- Directed by J. A. Bayona
- May 21, 2018 (WiZink Center) / June 22, 2018 (US)
Owen and Claire return to Isla Nublar to save the remaining dinosaurs from a volcanic eruption only to discover those helping them have ulterior motives.
One thing I really liked about Fallen Kingdom was that they finally brought the dinosaurs to the mainland. That feeling comes from a story idea perspective. How many times can you find excuses to go to an island and have your characters get chased around by dinosaurs? It is like Weyland-Yutani always going after the alien and regularly coming up empty handed. At some point you need to learn your lesson and just stay away. It reaches a point of implausibility to keep going back.
The story now centers around Hammond’s former partner Sir Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell) who is the one that figured out how to successfully clone dinosaurs. Lockwood is looking to have a legacy of saving the dinosaurs from an impending volcanic eruption. He also has a granddaughter named Maisie (Isabella Sermon) that if you can’t figure the mystery surrounding her within the first few minutes before that mystery is even mentioned then I don’t know what to say.
I’m not sure why sequels frequently feel the need to reset relationships that had ended on a positive note in the previous film. Owen and Claire have apparently gone their separate ways and are kind of antagonistic again like at the beginning of the last film. By the end of Jurassic World they had come together. I would take friendly but not back to square one.
In what’s a bit of a rehash on the last movie there is yet another designer dinosaur on tap for our heroes to eventually face off against called the Indoraptor. It is framed as the big bad dinosaur, and it is certainly very threatening, but the people are much more the villains of this story than the dinosaurs are. Sure the dinosaurs are a threat but the villainous corporate executive Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) is much more dangerous. He’s willing to kill or to hire people to kill.
Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) now apparently works for a dinosaur preservation group. I can certainly see her character giving her time to that kind of cause but in the last film she was a career minded individual who is more than okay with a genetically tailored transgenic dinosaur created to draw in kids to a park for fun and profit. Going into dinosaur rights for what would be a significant pay cut doesn’t seem like a likely change of careers.
And what the hell is Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) doing for a living that he cannot only afford a cabin on prime rustic land but can simply drop everything and run off to try and rescue some dinosaurs? That may be nitpicking, but it really bothers me when in any movie a character can just drop their lives and runoff. How Claire can do that makes sense as she is running the group and they are seeking her help but Owen apparently has disposable income and I’m not sure InGen paid him that well before their apparent collapse.
Owen and Blue have a bit of a heart to heart-at least as much of a heart to heart as we’re gonna have with an intelligent predator and the sexy rustic dude from the Hallmark movie. I’m just trying to figure out why Owen was willing to let a barely controllable killing machine trapse off into the world. That is like purposely releasing your pet tiger into the suburbs if you think it’s cruel to keep them inside. There are better options.
One of the most epic moments of the movie comes about midway or so when the volcano erupts and finally destroys Isla Nublar meaning nobody’s going back for more dinosaur adventures there. It not only marks the end of an era but manages to pack an emotional punch. That moment with the brontosaur is just heartbreaking visually.
There’s plenty of excitement to be had but most importantly there’s still the “Wow!” factor when you see the dinosaurs. That’s an important part of these films. You need to be impressed and you need to feel that sense of wonder of seeing a dinosaur. If you can’t generate that then the movie doesn’t work as well. This movie provides adrenaline rushes and cool looking sh!t and that is why you come.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a fine addition to the Jurassic Park series. It has that important “Wow factor!” in an entertaining story and plenty of excitement. Definitely check this out!