Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Movie Review
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom seemed like it'd be a remake of sorts of The Lost World but I was pleasantly surprised that there was much more to the story than I originally thought. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard return from the previous film, reprising their roles as Owen and Claire respectively. Dr. Wu also returns, being the one constant that these films have aside from the original characters John Hammond and Ian Malcolm. Still no word from Alan Grant yet but I'm sure he'll be in the next one. If he's not, a ton of fans of the original series will be highly disappointed.
The film follows Claire as she joins the fight to grant the dinosaurs on Isla Nublar the same rights and freedoms that other animals have. She is tasked by Eli Mills to lead a rescue mission and transport 11 species of dinosaurs to a new island before the unstable volcano on Isla Nublar kills them all. It turns out to be a cover-up for something far more sinister, however, and Owen and Claire set out to stop Mills before it's too late.
What bothers me most about these modern reboots/continuations is that they rely heavily on "jump" moments and cliches rather than focusing on what's really important: story and emotion. While there were moments throughout this film that I found to be shocking and surprising, even tearjerking, there were even more moments that were predictable just because they've been used in horror films and other action films. For instance, a dino stretching its claw from a dark area to lightly tap a girl's shoulder causing her to whirl around and see it, scream, and run. Well, for one thing, carnivorous dinos would just jump on their prey and chomp away. They wouldn't go through the effort of scaring their prey just for the fun of it. Meat-eating dinos are like lions in a way. They stalk, sneak, and pounce. They don't play when they're hungry. There's another moment that I was on the fence about. A raptor is on a roof, reaches down, unlocks a window, and sneaks inside. We saw in The Lost World that raptors are smart enough to figure out how to open a door. But sneaking through a window? That felt like a stretch. Also, was the sister island featured in The Lost World and Jurassic Park III completely forgotten? There's more dinos there too, guys.
So now that the negatives are out of the way, let's look at the positives. I loved how unpredictable the story was after Isla Nublar was left behind. It threw twist after twist at the audience and certainly kept me invested the entire time. There were a couple of heartbreaking moments, one in particular that's still stuck in my mind hours after the film has ended. I also loved how they integrated these films with the past and revealed some long-hidden secrets concerning John Hammond. That's another thing I did not see coming.
The acting was very well-done. I think Bryce has stepped up her talent from what it has been in the past. Chris Pratt has become a household name now and he brings heart and humor to every role, especially this one. Don't expect a huge appearance from Ian Malcolm. He's there mostly for fan service but also to once again warn the public of the dangers of merging the dinos into our world.
In conclusion, I enjoyed the film and I would definitely recommend seeing it in theaters. It still has enough heart to propel the series forward. I just hope it ends on a good note with the next one so that the magic of the original film doesn't go extinct. I give the film a 2.8 out of 4.
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© 2018 Alec Zander