Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Review – Franchise Extinction
Like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, if you watched any of the trailers for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, then you already have a basic outline of its main plot points, which effectively makes the finished movie a lackluster affair devoid of any real tension. That’s at least how I felt after watching it in full last night. This is by far one of the worst Jurassic Park franchise movies to-date, and many of its issues are related to the rather weak plot, which again was mostly spoiled by its own marketing.
I’m a fan of all things sci-fi and fantasy and have the ability to understand that these types of movies will feature fantastical narratives that would mostly never work in the real world, so I’m not knocking Fallen Kingdom for having an over-the-top plot by any means. Rather I’m knocking it for just being very ho-hum and at times quite ridiculous. Quite frankly, the core narrative of saving dinosaurs from Mother Nature seems rather odd in the first place, and I’m what you’d probably call a modern day hippie, but I just found the opening scenes that setup the main narrative to be eye rollers. Then once you get to the twist, which isn’t really even a twist considering it was spoiled by the trailers, you can’t help but wonder how the story got approved in the first place.
For a movie about deadly dinosaurs interacting with humans, as well as an island that is literally exploding from the inside out, there was absolutely zero tension. Not once did I even faintly feel on edge as the main characters avoided one death defying scenario after the other. Sure, it’s not like the writers would kill off the stars, I mean it’s a Jurassic movie after all, but in the other film’s — at least the really good ones like the original — you couldn’t help but feel a bit scared at every turn that one of the main characters would get taken out. Those movies had some jump scares, and plenty of tension, but Fallen Kingdom has neither. It’s just one big silly action set piece after another with plenty of action/monster movie cliches baked into it.
Major plot threads are completely glossed over, such as the reveal that one of the characters is a clone of another person. I mean that’s a pretty huge reveal to make, and then it just gets cast aside as if it’s normal to genetically clone humans. You’d think that thread would become the bulk of this film’s last act, but it’s literally revealed and none of the characters react in a way one would expect after finding out that a human had been cloned using the same technology as has been used to bring dinosaurs back to life. I feel like it was a major plot point too, especially based on the end of the film, and Dr. Malcom’s ominous warnings about Man’s ability to screw things up when they discover new technologies that can lead to some form of cataclysmic destruction.
Even Chris Pratt felt off in this film, and he’s never really let me down. It’s almost as if he could sense that the overarching narrative of Fallen Kingdom was kind of dumb, because outside of a few funny moments, it didn’t feel like a Chris Pratt performance. It’s not his fault either, or any of the cast member’s really, because like I’ve mentioned the story is just bad. Jurassic Park franchise films do best when the dinosaurs and humans interact on the turf of the ancient beasts, not when they’re brought to the real world, which is another reason why none of the talented actors in this cast could do anything about their performances to make the story any more interesting. It’s just a dumb story that was made even more uninteresting by having the main plot points spoiled by the marketing machine promoting it.
I love fiction of all kinds and can usually buy into movies like Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, but for more than a few reasons this movie just isn’t good. The fact that its plot was mostly spoiled by trailers didn’t do it any favors either, because knowing most of what will happen sucked any level of tension out of the more intense moments, which in turn made the moments feel hollow because you knew the outcome without seeing it. When you couple that with the fact that the story is just moronic, and I wish I could be more creative with how I’m describing it, but it truly is just a stupid narrative concept. The ending only cements how ridiculous this movie is, but if done correctly, the next sequel could be interesting based on how this one concludes, but I’m not holding my breath if Trevorrow is involved because he had a hand in writing this one too. You can’t make a bad story good no matter who stars in the movie, so while Chris Pratt can usually make a turd smell like roses, his magic wasn’t strong enough to redeem Fallen Kingdom’s spoiled, shallow plot. This is definitely a summer blockbuster that you can hold off on seeing until its home release.
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