Thursday, October 11, 2018

Review Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom (2018)


Life has found a way, once again. We rejoin Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) three years after the calamitous events of ‘Jurassic World’ and the closing down of the park. The island’s volcano has reportedly become active and threatens to wipe out all remaining life, the moral question being; should the dinosaurs be protected like all other endangered species?

It seems common practise these days to give away the majority of the plot in the trailer, which really leaves little left to discover in terms of film direction, but despite that, Fallen Kingdom has all of ingredients to make a great ‘Jurassic Park’ film. The opening few minutes set the scene for what is to follow, with a nail-biting encounter with some unwelcome inhabitants of Isla Nublar as a shady team attempt to go back to the island in order to exploit dinosaur DNA. It feels more like the soft horror of the originals, which can be said about much of Fallen Kingdom. It’s a real edge-of-your-seat thriller.

Director J.A. Bayona, who masterfully captured the infamous tsunami disaster in ‘The Impossible’ with a grace and dignity, lays on another fantastic showcase of Mother Nature’s dominance here as the volcano erupts and panic ensues. The CGI is really on point. The film’s protagonist played by Brit Rafe Spall (‘The Ritual’, ‘I Give It A Year’) however is cheesy at best. In fact, many of the new characters are forgettable, including the token wisecracking-scared-geeky computer genius, played by Justice Smith (‘Paper Towns’, ‘The Get Down’), and Toby Jones’ throwaway auctioneer Gunnar Eversol.

The ending is certainly unexpected, and is a bold new direction for the franchise as we know it, but is no doubt a welcome change. Overall, Fallen Kingdom is a marginal improvement on 2015’s ‘Jurassic World’, has lots of nods to its predecessors, particularly 1993’s ‘Jurassic Park’, but still lacks the bite of the original.

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