Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Review

Written by: Carlos Zotomayor

Film | Jun 12, 2018

Fallen Kingdom Jurassic Park Jurassic World Universal Studios

It feels almost poetic that in being a series centered on recreating the past, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom can't let go of what once was. Chase sequences, silent moments of anticipation, and yes, even the dinosaurs are all here; but it's just another walk through the same park.

Photo Credit: Universal Studios

The film takes place three years after the first Jurassic World, with the park now abandoned and within the danger zone of an active volcano. In an attempt to save the giant lizards, park co-founder Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell) commissions a stereotypical team of researchers, soldiers, and scientists, including Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to capture the dinosaurs and transfer them to an island where they will be safe (as if they aren't a danger to other living creatures).

When I said "a stereotypical team", I wasn't exaggerating. The roles these actors fill have less dimensions as a Mickey Mouse cartoon. The nerdy computer whiz, the hard-assed tomboy, even Chris Pratt's Owen Grady feels like a step down from other roles he's played in the past. If you're expecting memorable lines like Samuel L. Jackson's infamous "Hold on to your butts!" from the first Jurassic Park, you'll be barking up the wrong brontosaurus.

Photo Credit: Universal Studios

Speaking of the first Jurassic Park, Jeff Goldblum's cameo in the film does nothing but provide fan service for those fossils old enough to remember the film (myself included). And even then, his few appearances, echo just how devoid of personality this movie is.

Photo Credit: Universal Studios

The plot is nothing to write home about, either. If you've seen a Jurassic Park film, you'll know exactly how this goes: idiots go to park, find dinosaurs, learn they can't control said dinosaurs but try to do so anyway, and in doing so everything goes south faster than a flock of migrating birds.

What is so bad about this film in particular is it reuses so many of the past movies' previous tropes that it can't carve out a name for itself. Take for example the iconic screen pan of a brachiosaurus. While a series staple, the way the scene plays out in this film feels like the producers were ticking down a list of things they needed to include in order to call it a proper sequel.

Photo Credit: Universal Studios

What many viewers don't realize is Jurassic World did exactly the same thing. It checked off so many tropes and scenes from the original series but did it under the guise of a new setting, characters, and a modern era, thereby making it feel somewhat fresh for the uninitiated. Since Fallen Kingdom keeps many of these things the same, the illusion isn't as successful and the lack of creativity becomes much more apparent.
In this age where audiences want more memorable narratives to go with their movies, Fallen Kingdom falls drastically short. It still has those dinosaurs everyone loves, but they just aren't enough to bring the series into the present day.

Photo Credit: Universal Studios

The biggest proof of this comes with the film's final act. Without spoiling much, it completely rips off its predecessor without so much as a second thought. The writing is lazy and uninspired, leaving with an obvious bait ending to get people to watch the next movie.

It's starting to become like Michael Bay's Transformers movies, ever-inching closer to a coffin which won't seem to close. Jurassic World isn't quite a fossil yet, but it sure is getting there.

About the author: Carlos Zotomayor

Zoto can see your underpants. Mmm... tasteful.

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