Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom – Dinos and horror
Celebrating 25 years since the start of the franchise, Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom has arrived in theathers! After the tremendous succes of Jurassic World in 2015, people were expecting the return of the beloved dinosaurs. Just like JW was a rehash of the first Jurassic Park, this one, directed by J. A. Bayona (The Orphanage and A Monster Calls), is a retelling of The Lost World and, while it sounds lazy, it’s pretty good. It takes the best stuff from there, adapts it for the modern age and puts an unexpected twist at the end. That’s not to say Fallen Kingdom is a perfect movie, but it has enough soul and fun, that it makes you forget some of the flaws. Leaving the details for later, in short, Fallen Kingdom is a pretty good summer movie, with adventure and humor and lots of dinosaurs, promising an exciting journey for the future of the franchise.
The movie takes place 3 years after the events in JW, with the park left in the “care” of the dinos and the human characters going on with their lives. But all comes to a halt when news of the volcano on Isla Nublar erupting starts a huge environmental discussion ofer the fate of the dinosaurs. The ex-manager of the park, Claire, is fighting to save them, while is up in the mountains building a cabin and not giving a bone about everything. The old partner of Hammond, Lockwood, contacts Claire and proposes to her moving the dinos to a safe haven and so, the adventure begins with the two protagonists leaving for the island. Of course, not everything goes as planned and, like in The Lost World, somebody wants the dinos on the mainland to profit from them. That’s where the similarities end. The first half of Fallen Kingdom is a pure adventure movie, with dino chases on the island and an erupting volcano threatening the lives of everyone there. The second half shows the true talent of Bayona, delving into the horror genre, with quite the succes I might say. That is the best part of the movie and that is where it shines. The part on the island pays homage to both Jurassic Park and The Lost World, reminiscing the first time Dr. Alan sees the dinos and the way Dr. Malcolm leaves the island in two very emotional scenes. Sadly, it drags on too much. The whole movie could have been 15-20 minutes shorter . By the time they get back to the mainland, you’d think is nearing the end, but its only halfway through the story, The dialogue is not quote-worthy, no big moments except the cameo of Ian Malcolm saying his famous “Life finds a way” line. But, it adds more humor, making it resemble a bit the MCU movies, making the human side of the story more bearable.
Chriss Pratt is once again the hero of the human side, though he doesn’t shine as much as in JW. He does a good job showing a more pragmatic and sarcastic Owen, but it doesn’t feel like he has that much screen time. Claire on the other side, is more proeminent. Bryce Dallas Howard plays a more adventurous and courageous Claire (there a scene making fun of the fact she wore high heels shoes) and she has more moments to show that. The rest of the cast is ok. Kudos to James Cromwell (Lockwood), B. D. Wong (Dr. Wu), Jeff Goldblum (Dr. Malcolm) and the little Isabella Sermon. The real stars are, again, the dinos. Fallen Kingdom brings back Blue and the T-rex, giving them moments to shine and also adds (another) hybrid, the Indoraptor (much more horrifying than the I-rex). Bayona knows how to make the Indoraptor sow fear into the hearts of the characters and the audience, showing he’s part of Guillermo del Toro‘s gang.
Michael Giacchino goes further away from Williams‘s score and brings in some epic orchestral music of his own, in line with the darker tone of Fallen Kingdom. The CGI and practical effects are combined to give us realistic dinos and interactions with them, though the stills for the movie don’t do it justice.
For the most part, Fallen Kingdom is a good adventure movie, with a drop of horror, marking a strong installment in this 25 years old franchise and pumping new blood for the future. It can be a bit boring sometimes and the human story is not that original or interesting, but it deserves its place in the Jurassic Park pantheon.