Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is the fifth film in the franchise that began with Jurassic Park back in 1993. Directed by J.A. Bayona, the film revisits the park in the last film where everything went awry. Isla Nublar has an active volcano that has put the surviving dinosaurs in danger. So what does that mean for us? A rescue mission, of course, led by none other than Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard).
Nowadays, Claire leads a Dino protection group because nobody seems to care about their safety or survival. We even get to see Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) return to the scene to plead his case on the matter before Congress. So we have a natural disaster, the safety of the dinosaurs at risk, and Claire leading a dino advocacy group (has the plot become obvious yet?). Then out of nowhere, a sleazeball named Eli (Rafe Spall) shows up with money to sponsor a dino rescue mission and wants Claire to lead it. So the first thing she does is convince her old buddy Owen (Chris Pratt) to tag along and now our adventure is set. (You can also listen to my review on our podcast)
The plot is nothing new. It’s the same theme that’s run in every film: Set out to do this with best intentions, somebody in power doesn’t have the best intentions, work double time to try and make everything right. This is the exact same thing. So why do we all keep coming back? Well… It’s fun.
The CGI dinosaurs came with a lot more detail this go-round. We see more species and background than before. The newcomers that tag along for the adventure are from Claire’s advocacy group. Zia (Daniella Pineda) and Franklin (Justice Smith) are young but each has their own respective specialty. Franklin was stereotypically tech savvy but bad with communicating (and not very outdoorsy). Zia was a paleo-vet, so basically a veterinarian for dinosaurs. Her attitude and look reminded me of Negasonic Teenage Warhead.
The new threat that was added to this film involves the aforementioned volcano. The eruption brings debris of all sizes raining down on the island on top of a heavy lava flow. This is the only #spoiler I’m gonna give away in this review. When they leave the island as stowaways on a ship, there’s a long scene where a herbivore (most of the biggest dinos ate plants) runs as far as he can but can’t swim so gets stuck at the port as the lava continues to run. They tried to tug at my heartstrings a bit but it didn’t work (although the music was powerful as was the scene).
Chris Pratt is his usual funny self and Justice Smith played the tech-nerd role very well. Bryce Dallas Howard isn’t as totally lame as she was in the last movie and they don’t make such a big deal about a ‘romance’ in this one (which is a good thing).
The money that was at Eli’s disposal came from Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell), the former partner of John Hammond (way back in the first film). He has a granddaughter named Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon) who has nobody to play with so takes up an interest with dinosaurs like her grandfather.
As I said before, the plot is nothing new but thankfully there are some twists along the way. In the beginning, middle, and end, things occur that were unexpected and Maisie was involved with two of them. It was a nice switch-up to curve and/or delay what was already expected.
I give Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom an 8.5 out of 10. With so many trailers and featurettes of the film, I thought the story was already given away. Thankfully, I was wrong. Do they pull a Marvel move at the end credits? Yes. Is it worth it? Not really because it lasts five seconds tops. Either way, if you’re a fan of the franchise like I am you’ll enjoy this movie. If you’ve never seen any of the past films you might feel out of the loop. The story will still make sense but the character appearances and slight jabs they make at each other will go over your head. It’s worth seeing opening weekend.
Photos: Courtesy of Universal Pictures