'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' review: I've been stabbed right in the childhood

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Chomp Chomp.

Jurassic Park is one of the best movies ever made, period. Keep your Goodfellas or Citizen Kane, just give me Dr. Alan Grant and Jeff Goldblum’s “uh…must go faster. Must go faster” and I’m set.

Jurassic Park: The Lost World is the one sequel actually worthy of the Jurassic Park title. Yeah, the gymnastics scene is goofy, but the rest is actually a really well-crafted and fun dinosaur flick from Spielberg.

I don’t have strong feelings about Jurassic Park III and I thought Jurassic World was fine. Not great or even necessary, but — despite its flaws and high-heels — I enjoyed it for what it was and didn’t hate myself while in the theater.

Then we get to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and now this franchise has completely gone off the rails. We’ve entered Transformers level of stupidity with this one.

Three years have passed since the events of the first Jurassic World and now, apparently, there is some volcano on Isla Nublar that’s threatening to completely destroy the entire ecosystem that lives there.

Jurassicj World: Fallen Kingdom
credit: YouTube

Funny that this volcano hasn’t been mentioned until the fifth film in this franchise, but now the country is in an upheaval as they try to decide whether these man-made dinosaurs are worth saving or if they should just be left to die.

Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) is on the side of the dinosaurs. Whether the country allows it or not, she’s determined to find a way back on to this island to preserve as much life as she possibly can.

Which is funny, because I don’t really remember that being her personality trait in the first Jurassic World. Maybe something changed during the three years in-between, but — if I recall correctly — Claire was the one who was all business and order, while Owen (Chris Pratt) was the one who actually had the dinosaur’s best interest in mind.

Either way, Owen is back for this one too. Together, they set off for the island to try and get to the dinosaurs before the molten lava does. Oh, and they bring along the most annoying comic-relief character — Franklin Webb (Justice Smith) — you’ll see in a movie since Jar-Jar Binks.

And since the trailers have no problem in revealing what happens during the second-half of the film, I guess I don’t either.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
credit: YouTube

A group of special forces is also on the island and manages to secure a collection of dinosaurs for themselves. Instead of bringing them to a sanctuary, though, they decide to sell them as weapons to the highest bidder, which is how we end up with this ridiculous Purge-like moment that’s so far gone from the first Jurassic Park.

Yes, even though I don’t know a single person who saw the first Jurassic World and said ‘Wow, I really hope they continue the sub-plot of using dinosaurs as military weapons’ they did it here and it’s even more ridiculous than before.

And if that was all that was wrong with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, I might be able to forgive it. However, this thing is filled with stupid logic, Michael Bay-like explosions and some of the dumbest plot-twist I’ve seen in a movie this year.

As a whole, it starts off fine. The cold-open was one that actually reminded me of The Lost World and the set-up — while clumsy and somewhat obvious (you’ll be able to pick out who the villains are instantly, even though it’s not revealed until later on) — does its job.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
credit: YouTube

Then we get to the island and everything starts going wrong. The first Jurassic Park was great because it captured this child-like awe of what it would be like to see a real dinosaur in-person for the very first time. It then went on to discuss what the ramifications of that might be — should we be playing God when these creatures could easily destroy us?

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom trades all of that in for Chris Pratt punching things — both people and dinosaurs — in the face. There’s a little talk of that morality in the first ten minutes of the movie, but that also quickly disappears into oblivion.

The second half of the movie — when they’re off the island — is even worse. Things that I won’t spoil fly at you in a way that feels like a Saturday morning cartoon, to the point where I actually couldn’t believe this is the direction they decided to bring the franchise.

There’s also this one plot-twist that has to do with a little girl named Maisie (Isabella Sermon). They’re constantly hinting at what her heritage might be and, throughout the whole thing, I was thinking to myself ‘she’s probably Laura Dern’s long-lost daughter or something lame like that.’ Having now seen what the actual reveal is, I wish that had been what it is. What actually happens is so stupid and out there that it actually makes me fear where this franchise is intending to go next.

 

credit: YouTube

There’s nothing in the way of characters or development here either. Chris Pratt is once again playing Chris Pratt, and while that might work in Guardians of the Galaxy it just comes off as goofy and out-of-place here. Bryce Dallas Howard doesn’t have much to her either, as the only arc we get between the two of them is a love story. Again. Apparently, they broke up after the first Jurassic World and now we’re forced to watch them get back together, despite the fact that they still have zero chemistry with one another.

I’ve already said my piece on how annoying Smith’s character is, and the villains — Rafe Spall, Ted Levine and Toby Jones — aren’t much better.

If you were looking forward to seeing Jeff Goldblum returning to the franchise then prepare to be disappointed, as he’s in less than thirty-seconds of the movie and you’ve already seen everything he does in the trailers.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
credit: YouTube

Director J.A. Bayona — who I normally like — tries his best to do some things right here. I blame the script more than I blame him, as his horror roots come into play during a few simplistic scenes that actually prove to be effective. As a whole, though, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is an embarrassment. It’s time to let this franchise to go extinct, as I don’t want to see this continue any longer. Let’s just remember how great Jurassic Park was and forget about whatever this mess was.

Watch the trailer for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom here and then let us know, in the comments below, what you thought of the film.

'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' review: I've been stabbed right in the childhood
  • 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' review: I've been stabbed right in the childhood
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Brandon Schreur

The fella over there with the hella good hair. Movies and TV are my jam, and the fact that I get to write about them on a regular basis is the bees knees.

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