If only an asteroid hit this franchise in 2015 there’d still be a modicum of cool left in this series, but alas like Terminator before it, Jurassic Park has been milked years beyond its use by and what we have left is just a heap of disappointment. You shouldn’t get dinosaurs and Chris Pratt wrong, but what Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom showed me is that no matter how big a movie’s budget is, if the script is bad – it’s all bad.
The opening action sequence is thrilling and lays the platform akin to the horror-esque vibes of the 1994 original and I was ready. Not three minutes later did my excitement deflate like a balloon as the movie grinds its pace to a halt. It is kind of a mixture of 2012’s King Kong mixed with I’m sad to say – a Michael Bay movie.
Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) is tasked to rescue the dinosaurs from Isla Nubar, the famed home of the prehistoric animals as an extinction level volcanic eruption is set to erupt and wipe out the entire population. There’s some kind of ham-fisted message swept up in this about the rights of living things and the malfeasance of government in the modern world and it’d be forgivable if the rest of the plot wasn’t complete trite. I should point out this is quite literally the whole movie, and barely feels more than two acts long.
It has one of the most formulaic plot structures I can remember, and it feels phoned in by all the cast. Chris Pratt (Owen) should never be held back and yet he’s a passenger of all the events around him, accompanied by two boardroom written characters aka the millennials who are meant to draw the new kids to the series and are insufferably unfunny.
Even the script feels listless; I was able to predict almost every beat as it unfolded, the cinema I was in was entirely empty save for my poor friend who had to tag along with me – we were guessing and reciting lines out loud as they were literally said and laughing, not the reaction the director was hoping for I’d say.
I don’t expect nuance when it’s just dinosaurs running around, but there’s a solid 45 minute chunk of this with no Raptors or Pterodactyls, just a generic sequence of events unfolding without real stakes, emotion or character development as we have to jump through thematic hoops waiting to get to the volcano scene, which admittedly looks cool but then is unraveled by simple breaches of logic or reason (pyroclastic cloud is toxic and fast – you can’t just outrun it, or be consumed by only a bit and be fine. No. You die.)
And how many ‘saved at the last minutes’ can this movie wring out of it? If it’s not Claire being saved by Owen, it’s Owen being saved by his Raptor Blue, and if it’s not that, it’s Deus-Ex Rex who shows up so conveniently all the time I’m almost convinced he’s a sentient plot forwarding device and aware of his duty.
Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom was best described to me afterward thusly:
If you liked Transformers 1 this movie is a 4/10. If you like 2 and 3, it’s a 6/10. If you liked the most recent Transformers 5, it’s a 9.5/10 and you’ll love this film.
The rest of us can go watch the Incredibles again.
Dendy – home of quality cinema