Remember the first time you saw a dinosaur skeleton at a museum? Your mind starts to go wild with the idea that at one time that skeleton would have been a living, breathing creature on earth. Then you begin to imagine the concept of those beasts living today, you could stroke it, play with it, have one as a pet. Jurassic Park gave us those answers and the wonder of those creatures never left us, if anything it made us more curious. A feeling that hasn’t been replicated by another Jurassic Park film since. Now it’s the franchises fifth attempt to capture the wonder of dinosaurs in existence. I was very lenient with Jurassic World in 2015 because although the majority of the film was disappointing, the final moments turned me into a kid again. But that man has gone and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is the most infuriating and embarrassing Jurassic Park film I’ve seen.
On paper this film should have worked, J.A Bayona has an incredible vision for the tone of horror that Jurassic Park can offer and in one instance, he got that spot on. There is a scene in a bedroom where he uses the shadow of the dinosaur, masking techniques in the cinematography and slow-moving slider shots. In this one moment, I felt like I was watching a Jurassic Park film.
He is also known for balancing the use of CGI and practical effects. We were promised with Fallen Kingdom more uses of animatronics which was great it one of the key reason why Jurassic Park is remembered so fondly. The believability of these creatures existing in the world of the film is improved greatly since Jurassic World, the computer-generated imaged have been kicked up a notch. Essentially Bayona has brought his skills to the franchise but I can tell just by watching the film, there are two visions are at play here, one Bayona’s and one the moneymakers. And the moneymakers got the better.
Despite the odd entertaining scene from time to time, it feels like nothing has changed, anywhere do we go from here statements must have been thrown out of the window because the film feels too familiar. I’m almost certain the generic bad guys in Fallen Kingdom have the exact same goal of weaponizing dinosaurs as the generic bad guys from Jurassic World. On top of that, you have another new dinosaur that has the same bland design as the Indominus Rex, I won’t reveal what it is but I’m just going to call it Indominus Rex 2. This film completely removes any and all interest in dinosaurs, you could bash two dinosaur toys together and they would be more engaging than the dinosaurs in Fallen Kingdom.
The story makes absolutely no sense. The film seems to get ahead of itself when it comes to genetics, things are revealed that come out of nowhere and we are expected to believe because the film says so. I now realize that Fallen Kingdom has chosen the more cheesy and campy route when it comes to what happens in the story, there are scenes where a character thinks they’ve gotten away but by some miraculous reasoning they haven’t, and the danger comes back, those scenes have a rigmarole tone in the sense that you think it’s over but then it goes on and on and on, it’s very tiring and gets on your nerves after a while.
Because of the more cheesy than usual direction the film takes the characters have to be that way too. They’re just as two dimensional as before but what’s worse is you don’t feel as though the events from the last film have changed their personalities at all. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard return as Owen and Claire and they do seem like they’re enjoying their roles. Even other new cast additions like Daniella Pineda as Dino-vet Zia and Toby Jones as Gunnar Eversol you can tell through their performances are having a good time. the performance overall is split down the middle between fun and annoying, one such character is Franklin (Justice Smith) who is essentially the character with an annoying attitude and screams a lot, I can still hear the screams in my head, they’re that irritating.
Fallen Kingdom is just all show and no go. The franchise has stopped dead in its tracks and I’m deeply worried that one of the most imaginative, wonderous film series of all time is going to become a hollow shell. Where can Jurassic World go from here? There’s no evidence of progression only assets we’ve seen before used differently but not creatively. I may be a bit over the top here, but it feels like the purpose of Fallen Kingdom is to fill it with shots that would make great desktop backgrounds (e.g. A T-Rex roaring whilst a volcano is erupting in the background) rather than tell an enthralling story. I don’t have the energy anymore to convince myself this reboot is going to get better.
Final Result: 2/10 – Very Poor
Have you seen Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom? What did you think? Please let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below
Next Time: Hereditary