Written By: Rick Masters
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had to endure the many moans of people screaming “Why would they go back to the island?” “Why would they save the dinosaurs?” but within the first 20 minutes of run-time the film expertly made a great argument as to why and you’re instantly pulled into all the characters motives.
It most certainly feels like a movie to two halves… The island rescue (action) and the lockhouse mansion chaos (almost horror in its style). The strongest for me is the first half and features some great moments and some really emotional scenes. One in particular (which was devoid of dinosaurs) was the way director J.A. Bayona shot a rapidly sinking Gyrosphere. This director certainly knows how to use water to build tension from his incredible 2nd film THE IMPOSSIBLE and this moment is claustrophobic and a joy to watch. The 2nd half pulls in the resigns somewhat and gets super dark and suspenseful. I guess your enjoyment of each varies on your preferred genres.
Speaking of beautiful, JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM features some of the most stunning cinematography I’ve seen in a long-time throughout its entire run-time… The Indoraptor roaring on the rooftop and the final shots of the island to name just two are gorgeous to look at. Some of these moments are sure to become timeless as the franchise continues.
It’s also stuffed full of some of the most incredible CGI I’ve ever witnessed, it really doesn’t miss a beat and this time out, unlike 2015’s movie, spotting the shift to animatronics and back again was almost impossible.
As a long time Jurassic fan there’s an incredible amount of fan service dotted throughout, including countless dialogue moments that are ripped straight out of the original Jurassic park film. Many shots and sequences from both the original and its sequel are expertly recreated in ways that are both new yet recognisable.
The script is a noticeable improvement from 2015’s release with very few cheesy or awkward dialogue moments however the story itself is much more confined, taking place in only two locations in its 2 hour run-time. This came as a bit of a disappointment, especially considering I’d seen the trailers and they unquestionably gave far too much story away and left little in surprise, (there are still a few twists and turns awaiting even for the most researched fans though!) This isn’t technically the films fault (I’m laying the blame on Universal, you bastards) but it definitely robbed me of some enjoyment.
FALLEN KINGDOM also sees the return of Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, both do a Dino-Mite job! The chemistry between the two is great and has some real depth as we slowly piece together what happened to them after the events of the first film. The real star of the show here though is young Isabella Sermon (Maisie Lockwood) She had some of the most emotional driven scenes in the whole film and she smashed it! Supporting cast members Daniella Pineda and Justice Smith walk the fine line between comedy relief and silliness without it being cringe. Ted Levine who plays ranger Franklin is just about passable but the film could have done without Toby Jones who (for me at least) always brings B-class movie cheese with him wherever he goes. It was great to see Jeff Goldblum and BD Wong reappear in the series but don’t expect to see them much.. It’s a shame really as for the screen-time they are given they bring a lot to the story.
Overall FALLEN KINGDOM is a solid and surprising claustrophobic dino thriller, stuffed with fan pleasing easter eggs and stunning cinematography. The overall story doesnt evolve as far as I would have liked but it’s yet another strong addition to the ever expanding dinosaur franchise!
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