Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Review

  • 12A
  • 2hr 8min
  • Action | Adventure | Drama
  • June 2018
  • J. A. Bayona

Three years on from the devastation that spread through Jurassic World, it’s now time to ‘pick a side’: To save or to ignore the destiny of the dinosaurs threatened by the imminent eruption of a volcano on Isla Nublar. With his reptile Blue still on the island, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) persuades Owen (Chris Pratt) to embark upon a rescue mission that gives them the chance to reunite with his beloved, yet equally dangerous, dinosaur. When it was announced J.A. Bayona would take up the reins for the latest instalment of the franchise’ excitement pulsed through a fan base keen to see if he could translate his brilliant directional style revealed in ‘The Orphanage’ and ‘A Monster Calls’ into the movie.

Indeed, his personal vision appears clearly in offering the interesting depiction of a mankind divided between accepting dinosaurs in our existence or allowing a second extinction to become reality. Furthermore, the introduction of animal rights activists sparks one of the film’s core themes, human’s treatment of animals. Offering parallels with the real world, audiences are encouraged to form their own viewpoint on whether man-made creatures should receive the same duty of care as those born naturally.

Credit: Universal Pictures

Credit: Universal Pictures

However, once the trip back to the island has been made all logic quickly disappears. If the strength of the Jurassic World universe is to entertain you with extraordinary dinosaurs and to make you believe in the possibility that they can once again walk the earth then this chapter succeeds. However, it ultimately fails in showing believable and coherent human interaction. As supposedly the ‘superior species’ and one of higher IQ you would expect shrewder decision-making from the humans in the film. Instead we’re presented with a haphazard ‘I know I shouldn’t open the door but I’m going to anyway’ approach. A lot of this can be attributed to the overblown and troublesome plot, one that veers off in numerous directions, with most offering little to the overall story.

Contrasting genres also contribute to the movies slightly disjointed feel. Whilst some impressive action scenes grace the screen in the first act, (with many looking to outdo the film’s predecessors) the second half of the film tries to create horror by utilising suspense and tension created by close quarter interactions between humans and dinosaurs. However unlike the 1993 original, think that famous scene in the kitchen with John Hammond’s grandchildren and the Velociraptor’s, this instalments attempt feels quite weak.

Despite the issues mentioned, as a visual spectacle the dinosaurs have never looked better (whilst the original CGI in 1993 was at the time ground-breaking, the 25 years that have proceeded have allowed visual special effects to blur the lines between reality and fiction). Similarly, solid performances by the leading couple of Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard help glue the film together where it may otherwise have fallen apart.

Credit: Universal Pictures

Credit: Universal Pictures

This instalment gives another nod that the future of the Jurassic films franchise may look to mirror the ethical dilemma of manmade problem vs mankind survival that is so successfully depicted in the Planet of the Apes trilogy.

For now, though, this instalment serves as a very watchable popcorn flick, but without a coherent plot line and a cast of actors able to deliver performances as good as their CGI counterparts Jurassic World 3 (due for release in 2021) could very see the extinction of this well-loved franchise.

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