Prehistoric silliness makes Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom extinct upon arrival.
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE:
KEY CAST MEMBERS: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, Isabella Sermon, Rafe Spall, Toby Jones, B.D. Wong, James Cromwell, Ted Levine, Geraldine Chaplin and Jeff Goldblum
WRITER(S): Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow (written by); Michael Crichton (based on characters created by)
DIRECTOR(S): J.A. Bayona
But Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell) has different plans. For you see he is the man who, along with Hammond, took the first dinosaur DNA and brought the prehistoric beasts back to life. ANow that he is in the final stages of his own life, he wants to save the dinosaurs by placing them on an undisclosed island sanctuary with natural borders where they can live in peace with no humans to interfere (or be eaten). Iris (Geraldine Chaplin) can look after his granddaughter Maisie (Isabella Sermon), but who is going to look after the dinosaurs?
Well, if Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) and his hunter/dinosaur wrangler (Ted Levine) have their way, something much more sinister than Benjamin, Claire, Owen, Maisie or anyone else on earth may have ever imagined …
SO IS IT GOOD, BAD OR JUST AWFUL? Remember how the first Jurassic Park movie at the time of its release was groundbreaking, innovative and a new take on the monster movie akin to its director’s timeless classic Jaws? Then Steven Spielberg stepped away from hands on directing and moved into a producer’s role … which resulted in two so-so sequels and the franchise lying dormant until 2015’s Jurassic World saw the park finally open to public.
And now, the park is closed … And unfortunately, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom proves the franchise should be as well.
As my friend who attended the sneak preview screening I went to said, “I came in thinking of it as a comedy” and that “the bar set low for me, so I enjoyed it.” I had zero expectations based on the previous film’s ridiculousness and the fact the franchise has migrated from sci-fi family film to explosion and monsters and got exactly what I expected. And neither of us is wrong.
Fallen Kingdom, in a word, is silly. In another word, it’s ridiculous. And in a final word, it’s predictable as all get out from start to finish – and there is so much to pick apart, scientists might clone an actual dinosaur before one is done.
While Howard is no longer running around in high heels, the actions of the film’s characters are just so ridiculous that you keep waiting for Mel Blanc to voice this live action Looney Tunes-esque farce. If the first four Jurassic movies have taught us anything, it’s that you are going to always find the following things in a Jurassic movie:
 Old rich man who wants to give dinosaurs a place to live in peace;
 Person working said old rich man who sees dinosaurs and gets dollars signs running through his or her head;
 Scientist who cracks sarcastic one liners;
 Business person or scientistic who is clearly so out of his or her element that there is no way they should be there;
 Strong male lead that always knows what to do and didn’t want to be there in the first place;
 Child who will prove to be smarter and more stealthy than half of the adults in the movie;
 A hunter whose own hubris will prove to be his undoing;
 The greedy businessman will just be comically – but not in a funny way – dumb and physically weak;
 Things that don’t make a lick of sense based on the movie’s own logic;
Continuing on …
 A dinosaur hunting a human in a tight space sequence;
 A ton of foreshadowing so you can figure out what will happen long before the characters do;
 A climatic sequence that will have blown all possible logic out of the window;
 A setting that
 … and now, B.D. Wong to pop up since he somehow keeps surviving these movies.
Seriously, Fallen Kingdom couldn’t be a more aptly named release due to the flaws mentioned above. Whereas Daniella Pineda’s character as a female badass dino veterinarian is ok despite a line getting cut that should have been obvious to anyone paying attention, poor Justice Smith comes off as either a humorous Steve Urkel or just a shrieking little (edited for content). Likewise, Howard is still essentially a damsel (albeit not so much in distress as much as just there) for the most part, Spall’s character is a wasteland and the actual story is just filled with “can you tell what’s getting ready to happen next?” moments to the point you get tired of doing so.
Isabella Sermon continues the tradition of children being smarter than adults in Amblin Entertainment releases, the twist of her character being an allright-yet-predictable one right down to her critical act … Which will then either make you laugh or slap yourself upside the head in “of COURSE SHE does THAT!” fashion. (Seriously, there’s no other option – if you’re surprised, you will love the next sequel, which should be titled “Jurassic World: Extinction” so that either the movies end or at least the stupid humans in them will be.)
Besides the general stupidity of the humans, Fallen Kingdom is essentially an monster movie (oh, how the days of something that felt real with Dr. Alan Grant are missed!) run awry in the same vein of the Transformers and TMNT franchises. The dinosaurs are reduced to either comic foils or, in the case of the new big bad introduced in this particular film, vindictive (edited for content) that, if they could talk, might as well be walking around spouting lines as bad as the ones here. There is no tense build here; nope, instead we’re treated to snarling and stalking silliness at every turn.
So, to recap, from silly science that no one in their right mind would do (then again, we are in the age of the “space force,” so who knows), dinosaurs that act like superheroes and supervillains, settings which are too “look how the action unfolds in here!” and a story that feels like a 10 year-old wrote the final act with help from a hacky Stephen King wannabe, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom lives up to its title in the worst way possible. Director J.A. Bayona does his best to make this mess look good, but remixing that (in)famous lipstick on a pig quote from a few elections ago, it’s still a mess.
Then again, Rampage – this year’s other entry into the “how bad can a monster movie be?” category has an “A-” grade with audiences through Cinemascore, so maybe its’ best to just think of Fallen Kingdom like most fast-food. Yeah, it’s bad and it’s bad for you, but it’s quick, cheap and easy and every once in a while, that’s all you want.
Oh, how the mighty Kingdom has fallen indeed.