Since 2003, the Jurassic Park franchise lay dormant until 2015, when Jurassic World was released and acted as a soft reboot for the franchise. The film itself was a lot of fun, but still nowhere near being as good as the 1993 original. This time round; Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is the latest instalment into the Jurassic canon. Picking up where its predecessor left off, the island; Isla Nublar is on the brink of destruction as a volcano, believed to be dormant has woken up, thus threatening to make the dinosaurs extinct once more. This then leads to the debate should the dinosaurs be saved from extinction, which sounds like an interesting premise at first, but in this film, life finds a way to make it boring.
The opening of the film was quite enjoyable, with a team sent to the island to take samples from the skeleton of the Indominus Rex at the bottom of the aquatic arena. This is all done with a horror vibe which reminded me of Jaws as we only catch glimpses of the enormous sea creature (A Mosasaurus), unbeknownst to the expendable characters sent in to the park. This scene was probably my favourite part of the film, as we are also shown glimpses of a T-Rex in flashes of lightening as it stalks a technician through the rain before chasing him down. Another sequence that I thought was entertaining was the volcano scene in which we see it finally erupt, during this it was fast paced and exciting and has a surprising amount of heart as the one thing this film did well was create emotionally stirring moments as at times I found myself feeling sorry for the dinosaurs as they met their demise.
However, that was all that the film had going for it, and that was all in the first forty minutes. The film itself felt like a highlights reel of a much bigger script. It rushes through important plot points and before you have a moment to register what has happened, it has jumped onto its next bit. The most irritating aspect of this film is that it gets rid of the sense of awe and wonderment of actually seeing dinosaurs on the big screen by making them second fiddle to focus more on the human characters who bring absolutely nothing to the film. To me, I have always seen the spectacle of the dinosaurs to be the main character in these films as they are what people go to see the film for. But in this film, it is no longer the case as it has been swapped for blandly written characters who are unengaging. Chris Pratt’s (Owen) and Bryce Dallas Howard’s (Claire) characters have no chemistry at all and once again any romance between them is forced and dull. Other supporting characters aren’t given any supporting material at all to make them endearing. I’m pretty sure the only trait of one character was to scream in a high pitch, it made me laugh once but this fell flat very quickly. Any one of these characters could have died and I wouldn’t have batted an eye lid or felt any sympathy. The villains of the film are incredibly cartoonish and ham fisted that bring no sense of threat to the film whatsoever.
One of the main issues of Jurassic World was the lack of practical effects which were at the forefront of the original trilogy and in Fallen Kingdom it is no different this time round, the CGI dinosaurs are too polished and shiny to convince anyone they could actually be there. There are a couple of scenes with practical effects but it offers absolutely nothing to the plot. The use of practical effects has always given these films heart and the animatronic dinosaurs in the original trilogy have given us some genuinely terrifying and incredible moments on screen because of how real everything looked.
Overall this film was boring. It tries to echo what came before it by being The Lost World on a much larger scale and fell under the weight of itself by being over stuff. There is too much going on. There is fighting, explosions and dinosaurs running around that some people will find entertaining enough but to me it brought nothing to to the film and made it generic, flat and forgettable. Jurassic Park was one of the first films I remember seeing and it made me fall in love with cinema and its depressing to see this franchise with more bad films than good. There is a third one due out in 2021, so maybe life will find a way to reinvigorate the franchise and make it worth watching again. But for now, its probably best to leave it to go extinct.