdom, however, depends on where you land in the whole “Should we save them?” debate. The script by Jurassic World screenwriters Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow leans heavily on the idea that these dinosaurs are living creatures worthy of protection and being allowed to freely roam the earth. Agree, and you’ll cheer along throughout. If, however, you’re firmly in the camp that these things are man-made, unnatural creations that drop humans a rung or two on the food chain, you may find yourself yelling at the screen early and often.

No matter what, make sure to stick around through the credits for a brief scene that sets up what looks to be a welcome return to the glory days of the Jurassic series, and then hold on until the summer of 2021.

Rating

3/5 stars

'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' trailer

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • NessMovieReviews profile image

      Mother of Movies and Series Reviews 

      3 weeks ago from Moreton Bay, Queensland

      That’s so disappointing. I wanted to see this as a 4/5 but I guess you knocked the nail on the head in saying the dinosaurs aren’t the focus.

      It’s been pushed down my watch list for now. Great review.

    working

    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://reelrundown.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    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)
    Features
    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)
    Marketing
    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.
    Statistics
    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)