Wednesday 13 June 2018

Film Review – Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Film Review – Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Review by Casey Douglass

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

When the first Jurassic World came out in 2015, it made me remember how much I enjoyed the original Jurassic Park. While it didn’t become my favourite JP film, it nuzzled affectionately into second place, pushing Lost World out of the bed and onto the carpet. When I heard that they were filming another Jurassic World, I had reasonably high hopes for more of the same. While it did deliver the same brand of dino-mayhem however, I do feel that Fallen Kingdom missed the mark.

Set three years after the events of the first Jurassic World, the island on which it all went so horribly wrong, Isla Nublar, has been left to go wild. The thing is, a dormant volcano isn’t dormant any more, and the world looks set to catch the re-run of dinosaurs becoming extinct once again. Some think that this event should be allowed to happen, others campaign against not intervening. The two main characters from the first film, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), find themselves on an expedition back to the island, one that hopes to save as many species as it can.

Things don’t go terribly well. There are machinations afoot, and a bubbling volcano to make things even more perilous. I must admit that the first third of the film almost plays out with as much intensity as the final act in a more traditional film. Sadly, this proves hard for the rest of the film to compete with, the latter acts feeling a little stodgy and constricted by comparison.

The dinosaurs themselves are the real stars of the show, and I wasn’t disappointed with these. The predatory variety were suitably menacing, and the lumbering herbivores suitably lovable. There are a number of scenes in which dinosaurs die, one in particular that really hits in the feels. I think the film does do a very good job of getting the audience to care about these creatures, no matter how alien they can sometimes seem. The film also provides plenty of food for thought about genetic manipulation and the moral issues that arise with it, in more ways than the simply obvious ones.

Fallen Kingdom, for me, roamed the same territory as Lost World, from the “lets go to a wild dinosaur island this time” angle, to the hunter wanting trophies, and the return to civilization aspect in the second half. It did this while holding quite tightly to some of the main plot-points of the first Jurassic World as well. While I was hoping for a film that, at the least, was more of the same, I was kind of hoping it would deliver a little more. Fallen Kingdom is a fun dino film with some interesting set-pieces and moments of humour, but largely, it just made me wish I was re-watching the first Jurassic World film. Also, if this trend continues, I really hope that any third Jurassic World film doesn’t do a rehash of Jurassic Park III, a film that I’ve always felt to be the weakest of the bunch.

Rating: 3/5