Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – Movie Review

By Brennan Dubé | @Brennan_Dube71R

‘Fallen Kingdom’ is directed by J.A. Bayona and is written by the duo of Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly. The island of ‘Isla Nublar’, where ‘Jurassic World’ took place, has a volcano that is just ready to blow. From this, political debate sparks into whether or not the dinosaurs on the island should be rescued. With this we have our movie. I’m a huge fan of the original ‘Jurassic Park’ and enjoyed ‘Jurassic World’ when it hit the big screens a few years ago.

Going into this I had my doubts… it’s not uncommon for a ‘Jurassic’ sequel to be a dud. Nonetheless, I was very excited by the prospect of heading into the theaters and seeing a different ‘Jurassic’ film than what I, and millions of others are used to. In that, ‘Fallen Kingdom’ did not disappoint. This is definitely the most ambitious film in the franchise since the original hit the big screen in the summer of 1993. Despite its attempts at being something different, ‘Fallen Kingdom’ often fell flat, failing to deliver a savoring taste of dinosaur, and ‘Jurassic’ magic.

The opening third of this film holds some intrigue, aiming to be a deeper meaning than some of the previous franchise sequels. I did not fully buy into Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howards characters going back to the island but the movie gave a solid attempt and it was somewhat believable. Both Pratt and Howard are a thrill to watch and I am glad the series continued on following those two characters.

Despite good acting from Pratt, there was no real structural development to his character in the film which feels a tad like lazy writing. We now have two entire films and Pratt has yet to develop whatsoever. Bryce Dallas Howards character, ‘Claire Dearing’ did have a bit of a change of heart in this film and it was pleasant to see her character grow. The aim of truly wanting to make this new trilogy into a world is very clear in this film. I do feel however the movie was not fully focused on that and really danced around its main end-game. I do give ‘Fallen Kingdom’ props for taking some chances and doing different things with the franchise.

The supporting cast in this film, namely the two that join Pratt and Howard’s excursion, are rather boring. Justice Smith and Danielle Pineda are the two that star alongside our main duo. At times, both are borderline annoying as they try to convey some unnecessary comedic relief. Other new characters include ‘Eli Mills’ played by Rafe Spall and ‘Sir Benjamin Lockwood’ played by James Cromwell.

Cromwell’s character has an intriguing enough backstory, but Rafe Spall’s newly introduced character comes off as two-dimensional and generic. Child actress, Isabella Sermon plays ‘Maisie Lockwood’ aka the granddaughter of ‘Benjamin Lockwood’ in this film and I must say she did quite a good job. Her arc was also probably the most intriguing of the film and it might well be the thing that sticks with me most in the days and weeks following this movie. Jeff Goldblum also reprises his role as ‘Dr. Ian Malcolm’ in this film which is always fun as well.

Onto what we are really here for… dinosaurs! ‘Fallen Kingdom’ has some very incredible looking sequences on the island that look great on the big screen. The special effects in this movie are also absolutely top notch and the close up combat with the dinosaurs looks really well done. However, many of the same scenes and gimmicks from previous films were used and I did feel like I was watching a rehashing of other ‘Jurassic’ films at times. So as a truly great action-packed summer blockbuster, this movie does not always deliver. I did have some fun with this movie though and there were undeniably some pretty good, fun sequences.

One of the biggest issues with the first film that carries into the second is the villains. The quality of villains in these films need to seriously be upped in quality as they always detract from the film as a whole. Their cartoon-y feel, which is present in both ‘Jurassic World’ and this film ‘Fallen Kingdom’, really don’t do much at all to benefit the story. Michael Giacchino’s score is a positive from this film and he is just continuing to show how much of a terrific composer he is.

The big plus: ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ is a solid time at the movies. This film takes the franchise in a different route that some viewers may end up enjoying. The dinosaurs looked great!

Where it lacks: Despite taking some jumps, this film didn’t always land, and if you dislike cartoon-y villains and generic side characters… you won’t enjoy the supporting cast of this film.

Score: 64/100

In conclusion, ‘Fallen Kingdom’ is a good action film that has its obvious problems, but you can for sure just relax and enjoy the dinosaurs. Director J.A. Bayona tried new things and I respect that, despite most of them not fully succeeding. The special effects are awesome and although the action sequences may feel familiar, they are still somewhat enjoyable.

Box Office Forecast:

‘Fallen Kingdom’ is expected to open up significantly lower than its predecessor, which opened to $208.8 million back in 2015. Due to added competition from ‘Incredibles 2’ and a lesser enthused crowd, ‘Fallen Kingdom’ will look towards an opening between $125-150 million dollars. This is still a great haul which will make it one of this years biggest films. ‘Incredibles 2’ will look to make over $90 million in its second weekend. ‘Fallen Kingdom’ will easily hit the $100 million dollar threshold, but if ‘Incredibles 2’ can do the same, then it will be the first time in history that two movies bring in over $100 million in the same weekend.

Upcoming Releases:

June 29: Sicario: Day of the Soldado, Uncle Drew

July 4: The First Purge

July 6: Ant-Man and the Wasp

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