Opinion, Reviews

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, a review

“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” is the second film in the rebooted “Jurassic Park” series, and is technically the fifth movie of the franchise as a whole. It will be released on DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday.

The cultural phenomenon of “Jurassic Park” was first released in 1993, based on the book by science fiction writer Michael Crichton. The film was a landmark in CGI technology, with effects that still look good by today’s standards – actually, the CGI in “Jurassic Park” looks better than CGI in current-day films. Many viewers became fascinated by dinosaurs with the help of this movie, myself included.

“Fallen Kingdom” takes place three years after the events. The island that once contained Jurassic Park is now abandoned and overrun by dinosaurs – again. But when a volcano on the island becomes active, the dinosaurs must be evacuated before they go extinct for a second time. The two leads from “Jurassic World” reappear, with raptor trainer Owen, played by Chris Pratt, and former park manager Claire, played by Bryce Dallas Howard.

Pratt’s performance was a highlight before and is again in “Fallen Kingdom.” He brings charm to the role, different to that which he brings to “Guardians of the Galaxy.” The rest of the cast do bring energy to their roles, even if their characters could’ve been better written. A few characters are basically two dimensional or one dimensional.

Like every “Jurassic World,” at least one of the characters is a little kid who loves dinosaurs. But the kid in this movie is much more likable than some of the other “Jurassic Park” entries. I hate to say this, but the two kids from the last “Jurassic World” movie were very annoying – to the point that I wouldn’t have minded to see one of them get eaten.

It should be noted that while Jeff Goldblum does make an appearance as Ian Malcolm from the original “Jurassic Park,” his appearance is unfortunately a brief cameo.

The plot is a departure from the other “Jurassic Park” installments – almost out of genre. The film feels a little more like an action film or a James Bond movie. But this is actually not a criticism. Some of the action scenes were genuinely entertaining. It was handled well enough. Not perfect, but not terrible either.

The cinematography in “Fallen Kingdom” is impressive. Because of the blockbuster story it would’ve been easy for the camera angles to have been simple. But in the movie, the camera work is much more creative, even by non-blockbuster standards. It was visually interesting and helped tell the story, which is very appreciated.

“Fallen Kingdom” is a little ridiculous at times, much like the first “Jurassic World.” The idea of training dinosaurs to be used in warfare is completely impractical. Couldn’t guns just kill them? Sure, they could be used for something else, just not modern warfare.

The overall message of the film is to protect dinosaur life from extinction and from other humans, and, in turn nature. By itself, this is a pretty good message.

However, the movie’s portrayal of dinosaurs does contradict this message. The dinosaurs are portrayed as being beautiful in their natural environment, except for the carnivores.

Dinosaurs that are predators are shown to be man-eating monsters that kill everything in sight — even while an active volcano is erupting. But if I remember my dinosaur facts correctly, non-predators like the triceratops or stegosaurus are just as likely to kill you. Just because an animal doesn’t eat meat doesn’t mean they can’t kill a person.

Of course, “Fallen Kingdom” is not as good as the first “Jurassic Park” movie. But is it as good as the first “Jurassic World?”

To be fair, “Jurassic World” wasn’t that great of movie. It was cliché and lacked the charm of the original, despite being better than the previous sequels: “The Lost World” and “Jurassic Park III.” The same applies for “Fallen Kingdom.”

In terms of quality, “Fallen Kingdom” is about on par with the first one. It had enjoyable comedy to it and some suspense. It is a good movie. It’s just not that good. So if you liked the first one, odds are you will like this entry as well. Honestly, “Fallen Kingdom” is a fun blockbuster. If you know what you’re going into, you might have a good time. If you might not like that, I understand.

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