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‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ is the messiest, most ludicrous in the franchise yet

‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ is the messiest, most ludicrous in the franchise yet

‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ is the messiest, most ludicrous in the franchise yet
June 27
22:00 2018

Lots of clever shots. That’s the biggest compliment I can give “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.”

Director J. A. Bayona’s follow up to 2015’s “Jurassic World” is quite the impressive visual spectacle, but the film lacks the basic logic to its characters’ decisions, nuance to the activist-tropey story or any semblance of fun to it.

“Fallen Kingdom” follows Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen (Chris Pratt) as they are deceived into rescuing the remaining dinosaurs from Isla Nublar (the island that has housed both Jurassic Park and Jurassic World, and its Jurassic inhabitants.) After learning that the creatures are meant to be sold to the black market, the two set out to stop Mills (Rafe Spall) from unleashing dangerous creatures and prototype monsters into the world.

If it sounds outrageous, it’s because it definitely is.

Friends of mine know how cartoonish and goofy I thought “Jurassic World” was when it came out in 2015. While it featured some great chemistry between Howard and Pratt, its pretentious lecture on genetic development and its campy man-made monster diminished its aloof credibility on the subject. While there have always been huge inaccuracies in the franchise, it’s stayed relatively grounded (save for when the T-rex took San Diego in “The Lost World.”)

I had hopes then that a change in director and an emphasis on suspense would return the franchise to its more child-like-wonder roots. Unfortunately, the film suffers heavily from some inconsistent CG, weirdly mismanaged score and a script that’s so insane, if I spoiled it you wouldn’t believe me.

The theme song to “Jurassic Park” is iconic. Its hopeful trumpets, long, drawn-out violin cords and the great cinematography that accompanies it has always left a mark on the importance of good music to accompany a film. Here, “Fallen Kingdom” accomplishes this feat for about half of the movie before ditching the iconic and familiar tone for a more stressful and over-the-top score that feels like it belongs in a much scarier film. These cues are extremely prevalent when Bayona decides to linger on a shot of one of its terrifying creatures — or so he would like you to think. In reality, the amount of things the big baddie can accomplish is either comical, or it’s been done before, removing any sense of wonder as someone who’s seen all the movies’ scores.

Nevertheless, the film is chalked full of powerful shots, calling upon our more sympathetic sides, in hopes of garnering our mercy toward the abused animals. Unfortunately, any momentum captured is ruined in the last 30 minutes, in which so many ludicrous things occur that the message is sloppily abandoned and then brought up again as if it were important at all.

Furthermore, the film is topped off with what has to be one of the dumbest plot twists I’ve ever seen in a movie. It comes out of nowhere and only serves to artificially add a layer of empathy to the tortured monsters and to indirectly redeem a character cheaply.

The last 30 minutes feel as though you’re watching a “Scooby-Doo” episode, as the monster un-cleverly stalks the two protagonists in and out of a mansion. In this sequence, every character does the stupidest thing possible and it is painfully obvious that it’s to cause suspense within the audience, sacrificing basic human logic in these scenarios. It is painfully transparent, and it actually took away from a lot of the suspense.

Along with it comes every action trope imaginable. An action-packed dino fight follows Pratt conveniently as he runs for his life, highlighting how aware I am that he’s on a green screen. Pratt rolls and slides to his gun when it’s not remotely necessary and a velociraptor jumps out of an exploding room ’80s action hero-style. It’s all trying so hard.

If you came to see some dinos out and about, you’ll be at least a bit satisfied. There are many cool scenes and shots that focus on the creatures, and I wish that it had been the main focus. Instead, this installment takes things to ludicrous heights and makes “Jurassic Park 3” look like a classic.

I’m not sure where the hell they will take the next entry, but “Fallen Kingdom” is so ridiculous, I don’t know if I’ll be around for it when it hits theatres in 2021.

My Rating: 1.75/5

Featured Image: Courtesy of “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” Facebook

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Zach Helms

Zach Helms

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