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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – Review


Release Date: 22 June 2018 [USA]
Director: J.A. Bayona
Writer: Derek Connolly & Colin Trevorrow
Cast: Chris Pratt - Bryce Dallas Howard - Rafe Spall



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Posted June 22, 2018 by

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Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom Review

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom lives up to its title.  The kingdom of this franchise has fallen. It’s awful. You already know what the Jurassic films are all about, so let’s just get into it.

There’s a scene towards the end of the film where the big bad guy’s corrupt smirk coils upwards as his glasses reflect a rapidly increasing auction profit of over one hundred million and counting. It’s the stuff of stereotype so far leapt off the cliché cliff that if he was to see his own reflection and the caricature staring back, he probably wouldn’t be too shocked to see it made up of a series of hand-drawn frames on a Saturday morning TV show. If one thing came out of this film, it was a competitor for Dick Dastardly’s evil moustache twirling routine.  I can’t even confidently say this was an intentional wink wink joke from the filmmakers to match themselves laughing maniacally as the millions wrack up on this one’s opening weekend. When you manage to give the likes of Pratt, Dallas-Howard, and James Cromwell roles so bland and passive, that any charisma they have as disappeared so much they’re unrecognisable, I think it’s clear that you just don’t know what you’re doing. I couldn’t tell you the name of any of the new characters, all I can tell you is that they’re cookie-cutter and annoying. And I won’t even get into Jeff Goldblum’s cameo that probably took about 5 minutes to film.

Things don’t get much better with the dinosaurs.

There’s a scene towards the end of the film where the big bad dino’s CGI smirk coils upwards as he targets his prey. There’s also a scene where a baby dinosaur is played for slapstick laughs like the reindeers in the Santa Claus 2. The creatures, once hauntingly beautiful and chillingly terrifying in the 1993 original, are now anthropomorphised one level away from actually talking, and played for laughs dangerously close to fart jokes. It’s a baffling treatment for a Jurassic Park sequel.

J.A Bayona is known for his talents in directing horror, with A Monster Calls being a good example of how to fuse that genre with a bigger story. You’d think Jurassic Park would be his playing field with that ‘Velociraptor in the kitchen’ scene that still goes down as ‘scene responsible for my most damaging childhood moment’ alongside the entirety of Stephen Sommers’ The Mummy. Yet, it’s a script so carelessly thrown together that its unintentional hilarity undercuts any of his attempts to actually direct. A ten minute sequence marking the climax showcases some of Bayona’s talent with creepy cinematography and some effort into the sound design, and goes down as the only ten minutes of the film I didn’t hate, largely because people stopped talking and as a result, the story stopped intruding.

It’s a story I won’t dive into too much, because to do so would be to attempt the 10-metre into the shallow end. There’s not much there, in other words, and what is there will just leave you with a bad head if you tried. There’s some odd, tacked on stuff about cloning making up a B-plot that, whenever the film cut to it, I knew I had an opportunity for a toilet break, to fall asleep, or just walk out. The crucial plot points that are needed to carry one scene from the next happen off screen, creating a confusingly jumpy, rapidly paced two hours. A problem that is compounded by the fact that there’s really only two locations in the entire film, giving the impression everything happens in about one day. This, coincidently, is the same amount of time the film will stay with you when the credits start rolling.

We’re really starting to bleed things now. I’m not saying sequels should replicate their originals exact, but whatever new ideas they bring have to actually be ideas, and not just ‘things’. That’s what Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom is, an assortment of things that don’t work on their own isolated, and don’t work together either. I’m not usually as surprised at how bad a sequel actually is, but I’d be surprised if I ever see one, for such a major franchise, as bad as this in the future.  Then again, in the famous words of Jeff Goldblum’s Dr. Ian Malcolm… ‘life (or Hollywood) finds a way.’


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Written By:


Kieran Rae
Freelance Contributor

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