“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” Review

Greetings my intrepid movie lovers! I hope your day is as joyous as mine!

In this article I give my honest opinion of the recently released movie “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.” Please sit back and enjoy!

The film starts off in the black of night on Isla Nublar following the recent fall of Jurassic World. A salvage crew open the Mosasaur aquatic paddock to retrieve a sample of the bones of the Indominus Rex. The crew is successful but lose one of their crew members to the Mosasaur, who they inadvertently free from its containment.

mosa

We cut to Clare Dearing, who is now the head of a new organization: the Dinosaur Protection Group. The organization is feverishly attempting to save the animals from the pending destruction: Mt Sibo’s upcoming eruption. Clare is flanked by her most trusted associates: Franklin, the obsessive computer expert, and Zia, the paleo veterinarian with attitude.

An old friend of John Hammond’s, Benjamin Lockwood contacts Clare with a plan to save the dinosaurs from the upcoming eruption. They propose tracking down the dinosaurs via the implants they had in the last film and getting them off the island in boats. Once off the doomed island, the dinosaurs would be transported to a new island where they can live in peace. Clare is informed that to do this she must enlist the help of Owen Grady. For, he alone can find and coerce the raptor, Blue, into coming peacefully.

owen

Clare tracks down Owen who now lives a life of solitude. Happy to be alone, Owen tells Clare she should let the dinosaurs die. This shocks her and she appeals to Owen’s emotional side by reminding him that Blue, an animal he raised from infancy, will die if he does nothing. Owen refuses but Clare tells him where to find her if she changes her mind.

The day of the flight Clare hops on the charter plane only to be joined by Owen who got there before she did. It turns out he is on board with the idea and is greeted by Clare’s two assistants.

Once the merry band makes it to the island they are greeted by military personnel that Lockwood hired to get the dinosaurs off the island. Clare gets to work operating the trackers, which Franklin turns on when he restores power to the island’s computer. This prompts Owen to search for Blue on his own. Once he finds his beloved raptor she is sedated and shot by the hunters. They reveal their intentions are far more nefarious than they led on. They tranquilize Owen and leave him unconscious on the grass.

Meanwhile Mt Sibo begins to burst and quake. Ash plumes, fiery rocks and lava issue forth from the blazing crater. The quaking and lava damages the facility Clare and Franklin are in. They are hunted and attacked by a lone Baryonyx, which manages to squeeze through the pipes and ladder chute. Franklin, screaming like a castrated male, barely escapes with his life.

bary

Owen awakes to find a large herbivore licking his face. While this disgusts him (as it did me and the rest of the audience) this is a blessing in disguise because it causes him to stir just in time before the approaching lava can incinerate him alive. Struggling hilariously to his feet on deadened limbs our hero escapes the inferno. He meets Clare and Franklin telling them to run before being almost trampled by a dinosaur stampede. The stampede conveniently doesn’t harm any of them until a hungry Carnotaur stalks the trio. It closes in for the kill until the T-Rex (named Rexy) stomps it and roars shaking the earth. She is about the kill the downed carnivore until a stray smoldering rock burns the beast. The T-Rex runs away (conveniently) as do the other dinosaurs before a wave of dark grey ash. Clare and Franklin enter a gyrosphere and fall to the waters below. Owen saves them and the group make it to the beach where they observe the hunting party hauling the dinosaurs overhead (even the T-Rex is enclosed in a full metal cage much like in the Lost World) to a large ship. This startles the team with Clare crying “it was all a lie!”

allo

The team almost effortlessly get to the departing ship. There they witness the beloved island doused in ashes, smoke and lava. A bewildered and sad brachiosaur moans at their departure. Sadly they’re is nothing they can do for her. Clare sheds tears as she sees the giant majestic creature stand there before it finally disappears covered in an ash cloud.

rescue

The heroes, undetected by the hunters, pull off some crazy antics like performing a transfusion between Blue and the Rex in which Owen is almost killed by the giant beast. It slashes the walls of its container and almost snaps its jaws on him before he barely escapes. They learn the dinosaurs are being transported to the Lockwood Estate. Before Clare and Owen can escape they are captured and thrown in a cage. The dinosaurs too are hilariously stuffed in cages that barely house them. All of this happens beneath the Lockwood Estate.

Meanwhile the aging Lockwood’s granddaughter, Maisie, lurks about the mansion to find a video of Owen training an infant Blue. She discovers her dead grandfather (who was recently killed by his assistant). The little girl weeps and escapes the heinous man who is now rounding up criminal underworld figures from around the world to bid on the dinosaurs.

rexy

Owen and Clare escape from their confinement with the help of a rampaging Stygimoloch. Owen bravely makes his way into the auction with the dinosaur to cause mayhem. The buyers, already having purchased four of the creatures, are taken by absolutely surprise. Owen miraculously takes down armed guards with barely a scratch. He doesn’t pay too much attention to the hybrid dinosaur on display in the auction room: Indoraptor.

indo teeth

The lead hunter from the expedition enters the auction room to find not a soul in sight. He gazes at the hideous hybrid creature remarking that he hadn’t seen it on the island. Without a second thought he shoots it with tranquilizer darts and (stupidly) enters the cage to retrieve one of its teeth as a trophy. The animal smiles (creepy as heck) before closing its eyes to lure him in. The Indoraptor bites his arm off and then kills him.

