Dr. Ian Malcom said it best, “God creates dinosaurs, God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man, man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs” but Dr. Ellie Satler had the slam dunk with, “dinosaurs eat man, woman inherits the earth.” This quote from the original 1993 still rings true for the most recent addition to the series which sinks its teeth into the resilience of women and the viciously loveable velociraptor Blue that we met 3 years ago in Jurassic World.
Three years after the Indominus Rex wreaked havoc on Jurassic World, dinosaurs are fending for themselves on the island of Isla Nublar. The universe tries to achieve balance by once again threatening these creatures with an extinction level event when the volcano at the island’s center begins to erupt. We follow Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) who’s been approached by Eli Mills (Rafe Spall), a representative of the estate owned by the reclusive Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell) a former partner of Jurassic Park founder John Hammond. Mills, on behalf of Lockwood, offers to fully fund a rescue mission to the island in order to save as many species as possible. The hope is to build another island sanctuary but free from tourists, where the animals can live out their lives in peace. They need Claire’s help because her handprint is the only one that can access the remote tracking system used to locate the dinosaurs…and she’s the only way Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) would go back to get his baby Blue. Once they reach the island, they quickly realize that not everything is as it seems; evil plots reveal themselves and the real fate of the dinosaurs might be worse than extinction.
If you’re looking to watch the same story we’ve already seen 5 times then you’ll enjoy this film!
There were 2 scenes that did leave me crying but there isn’t anything new to the overall action – CGI dinosaurs eating people is still as bloody as before, and the overall story arch is as predictable as you’d imagine. The T-Rex battles with another dinosaur and inadvertently save human lives, Pratt fights alongside Blue, a remix of the most beautiful musical score created plays in the background, awkward romantic kiss, cue screaming, and people running around in utter chaos. Thankfully they didn’t spend too much of the story focusing on the awkward romantic chemistry between Bryce and Pratt, but even their “big reveal” was insanely predictable. There was a lame attempt at a subplot twist, about 3/4 of the way through the film, but it lost all possible resonance and felt like it was thrown in as a last resort. It involves Lockwood’s granddaughter Maisie (Isabella Sermon) because no Jurassic movie would be complete without a child to terrorize. Overall, the movie just felt like one long set up for whatever film will come next, bridging the stories from the last two movies with seemingly higher stakes. This film was clearly just the purgatory before things really heat up in the next film, rounding out the trilogy.
There were jump scares, and moments of enjoyment but I think Vox said it best with, “Most of all, though, Fallen Kingdom understands the moral weight of the setup it’s been handed by the previous five movies. Even when it stumbles as a film, it has a definite point of view on what a humanity callous enough to revive a species for its own pleasure and inquiry ought to experience in return.”
SIDEBAR: Aside from my insane love for dinosaurs, I was really looking forward to the return of my love Jeff Goldblum to the world of Jurassic Park. He has about 5 lines and is only on screen for maybe 5 minutes…ugh