Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is currently in theaters and is directed by J.A. Bayona, the man behind A Monster Calls and The Orphanage which were both critically acclaimed. The film serves as a sequel to 2015’s Jurassic World, the long awaited continuation of the Jurassic Park series that proved to be very divisive with both critics and audiences (I personally loved the film, despite its flaws). However, with a new director on board, many fans were expecting this film to be an improvement over the previous installment; and is it an improvement? Well…let’s just take a look.
Taking place several years after the events of the first film, the island of Isla Nublar is now in the face of destruction at the hands of an erupting volcano which threatens to completely wipe out the dinosaurs for a second time. Bryce Dallas Howard’s character from the first film, feeling that some of the species don’t deserve another extinction, makes a deal with a wealthy businessman to launch an expedition to retrieve most of the dinos to get them to safety. After recruiting the returning character of Owen (played by Chris Pratt), the two set off on the expedition, unaware of a conspiracy putting both them and the dinosaurs in jeopardy.
First, let me get one legitimately awful thing about this film out of the way: the trailers. While the first teaser did it’s job alright at providing intrigue for the film, the rest of the trailers give away far too much about the ensuing conflict in this movie. It quite frankly baffles me why Universal would allow crucial parts of this film to be revealed in these trailers. I won’t give away what they are, but let’s just say that they do pretty much sum up most of the movie and tell you what happens.
With that covered, what are the good aspects about this film? Well, Chris Pratt once again gives a very charismatic and likable performance, and Bryce Dallas Howard’s character has a very much improved role as opposed to the first film. A few of the other supporting cast also offer some decent comedy, but are mostly forgettable. The antagonists, on the other hand, are about as cartoony and over the top as you’d think for a movie like this, and are pretty much just stereotypes. Plus, while it was nice to see Jeff Goldblum as Ian Malcolm once again, he unfortunately has way too small of a role in this flick (heck, he BARELY gets any screen time.
The two best things about this film are definitely the effects and the action sequences. While there was a lot of CGI, the dinosaurs do still look nice and are used effectively. However, the film really shines with its action sequences, which were all suspenseful, gigantic, creative, and even brutal at times. The third act in particular gives off a fantastic horror vibe and seemed like it could’ve been ripped straight out of James Cameron’s Aliens.
However, it’s in this third act where the biggest problem with the movie arrives, and that’s the ending. Without giving away too much, it definitely sets up the inevitable third installment of the series, a project already confirmed to be directed by Colin Trevorrow, the director of the first Jurassic World. However, the way the ending goes about doing this gives off A LOT of bad implications and goes completely against the belief of many fans of the series and even Dr. Malcolm himself. The third film definitely needs to be worth it, because this ending was just a gargantuan flaw with this movie.
Overall, I would say that this film is just ok. If you’re looking for some decent summer popcorn entertainment with some decent action and cool dinosaurs, this will probably fit the bill just fine. However, if you’re looking for a gripping story and some great writing like in the first Jurassic Park, your expectations will probably be left extinct
Final Verdict: C+