The Problem With.. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Review)
I enjoyed Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom quite a bit as I mentioned in my spoiler free article of the movie premiere, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any problems with the movie. As with every Jurassic Park sequel there are just some choices that were made that I’m not too thrilled about. These choices hurt the movie and keep me up at night like the threat of an Indoraptor under the bed. With that said these complaints are not big enough for me for me to dislike the movie but they’re definitely annoyances. I’ll discuss the elements of the movie so there’ll be some spoilers so be aware. The movie is very much its own thing, it does have some original Jurassic Park call backs, specifically from the kitchen scene which shouldn’t have been there but they work fine and the tone might feel a bit like The Lost World at first but it’s its own movie with its own take, but let’s talk about the problems with Fallen Kingdom..
Unlike what some of the trailers led us to believe, Isla Nublar doesn’t get to see much action, the whole rescue mission is over faster than you realize. The Volcano erupts as soon as they get there and some might be happy with that but I wouldn’t have minded another The Lost World take and do right what the previous time they got wrong. It was very sad to see the island get destroyed by the volcano, I’m not sure if it was shot very well or if also the recent volcano eruptions in Hawaii and Guatemala helped this feel closer to home. Seeing all the dinosaurs die was more depressing than you would think some CG / animatronic recreations of extinct animals would be. I do love the second setting in the mansion which gave us such cool visuals so at least it all wasn’t done to waste, it was refreshing as it’s not something we had seen before even if I prefer the jungle setting.
Jurassic World sold me on the idea of hybrids as something that could work if handled correctly and this movie gave us a new hybrid which was a cause for concern. Luckily this is mostly avoided as the Indoraptor is really cool and just works out. He gives us some of the best imagery in the movie as well. The main problem with the indoraptor is that for a creature that is supposed to be the ultimate killing machine, he sure had a hard time with the main characters and a bit of a low body count. Another con might be that he didn’t move like a dinosaur with more animal like behavior but more of a horror movie villain, that actually worked for him since he wasn’t meant to be a real dinosaur.
Blue appears here and she is actually far more obedient than she was in Jurassic World, somehow that didn’t bother me as much even if it’s kind of a problem. I think what made it work for her is we get to see plenty of videos of her training as a baby and retroactive explanations for her being the most obedient of the rest of the Raptor Squad we saw in Jurassic World. Still, a bit weird to see a Raptor being that docile, especially when Owen feared her instincts more last movie. I loved the Baby Blue scenes since they reminded me of the old school Kenner toys and cards.
The movie introduces plenty of new characters but most aren’t worth having their own section here, but that’s not because they were bad. I can’t say I loved them but they did have more personality than many new characters in previous sequels like The Lost World or Jurassic Park 3. More could’ve been done with them as they were. The only real dud was the new villain Eli Mills who is just a poor man’s Peter Ludlow but everyone else could’ve had more screen time.
Franklin Webb added a little too much slapstick style humor with his Shaggy-esque fear but I still l liked him. Zya Rodriguez just needed more time for her. A big problem is there are no casualties with the good guys, they somehow make it through the whole movie, that is one big miss. Ken Wheatley was a rather cool mercenary who met a deserving fate. We meet enough cool new characters but the movie doesn’t spend too much time with any of them which can be argued is a bad or a good thing.
As far as returning characters, Claire Dearing who I did not like in Jurassic World too much really does redeem herself here as you can finally start to see her character arc play out. I didn’t think it was going to happen since it always felt forced but it worked. Dr. Henry Wu also appears again and sadly he’s not as awesome as he was in Jurassic World, you can clearly see he is more on the evil scale now of a mad scientist but still cares about science. Dr. Ian Malcolm and the whole trial were just like a 2 minute segment and that was a shame as I expected more. It was a shame we didn’t see other returning characters from Jurassic World like Owen’s friend.
Owen Grady was fine in the movie but he definitely became more of an action man hereo here as he did plenty of crazy stunts that don’t really fit Jurassic Park too well. It never went too far off but it was getting close, the one positive about this however is I’d rather see that than the T-Rex v Indominus Rex fight that was way too long from the previous movie. Another thing to point out is that Owen was the cause of both hybrid creatures escaping, the Indominus Rex and the Indoraptor for the most part were because of events that Owen started even if he didn’t actually do it.
Sir Benjamin Lockwood I have mixed feelings about, on one hand having this character who had such big ties to John Hammond come out of nowhere and was never mentioned feels odd but on the other it still worked. I liked him and wanted to find out more about him and his relationship. Sure we uncover the main facts but for such an important figure in the history of Jurassic Park, you are left curious for more information but I’m guessing since he is killed we won’t be getting it as the major plot points were revealed. There just has to be more for such a big character though. I felt the twist that his granddaughter is actually a clone of his daughter wasn’t necessarily bad or good.
The final scene with the rescue of the animals is the most unrealistic thing in the whole movie, how did Owen with only one dinosaur basically interrupt and ruin the auction that was happening. We had already seen in the island that this group of people was very organized and put The Lost World’s InGen recovery group to shame. And even in that movie they needed a stampede of dinosaurs to create similar chaos while here only Action Hero Chris Pratt and one dinosaur did it all, that’s the biggest out there moment in the movie that likely needed a revision of how things would get to the final stage.
The ending with the dinosaurs being released into the mainland and now we’ll live in a Jurassic World was a bit predictable based on the interviews since the first Jurassic World came out. I’m not a big fan of this since to me the idea of an island with dinosaurs is far more interesting even if it may be the same idea being recycled. This dinosaur on the mainland has been hinted in the movies before and was already basically the ending of Jurassic Park ///, it’s also been used before in other Jurassic Park media like comics, books, video games and even the actual novels. So I can’t say that they shoehorned it in even if I don’t particularly love it.
The secret ending is basically just another montage like the ones we saw before the credits of dinosaurs in the main land and there was nothing special about it. It should not have been a secret ending since it feels out of place and even any other secret ending wouldn’t have worked very well since this isn’t Marvel. Still I was hoping we’d see Allan Grant look out the window and see the Pterodactyls but that never happened.
Overall these are all the problems I have with Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom, they weren’t enough for me to dislike the movie but they’re there and makes me not prefer this movie over the other sequels as all Jurassic Park sequels are flawed by some dumb decisions that don’t fit the Jurassic Park universe. Still loved the movie despite the things I mentioned.
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