Saturday, December 22, 2018

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom - Movie Review

The Movie: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

The Director: J.A. Bayona

The Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, James Cromwell, Toby Jones, Ted Levine, Jeff Goldblum, BD Wong, Geraldine Chaplin, Isabella Sermon,

The Story: When the island's dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event.

The Review:
Jurassic Park. Easily one of the most identifiable franchises in film history. After having a huge rebirth a few years ago with Jurassic World, it seemed like the sky was the limit for epic scale dinosaur action although there was always a chance that Fallen Kingdom might be an unintentionally prophetic title if this installment failed to meet expectations. The movie definitely feels different in a lot of ways even though it sort of starts out the same. We get all the standard stuff of getting people to the island, as always against better judgment, although an erupting volcano quickly shifts things into a different direction.

After all of the requisite destruction that comes from a volcano ravaging a small island, the movie actually gets quite small and is mostly contained to a single house. Now keep in mind this house is one built and owned by the type of billionaire who would spare no expense on such a thing so it is very large and filled with lots of unexpected areas for dinosaurs to chase people around in. That being said, the biggest action set pieces are on the island as it is being destroyed so anyone expecting that epic scale I mentioned earlier might be a little disappointed.

One thing you will not be disappointed in is having both Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard return to their roles from the previous film. Their chemistry continues to be a highlight of the franchise and Pratt is still one of the most charming and fun leading men in the business today. Jeff Goldblum also returns as fan favorite Ian Malcolm along with BD Wong as Dr. Wu who is even more firmly established as a villain and it's still amazing that he looks almost the same as he did in the very first movie. Justice Smith and Daniella Pineda are nice additions to the franchise and should be along for the ride for however many more movies are made.

Story wise, there are a couple very interesting twists that move the series in a bit of a different direction and it will be interesting to see what they do with those moving forward. On the flip side, there is a lot of predictability in the movie that gets a bit tiresome like how many times to we need to see T-Rex jump in out of nowhere at the last second to unintentionally save the heroes from certain destruction. Callbacks to moments we love are fun and necessary but can definitely lose their luster when overused.

The Verdict:
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a solid movie that is basically more of the same for better or worse. The drawback is that the movie feels stuck in between the two bookends of a trilogy but there is still a lot to like as dinosaurs chasing humans is always going to be entertaining.

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