Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) Review



Fallen Kingdom is the best Jurassic Park sequel to date improving on its predecessor in every way but also doing something new. I know it will have its detractors but remember movies like this are meant to be fun so the trick is to enjoy it for what it is.

Plot: Three years after the destruction of the Jurassic World theme park, Owen Grady and Claire Dearing return to the island of Isla Nublar to save the remaining dinosaurs from a volcano that’s about to erupt. They soon encounter terrifying new breeds of gigantic dinosaurs, while uncovering a conspiracy that threatens the entire planet.

Review: It’s been a while since I’ve actually gone to the theatre to watch a movie because I’ve really grown to dislike the general public but a new Jurassic movie will get me there every time because inside I will always be a 6 year old boy who loves dinosaurs.

When Jurassic World came out in 2015 I thought it was fine but didn’t really do anything new and also the two main kids were annoying so it’s not a movie I revisit very often. I enjoyed Chris Pratt as Owen because he’s an action hero with the same name as me so he gets a thumbs up right there. Bryce Dallas Howard wasn’t an amazing addition as she never felt like a real person so I was surprised when they brought her back for the sequel.

In Fallen Kingdom Pratt once again proves he’s got the chops to be an amiable leading man and Howard feels far more human. Despite everything she went through in the last movie Claire Dearing (Howard) is now on the side of the dinosaurs and wants to save them from extinction (again) when the island’s volcano decides to become active. As always things don’t go as planned with the dino-rescue and once again mankind plays God with terrible consequences… humans… when will they learn?

This movie is superior to its predecessor in every way with easily the best opening scene of the entire franchise so I knew I was in for a fun ride right from the start.

It feels more like a horror movie than the other Jurassic movies and at times comes off more like a Frankenstein-type story with man as the true monster. There are some memorable visuals like the Indoraptor on the roof in front of the moon and also the dinosaur left on the island in the smoke was the most tragic moment of the series.

Ted Levine is a welcome addition to the cast as a mercenary who may or may not be trustworthy but I always enjoy watching him in any role and he’s magnetic on screen. I love what they’ve done with BD Wong’s Dr. Wu who has now become the Blofeld of the Jurassic movies.

Sadly Jeff Goldblum is only in a very small role and is on screen for a few minutes; he is essentially the voice of reason in a courtroom stating lines similar to “taking dinosaurs off this island is the worst idea in the history of bad ideas”.

Rafe Spall is suitably nasty as the money grabbing villain of the piece who has no redeeming qualities whatsoever so you know his comeuppance is going to be worth the wait.

Fallen Kingdom has had mixed reviews but I think a lot of critics have forgotten how to sit back and enjoy a movie; don’t get me wrong, there are flaws (which I’ll go into shortly) but this is my favourite sequel of the series and finally does something different with a tired concept. The first half is kind of business as usual with a group going to the island to “save” the dinosaurs but it’s in the wild second half where things get crazy.

Some have said it’s silly but what’s wrong with that? It’s a movie about bringing dinosaurs back from the dead so you should know what to expect by now. Does it have the same sense of wonder and magic that Spielberg brought to the original movie? Not even close but it dares to do something new with the idea and promises some epic craziness for future entries.

Blue wins my action hero of the year award and he even gets to run away from an explosion at one point; I now want my own pet Raptor so I can hunt my enemies for sport…

I mentioned on Facebook a few weeks back that I think we need a spin-off featuring Owen and Blue where they open up Blue’s Detective Agency and solve crimes together. I smell franchise!

Fallen Kingdom is never short of action or thrills and a sequence with Owen beating up lots of evil rich people is particularly satisfying. This is arguably the most serious entry in the series too with minimal humour and I have to say that really worked for me as it gave it a darker tone than we are used to.

Michael Giacchino is on scoring duties and provides one of the most bombastic and action-packed music scores of the series; we don’t get the main theme enough although it is hinted at and we get some huge choral music giving a more epic sense of scale to the story.

My main problem with these movies in general is that so many of the supporting characters are annoying; the nerd and the dinosaur vet girl were pains in the ass who really needed killing in a violent way and never felt like real people, just stereotypes. There is also a little girl who starts off irritating but isn’t as bad as she could have been… although if sometimes kids would get eaten by dinosaurs in these movies that would be super.

Overall, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom dares to be different but still has enough thrills, chills and spectacle to keep even the most jaded fans entertained. It may lack the magic of the Spielberg original but it has taken the series in a bold new direction. Bring on the next movie…