Note: This is a spoiler-free Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom movie review
So we’ve reached movie number five within the Jurassic franchise. Dinosaurs being recreated and then ravaging the Earth is one of the great movie concepts ever created, but isn’t there a saturation point? How many times can a T-Rex roar in the foreground with something epic going on in the background?
It looks like at least one more. But only if you’re already a fan.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has a distinctly different feel from Jurassic movies of the past, but it still finds a way to give you the dinosaur thrills you’re looking for.
“Different” can be a little vague, so let’s inject some more DNA into that sentence. By different, I mean darker, and by darker, I don’t mean nighttime power outages (though the movie does have those).
The director of Fallen Kingdom is J.A. Bayona. He has not directed a Jurassic film, but he has directed A Monster Calls and a few episodes of Penny Dreadful. In other words, he has his own mysterious way of bringing the thrills, and it’s on display in this film.
Dino-mite Or A Dino-no?
Now you know what to expect. The important question is, did it work?
In a word — eh.
There are some legitimately quality scenes in Fallen Kingdom. A water scene shot in first person comes to mind immediately. That’s the best scene of the movie for me, and it doesn’t even involve dinosaurs. With dinosaurs, I really enjoyed a scene with a poacher and a raptor in a cage. Classic Jurassic right there.
There are also more than a few scenes that I would almost describe as cheesy, however. Campy is another word that comes to mind when discussing the Fallen Kingdom scenes that miss the mark. There are noticeable plotholes as the movie proceeds, and certain scenes garner laughter when they’re not trying to. Chunks of the movie just miss the mark. There’s really no other way to say it.
All that said, what are you really looking for from a Jurassic film? It’s a bunch of dinosaurs causing chaos right? I’m happy to report that Fallen Kingdom does plenty to deliver in that category.
The movie takes place half on an island and half in the good ole’ US of A, much like the sequel of the first Jurassic trilogy. I like the idea of going about a Jurassic movie this way, as it gives us a look at the dinosaurs in their own habitat and in ours. More opportunities for dinosaurs to wreak havoc in different ways, which I’m all for.
While the portion of Fallen Kingdom has all the dinosaur action you can hope for, it slows down a bit once we’re back in the states. I still think, overall, the dino action is sufficient (particularly while escaping a volcano on the island). The California scenes do have more dinosaur-on-human carnage, which does not disappoint, there just could have been more of it.
That said, the third Jurassic World is already announced and in the works, and Fallen Kingdom does a nice job of getting you excited for what’s to come.
Should I go see Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom?
If you’re looking for the dino-rrific thrills a Jurassic movie is known for, you’ll find yourself satisfied. Fallen Kingdom as a whole, however, will not be going down as one of the great Jurassic movies and may be just entertaining filler between the first and third installments of the trilogy.
(Featured Image via RogerEbert.com)