Review: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

July 2, 2018
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In the summer of 1993 I went to see Jurassic Park with my best friend Joe 7 times.  It was and still is one of the greatest movies I ever saw.  Joe and I read the book right before it came out and it was one of the first things that cemented our friendship.  Jurassic Park will always have a special place in my heart for me no matter how bad the sequels are.  As far as I’m concerned, Lost World and Jurassic Park 3 are garbage and don’t deserve to be watched.  I consider Jurassic World the only true sequel that is viewing-worthy and despite what the fanboys say, Jurassic World was a great film.  Now, when it comes to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, that’s a much different story and I feel devastated by what has happened.

First, I won’t mention any spoilers outside of what was shown in the trailer.  If that bothers you, stop reading now because my biggest gripe with the film is over the fact that they blew up the park.  I know this new series in the franchise is called Jurassic WORLD but the park is what started it all and the key reason why I loved it so much.  I will eternally be a dinosaur fanatic and the idea of a theme park where they exist is beyond amazing to me.  Destroying that is a blasphemy and they did it.  I know they attempted to do it with heartstring-pulling and gravity but it was stupid.  Besides the emotional aspect of no longer having a park to go to in the series, why would anyone build a billion-dollar theme park on an island with an active volcano?  

Aside from that, the story for Fallen Kingdom is one that I have very little interest in.  Basically,  a few species of dinosaurs are saved from the island only so they can be auctioned off to war mongers who want to weaponize them.  I know this was a concept mentioned in Jurassic World but I was able to look past it because it was just the ramblings of one character.  In Fallen Kingdom it’s a concept that everyone seems to dig despite the fact that a single dinosaur won’t be a better weapon than nuclear bombs, F-16 jets, or even a bazooka for that matter.  They’re not magic…they’re animals.  

Another ridiculous point is the introduction of characters that have never been mentioned before but are supposed to carry a gravity to them that dates back to how it all began.  These characters are not developed and it’s impossible to care about any of them or what their motives or fates are.  I’ll even include Jeff Goldblum’s return to the film in that, which was marketed as an exciting stamp of approval but one of the most dynamic characters of the franchise.  It’s not.  Goldblum is in the movie for five minutes and it left me feeling cheated and tricked by the studio.  Adding him to the film did nothing to move the story forward and putting his presence front-and-center in the marketing is the kind of scam that makes fans like me seethe.  

It’s true I didn’t talk about Chris Pratt or Bryce Dallas Howard.  Nor did I mention the talented director J.A. Boyna, who’s the genius who made A Monster Calls and The Orphanage.  They are all talented and all had those talents wasted by Fallen Kingdom on a devastating scale.  Sure, there are moments of excitement and clever imagery but not enough to make me stop hating what the studio has done to a franchise with so much potential.  If you didn’t have a script that was good enough to give a good reason to make the film then don’t make the damn film.  It's ironic that so much time is spent on making you feel for the fate of these dinosaurs.  As someone who has such a fond memory of seeing them come to life on the big screen 25 years ago, seeing them treated this way is just awful.  Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a disappointing disaster that’s so bad it almost makes Jurassic World 3 look like a good movie…almost.