Hot Take: Absurdly over the top but it’s the fifth movie about dinosaurs being resurrected… shouldn’t it be?
While the first Jurassic Park was a classic film, the rest of the franchise has basically been a succession of B-movies. So, by the time you strap in for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, it should come at no surprise that the film has chosen the B-movie path once again. The latest chapter in the Jurassic Park saga delivers another “good humans” vs. “bad humans” plot line with forboding “playing God is dangerous” overtones and some action-packed dino action scenes drizzled throughout the clunky story that almost no one will care about because we came to see the dinosaurs, damn it! Downright goofy in parts, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is exactly what you’d expect from a summer popcorn flick and that’s both good and bad. There are enough fun moments for this one to be worthwhile, even if the script becomes nonsensical at times and feels like it’s designed to frightened the younger audience attending at others.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom picks up three years after the incident at Jurassic World. Our first view of the now abandoned Isla Nublar is watching a small team of mercenaries retrieving a specimen containing the DNA of the Indominus Rex from the lagoon. During their visit, they are attacked by the Mosasaurus which escapes from the island as the lagoon gate is left open. Next up is the return of Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) who appears to share his thoughts on dinosaurs and how they should be left to die on the island as a volcanic eruption threatens the remaining species on the island. Meanwhile, there’s a grassroots effort led by Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) to rescue the dinosaurs and she is contacted by Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell), John Hammond’s former partner, and asked by his aide Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) to lead an expedition back to save the dinosaurs. Of course, this requires the services of Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) who is basically the Velociraptor Whisperer and it’s time once again to return to Jurassic World.
Essentially, the plot feels similar to the second film in the series with the added element of a volcanic eruption impacting the time they have to pull off the dinosaur rescue. There’s not a lot of thinking required to follow along but once you start thinking about the film and comparing this one to The Lost World: Jurrasic Park, you realize how many plot points the two films share. Let’s be honest. Do we really care about the plot of the film?
There’s plenty of dinosaur action to support the flimsy storyline. If you’re looking for scenes featuring the Raptor (specifically Blue from Jurassic World) and the T. Rex (right down to fan service featuring the hunters luring the T. rex into containment by using a goat tied to a post. Sound familiar?), then Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom will be right up your alley. The film also features more dinosaurs than any previous chapter including the debut of the Allosaurus, Baryonyx, Carnotaurus, Sinoceratops and Stygimoloch as well as the addition of a fictional genetic creation similar to Indominus Rex, the Indoraptor. The dinosaurs look as realistic as ever and the film provides plenty of B-movie thrills whenever they are on screen.
If you’re looking for high brow cinema and something closer to the original Jurassic Park, this is not the movie you’re looking for. However, if you’re looking for an opportunity to turn off your brain for 2 hours and dig in as we return to the world of genetically resurrected dinosaurs run amok, seeing Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom should appear on your “To Do” list. There’s a post-credit scene, too. So, stick around if you want to see where the franchise might be headed next.
You’ve either grown up with the Jurassic Park series and want to see the latest chapter or you’re young enough to not get too nitpicky about a ridiculous script.
You know it’s just a setup for a third Jurassic World — sixth Jurassic Park — and you’d rather just wait for that one.