This month is a huge one of the Jurassic Park cinematic franchise as the first film celebrates its 25th anniversary. The work of late author, Michael Crichton, was adapted by Steven Spielberg and released in 1993. Filled with dinosaur chases (included a T-Rex chasing a Jeep), raptor hunts and other thrills, the film actually asked the question of ethics: even though it can be done, should it?
Twenty-five years and four films later, science and ideas have fallen by the wayside and more jump-scare entertainment has spearheaded the films. If you can put real science to the side, you can find enjoyment in the films. This has continued in the latest installment, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
This review is Spoiler-Free.
Three years after the events of Jurassic World, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), former park operations manager, is approached by an organization to save the remaining dinosaurs who are threatened by an imminent volcanic eruption on Isla Nublar. Claire recruits Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) in this mission with the promise to save his beloved Velociraptor, Blue.
The movie comes out of the gate with danger on the island as humans come to retrieve what they can, unaware of the dangers possibly stomping through the jungle and swimming in the waters. But you know the human way of thinking in this situation: if something was alive out in the wild, we’d be dead already. If you’ve seen the other movies, you know how this plays out of the team. As far as pre-credit sequences, Fallen Kingdom pulled it off perfectly.
From there, we’re caught up on Claire and Owen, now separated, after promising to stay together at the end of Jurassic World. After convincing Owen, they join a team to the island. Obviously, the island has largely remained untouched by human life: the park attraction now lay in rubble, plant life has crawled over the ruins, but the resurrected beasties are alive and well – along with hungry and ticked off. Once we’re back on the island, it doesn’t take long for the action to really kick off like a volcanic explosion (literally) with the humans and dinos running for their lives as lava slowly hunts them down.
What else could possibly go wrong? Trust me, it does. But I’m not going to spoil the fun
Directed by J.A. Bayona, the fifth installment finds a way to remain entertaining despite not adding much to the franchise. Fallen Kingdom has plenty of fun for everyone – as long as you let go of any high expectations. The overall strength of this movie comes from the fact that it doesn’t take itself too seriously or make itself bigger than what it is. The deeper look on the relationship between Blue and Owen adds emotional resonance, but that’s sprinkled throughout. Besides that, there are plenty of CG raptors and rexes and other prehistoric animals to keep audiences and fans of the franchise happy. Our idealistic heroes clash with greedy businessmen, double-crosses are expected before they actually happen, and it wouldn’t be a Jurassic movie without a child put in danger. Similar to The Lost World, the action doesn’t stay on the island (as the second trailer showed) which adds to the entertainment.
Thankfully, Howard gets more to do (and she isn’t wearing heels this time!), Pratt busts out his signature can-do heroism and deadpan humor to keep audiences smiling, and their supporting cast carries their weight but don’t really make you care about them. Bayona’s direction and screenwriters, including Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow, test how incredulous this movie can get. There are some hits and misses, especially up to the final half hour of the film where logic kind of goes out of the window (honestly, what else do you expect from this kind of movie?). As long as you roll with the punches this film delivers, it’s the type of escapist film that you expected from a summer movie.
Thanks for reading, everyone! Think you’ll check out this movie during the weekend? Definitely leave a comment! Also check out my Facebook page for this blog and show some love! Until next time!