Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Stupid plot, ridiculous story arcs, uncharacteristic heroes, wasteful supporting characters, irrational decisions, illogical consequences, and just stupid plain dumb ending.
It is very hard to explain what a mess “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” is. I am not saying it as a huge fan of the original “Jurassic Park” (which I am), but as a regular moviegoer. So I will try do my best to show you my point of view.
Three years passed since the events of “Jurassic World.” In this time the volcano became active on Isla Nublar, the location of the original and new parks, and threatens to destroy the whole island and with it the only inhabitants – dinosaurs. People have different opinions on how to act. Some argue that dinosaurs are dangerous and should be left on the island to die. Others claim that dinosaurs are live animals, and despite being artificially created deserve to be rescued.
Leading the rescue initiative efforts is Claire, ex-manager of Jurassic World. She has organized Dinosaur Protection Group, but final decision by U.S. Senate arrives that prohibits any intervention to rescue. Right then she receives a call from Benjamin Lockwood, ex-colleague of original park’s creator John Hammond. He informs that he has arranged an island for dinosaurs and needs Claire’s help locating and transferring the dinosaurs on the island. He is specifically interested in Blue – velociraptor that was raised by Claire’s ex-boyfriend, Owen.
In most cases, the reason for a messy movie is a screenplay. But with “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” the problem lays with the main idea of the plot. The whole idea of island getting destroyed by a volcano and rush to save dinosaurs from second extinction feels forced and ridiculous at best. Apparently, a lot of people are interested in replicating genetic engineering results, but ever since Hammond designed dinosaurs over 25 years ago, no one was able to come close. But wait, they did, that’s how the second park was conceived, wasn’t it? You mean to say that all that research was completely lost and the only copy of the materials and information is on the island?
Film opens up with a short clip about a military operation trying to steal remains of Indominus Rex. No need to say that their plan goes awry. But then we will find out that this whole scene made ZERO impact on the film plotline. Essentially, director could have just cut that scene and it wouldn’t have mattered even a tiny bit. Why is it there? To open the film with something? To give us a small teaser of what “might” happen? Or just to mess with our expectations for the movie? The scene is good and intense, unlike the rest of the film.
Heroes from previous films have changed tremendously. Claire, who was a calculating and pragmatic manager of operations of whole park has apparently overnight gone hippie and now is fighting for dinosaur rights. Wasn’t she directly responsible in design of Indominus Rex and also accountable for numerous deaths and injuries to the people in the first film? Why is she not rotting in jail, instead of going around and crying about dinosaurs dying? Film wants us to believe that she is a changed person, fine, but this change is so abrupt and so not in compliance with her personality. Oh, and Owen is essentially a freaking James Bond!
And then there is a screenplay, of course. Film consists of two parts – on and then off the island. And here is where things go stupid. Each section has it’s own villains and film divides it’s attention. “Jurassic World” concentrated on one bad dinosaur, who was a bad guy from first scene all the way to the end. “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” has a bad dinosaur, but it’s only in the second part. It gets really short amount of screen time and doesn’t even make a very compelling bad guy.
Then there is an issue with Blue, the raptor. He apparently not only recognizes good from bad, but also right from wrong. In fact, he is so humanized, that eventually he seems to be the only smart being in the whole film. Overall dinosaurs and what they do seems to be super ridiculous. That includes a dinosaur who gets burned by lava but despite this still wants to kill people; some predators who in the stampede to try to escape from volcano also decide to attack other dinosaurs for no other reason but to be assholes; ex-machina dinosaur who helps heroes when they are in captivity; super killing machine who can smell anything but fails to smell people hiding in plain sight, etc.
Supporting characters are just horrible. Like in all Jurassic movies, there is a) annoying child, who deliberately tries to put itself into peril, b) nerdy comic relief guy, who is very out of touch with real life but still can hack and open every door, c) crazy old school hunter, who is there for pure sport and joy of killing a dinosaur, and d) an old man who goes “what have we done”.
I don’t want to talk about the ending. It is so dumb and irrational it made me cringe. You will have to see it for yourself to understand.
J.A. Bayona directed “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.” And though film is just miserable clutter struggling under its own weight, Bayona at least tries to salvage what he can, but with mediocre results. Rating is PG-13, meaning lesser amount of violence and lower levels of scares. And while original films were also not big on delivering scares, there were pretty awesome in building tension. “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” struggles with that. As a matter of fact, the only scare involves a child jumping out to scare her nanny. There is nothing intense in this film and when film manages to get just a little interesting, something stupid would happen and whole tension would dissipate.
Magic of the Spielberg’s version was in the reveal of dinosaurs. The brontosaurus walking into the light, T-rex not showing up to eat the goat, raptors who destroy the cow. This is what made “Jurassic Park” a freaking miracle. Here there is absolutely no magic with the dinosaur reveals. No cinematography tricks, no editing magic. It is as plain as it can get.
Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt reprise their roles as Claire and Owen, respectively. I did enjoy Howard in “Jurassic World”, she really filled the role of uptight managerial figure with her performance. In “Fallen Kingdom” she feels very out of place playing a romantic animal-rights fighter. So does Chris Pratt. In “Jurassic World” he was a practical and strong every-man-Joe, who hated bureaucracy and politics. In this film he also apparently possesses James Bond-like powers to kick everyone’s ass and also do some Ethan Hunt “Mission: Impossible” level tricks.
Rest of cast is blah. Justice Smith plays nerdy-goofy-geeky-hipster-hacker, who is annoying and zero funny. Daniella Pineda is another hipster zoologist (“paleoveterinary” I think she said?) who is supposed to be badass but is just plain as hell. Film also manages to successfully waste talents of amazing actors Toby Jones and James Cromwell. And there is also Jeff Goldblum, who has literally more screen time in the trailer than the whole movie.
“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” has stupid plot, ridiculous story arcs, uncharacteristic heroes, wasteful supporting characters, irrational decisions, illogical consequences, and plain dumb ending. How this film remains to be even mildly entertaining, I can only attribute to the director. But there is only so much you can do to save the day…