The corrupt auctioneer, walking into this, attempts to get away in the elevator. He closes the door in time. But, in a fit of genius or by chance the dinosaur hits the button and the elevator reopens. To the occupants’ horror the beast pounces on them killing them off screen.

indo

Owen, Clare and Maisie are confronted by the evil assistant to Mr. Lockwood, Eli Mills. He brags about the inevitability of the sale and confesses that Maisie, much like the dinosaurs, is a clone. Mills explains that Lockwood wanted his dead daughter back by any means possible. Before our characters can even process this astounding revelation Mills’ armed guards are seized and killed in front of him by the Indoraptor. The villain escapes but the creature hunts our heroes. Owen attempts to hide them in the darkness.

Meanwhile Zia and Franklin wake up Blue and release her to help them with the Lockwood guards. She proceeds to quickly kill them and the soldiers shoot a gas tank in the process. Zia notices that the gas is spreading and it will kill all the contained dinosaurs if they don’t act quickly. She turns the power back on in order to ventilate the system.

indoraptor

This causes the lights to go on revealing where Owen and the others are hiding. The Indoraptor spots them and chases Maisie to her bedroom where it creeps down from the ceiling and slowly breathes over her as it reaches for her head with one outstretched claw. Owen arrives in time to shoot the beast before he realizes he is out of bullets. Blue arrives in the nick of time to save him by battling the creature. Blue is smaller and more agile but outmatched by its larger cousin. The creature tracks them to the glass roof where Blue lunges at it causing the glass to break. The two fall and Blue spins in time to prevent from being impaled by horns on a fossil. The Indoraptor is not so lucky. It is killed immediately by the piercing horns.

The gang join Zia and Franklin downstairs where they find they can’t ventilate the gas out of the cells. They release the dinosaurs from their cages but they are all trapped in a crowded hallway. Their only hope: escaping through a large gate. Clare find the button to open said gate but Owen warns her. She is conflicted: she has fought to defend these animals which she has ascribed value to. However, in this deciding moment she realizes that releasing them will doom humanity. With a despondent heart she walks away from the button as the dinosaurs moan in despair below.

maisie

But suddenly a bell sounds and the gate opens. Maisie presses the button and releases the dying dinos. “They’re alive.” she says with a stern face. “Like me.” This is, of course, a reference to Maisie herself being a clone.

The dinosaurs rush out of the building in any and all directions. Mills confidently walks to his car with a sample of the Indominus Rex. He strolls through this lot as though he has not a care in the world. His quiet moment is interrupted by the stampede of released dinosaurs. Finally, the Rex emerges and bites him, killing him. The Carnotaur returns and rips the man in half before escaping with a piece. The T-Rex roars a triumphant roar and it too disappears in the forest.

We return to Ian Malcolm who warns us that something terrible has happened: “genetic power has been unleashed” and “if we’re not careful they’ll be here after us” before staring gloomily at the judge and uttering the eerie words: “Welcome to Jurassic World.”

ian

This film was a fun one. It has clever ideas, a few clever morals and several compelling moments of suspense. However, that doesn’t stop this film from having flaws. In fact, it has MANY.

First, this film feels obviously rushed. The eruption of Mt Sibo takes up the first 45 minutes or so of the movie and then it is over without a thought. This fantastic and iconic island that represented so many things is burned to cinders and it’s not even the main plot point. Because this whole segment is rushed we get convenient lava and boulders raining down from the sky that doesn’t harm the humans and barely kills any dinosaurs we see on screen. This major disaster has the drama undercut by how fast it happens and how it doesn’t alter the movie’s real plot in the slightest. Unbelievable!

sibo

Second, the tone of this film is one of horror and intrigue. At times it feels more like a SyFy late night movie than a Jurassic Park film. We don’t get much of the lessons of the first films or the majesty of these great beasts on display. Instead we are supposed to pay more attention to shady corrupt businessmen who conveniently capture and store these animals away with barely any trouble. The fact that they stored these animals away so easily, got them off the island so quickly amidst an eruption and in cages without a single one breaking free (minus the Stygimoloch) is laughable.

nice rexy

Thirdly, the characters of this film lack much depth. The secondary characters of Zia and Franklin are just forgettable tropes who move the plot along. This was not the case in the first film where Lex and Tim did move the plot as secondary characters but still managed to define and develop who they were as characters. Those kids also entertained us. Zia and Franklin did not. It doesn’t help that we don’t learn much about Clare and Owen’s own motivations for doing all this. Clare appears at the beginning of the film trying to save the dinosaurs. But, what happened to her job? Why is she now devoted to the dinosaurs wholeheartedly when in the previous film she didn’t care? Moreover, Owen while languishing at his lowest point says “this is all on me.” Why? Why is it his fault? He was just used as a pawn in this film just like the previous one. Does he truly care for the dinosaurs or is he doing all of this for Clare?

scream

Lastly, this movie brings up fantastic ideas but fails to do anything with them; Do dinosaur lives matter if they were already extinct? Did Lockwood clone other humans too? Since Wu said the Indoraptor was a prototype did Wu create a second Indoraptor? Will Rexy or Blue breed independently or will they die out? Why wasn’t Blue feral from being alone for three years? What will Maisie do now that she has no wards and realizes she is a clone? But, this movie did not answer those questions, and treated those loose ends as throwaways.

roar

I liked this movie a lot. But it felt like the writers and directors were rushed. The hilariously ridiculous action scenes that happen conveniently, the underveloped characters, the awkward tonal shifts and the open ended ideas that go nowhere are proof of that. I think that this film could have developed those ideas further and given us a more realistic action sequence on Nublar as well as more character development if they just gave this movie more time in editing before releasing it. Instead JA Bayona put out a movie that feels awkward, rife with too many plot conveniences and one that strays from the soul of its source material; it strays in tone and execution from what the Jurassic Park franchise is all about.

I give this film a 67% rating.

It was a fun watch, and I’ll watch it again sometime. But, it greatly disappointed me because it could have been so much more.

dinos

Thanks for reading.

 

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