Twenty-five years ago, Steven Spielberg created movie magic with Jurassic Park, a film that redefined the blockbuster, becoming a worldwide phenomenon in the process. Thanks to 2015’s Jurassic World, a film that smashed all sorts of box-office records, the franchise is well and truly alive, and the reason why dinosaurs are back on the big screen in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), both former employees at Jurassic World, agree to travel back to Isla Nublar and rescue a number of dinosaur species before the island’s dormant volcano decides to erupt.
The idea of evolving the franchise ensures that we don’t just sit through the same film of people being trapped on an island with dinosaurs again. You could sense from Jurassic World and the idea of training Velociraptors to follow human command that they wanted to take this franchise in a bold new direction. Events that unfold in Fallen Kingdom certainly confirm this and, for the most part, it’s executed rather well.
This film has a plenty of cases of smart people doing dumb things but when has there never been a dumb decision made in one of these films? I mean, John Hammond’s decision to actually bring dinosaurs back to life is pretty dumb but hey, if he didn’t do that, we wouldn’t have a franchise right? So, while some of these characters and their actions may be quite irritating, I advise you to just go with it and enjoy the ride.
J. A. Bayona throws back to previous instalments with certain sequences but this is most definitely a film with his fingerprints all over it. He delivers plenty of thrilling action but he combines it impressively with elements of horror to ensure that kids may find dinosaurs scary again. The opening scene of the film should be enough to convince you because it genuinely had me excited at what else Bayona had in store for the rest of the film.
The effects are expectedly magnificent for a film of this stature, coming to the fore rather brilliantly in a pulsating sequence that sees the volcano on Isla Nublar finally erupt. They really do make settling into this type of film rather easy. What didn’t feel as settled was Michael Giacchino’s score, which felt bizarrely intrusive at times, not like his work on the previous instalment.
Coming to the performances, as they did with Jurassic World, Pratt and Howard serve the film well. Pratt just has that charisma to make just about any role he plays insanely likeable, which makes it clear to see how he’s forging such a career for himself. New additions to the cast will neither make or break the film because most people are there just to see the dinosaurs, and in Blue the Velociraptor and the new dinosaur named the Indoraptor, children will have a new favourite action hero and nightmare respectively.
I’ve come to the realisation that they will never be able to make a film that matches Jurassic Park in terms of quality in what remains of this franchise but I’m ok with that. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom entertained me from start to finish and that’s what these films should aim for. From the last shot of the film, if they’re going with this franchise where I think they could be going, I’ll be damned if I’m not in the queue at the cinema.