Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a movie about what happens when stupid people are in charge of important tasks. Almost every decision every character makes is a terrible one, one that puts either themselves or everyone around them in even more danger than they were already just in. The result is one of the most infuriating film-going experiences I’ve had in 2018 and a new low for the Jurassic Park franchise.
Fallen Kingdom picks up three years after the events of the first Jurassic World, where dinosaurs ran rampant through the new tourist attraction, causing mayhem, death, and a number of lawsuits. When it is discovered that the island’s dormant volcano is about erupt, the question arises as to whether or not the dinosaurs on the island should be saved or if they should die with the island. Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), who is running a save-the-dinosaurs campaign, is called by Dr. Hammond’s former partner, Dr. Lockwood (James Cromwell) about a plan on how they want to save the dinosaurs and where they want to place them. However, Claire must convince Owen (Chris Pratt) to tag along so that he can obtain Blue, the velociraptor he trained and cared for from when it was born. But Claire and Owen quickly realize that their mission is not what they thought it was, as Lockwood’s smarmy partner, Eli (Rafe Spall), has other plans for the dinosaurs after they come to America. Claire and Owen must then try to foil Eli’s plan before he goes through with it.
I was a not a big fan of Jurassic World, so my expectations for this film weren’t exactly high. But while watching Fallen Kingdom, some of it was actually pretty good. The opening scene is insane. It’s plot-purpose is forgettable, but the action that happens is rousing. Director J.A. Bayona sets a tone from the beginning, giving us a movie that more resembles a horror movie than a sci-fi action movie like the other ones. Some of the action set-pieces are exciting and we even get some nice cinematography, particularly a shot of brontosaurus being immersed in smoke and lava as the island blows up. It’s one of the best shots of the year and really adds a slight layer of depth to the film as a representation of the “out with the old, in with the new” attitude these films are trying to have.
But all those good pieces all vanish by the movies many, many flaws. Along with the plot explained above, we also get some recycled bits too, as Dr. Wu (BD Wong) is creating yet another new dinosaur (how this man isn’t in prison or how he still gets work is mind-boggling) and they bring the dinosaurs to California, as if they didn’t learn their lesson when they brought the T-Rex to San Diego in The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
There is absolutely no character development. Claire and Owen are as exciting as a piece of cardboard floating in the wind, the new characters are throwaways, and the villain is rather lame. One of the great aspects of the original film was that we cared about every character, no matter how small, and we wanted them to survive. Now, I don’t know any of these characters and any of them can be eaten or stepped on and I wouldn’t care one bit.
But these aren’t even the film’s biggest problems. Oh no, this film has much bigger issues.
This is a movie about stupid people. Claire is stupid, Owen is stupid, everyone is stupid. You want to keep dinosaurs alive after they’ve eaten, killed, and hurt hundreds of people? You want to bring these creatures back to a heavily populated state? You want to enter a cage with a raging carnivore? Maybe it is just my way of thinking, but if we brought back dinosaurs and they started killing people, why would we want to keep them around? Are we saying the lives of these artificial creatures is more important than the lives of humans? I never understood that and neither does this movie or the franchise.
The last half hour of the film made my head spin, and not in a good way. There were three moments where I audibly displayed my anger and frustration in the film. Dr. Lockwood has a precocious granddaughter named Maisie (Isabella Sermon) who happens to be everywhere she isn’t supposed to be all the time. She only adds more problems to whomever encounters her, including myself as a viewer. Their is a twist as to who she really is and I lost my mind. It is such a weird, forced, unnecessary twist that they only mention one time for two minutes and then skate right past it, which makes it even worse. Then, Maisie makes a decision that legitimately makes me angry as a person. I will not spoil it for you, but when it happens, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. The repercussions of this decision are horrifying and they all stem from someone doing something stupid.
Just writing this review and reminding myself of all the stupid things that happened in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has made me angry once again. I thought this would be something of a therapy session, but it was more like seeing an ex-girlfriend out with the guy she cheated on you with; just pure anger. What started off as a solid, new-look Jurassic Park sequel nose-dived into immense stupidity, from it’s characters and the plot. Fallen Kingdom? More like Fallen Franchise.
Did you see Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom? What did you think? Comment below or hit me up on Twitter and Instagram, @kevflix, or on Facebook by searching Kevflix.