Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018): ‘Lizard Skins’ – A Film Review

 

Introduction

Ever since childhood, I, like many others have wanted to uncover dinosaur bones like Dr Alan Grant (Sam Neill) in Jurassic Park – simply because of Jurassic Park! It’s ground-breaking technology and self-assured narrative structure made for a heart-warming tale about what can go wrong when you play with science and nature. Jurassic Park spawned two sequels that were fun in their own day, but fell significantly short of their namesake. Then 14 years pass… Jurassic World smashes on to screens as everyone remembers just how awesome Jurassic Park was. A reboot to the franchise was likely inevitable, but a big question mark was left around the idea of humans working alongside raptors… It was probably one of the dumbest ideas to come out of Jurassic World. Well, if it wasn’t for creating a new dinosaur for them to fight (the Jurassic Park franchise seemingly lifting from Godzilla). Jurassic World did well enough that three years later, we’re being treated with a sequel and marketing definitely wanted us to know that this dinosaur, action/adventure sequel was coming. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has now arrived.

 

The Jurassic Park Universe

One big let-down with Jurassic World was actually the CGI and here, it, for the most part, it visibly improves. There are moments that feel like they may have included animatronics for proper textures and it looks realistic again. We are also treated to some stunning visuals as characters go underwater and are submerged in glows of fire and smoke. It all looks a lot better. Where Jurassic World seemed to borrow from Godzilla, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom seems to know its franchise a lot more. There are many nods to many of the moments within Jurassic Park and, actually, Jurassic Park: The Lost World. We’re even treated to a cameo by Jeff Goldblum and the premise for the film is remarkably similar to the original Jurassic Park sequel. Though this feels appropriate, and even still fresh, it requires some suspension of disbelief at times. SPOILERS: Whilst on this subject. Characters proximity to Lava within the film really goes for the cool factor and not the factual. END OF SPOILERS.

 

Improving the Sequel

There is certainly a sense in which they’ve learnt from the first film. Characters who were annoying or thrown in for good measure before, either are absent or are much less annoying. As a sequel it’s hard to judge it for the sins of the original, as they’d need to continue them: that they can genetically create, customised, dinosaurs and that dinosaurs can be trained and bonded with – but here it’s handled so much better. Blue as a character is given more weight and understanding, which helps excuse any doubts about his relationship with Owen Grady (Chris Pratt). Though it must also be said that the dinosaur as chaos/animal theme that is expertly handled within Jurassic Park isn’t, unfortunately, continued here. SPOILERS: In Jurassic Park the T-Rex bit and played with the cars, showing little understanding for what they are, but here, she will stop running from certain death to take a bite of a dinosaur threatening the main characters. Not even to eat or defend herself and actually momentarily obstructing her survival. END OF SPOILERS.

 

Conclusion

The theme of the film is how to handle and understand genetic engineering, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom brings this to a very human point within its plot. Considering the theme of Jurassic Park as science vs. nature. This is a very real progression, particularly considering something that was haphazardly handled in Jurassic World. Cloning and genetic engineering, may well be coming to us and how right is it to control this? Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom makes a pretty open statement on this, as both good and bad are played out. Not a bad take on Jurassic Park, or, for that matter, Jurassic world at all.

 

Synopsis

A previously dormant volcano has become active and threatens all dinosaurs left alive. A group of people are sent in, after recruiting Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), Owen and newcomers Zia (Daniella Pineda) and Franklin (Justice Smith), to retrieve them for their survival and perhaps something more.

 

Ratings

Entertainment:

starfish starfish starfish starfish starfish

Performances:

starfish starfish starfish starfish starfish

Predictability:

starfish starfish starfish starfish starfish

Technical:

starfish starfish starfish starfish starfish

 

A Note on My Reviews

Please read ‘On Reviews‘ for a guide to how I write film reviews. Any spoilers are appropriately marked and, though I personally prefer to know little about a film before seeing it, there is a synopsis below the review for any who wish to see one.

 

Films Mentioned

Godzilla / Gojira (d. Gareth Edwards USA/Japan 2014

Jurassic Park (d. Steven Spielberg USA 1993)

Jurassic Park: The Lost World (d. Steven Spielberg USA 1997)

Jurassic World (d. Colin Trevorrow USA 2015)

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (d. J. A. Bayona USA/Spain 2018)

 

Further Reading

rottentomatoes.com

metacritic.com

Official Site – Jurassic World

Official Site – Isla Nublar

Official Site – Universal Pictures

Interview with J. A. Bayona

Interview with Chris Pratt & Bryce Dallas Howard

Interview with Chris Pratt

Behind the Scenes

Bloopers

Easter Eggs

Prattkeeping

Future of Animatronics

 

If you liked this…

Jurassic World (2015) – A Film Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) – A Film Review

Pacific Rim Uprising (2018): ‘Too Many Threads’ – A Film Review

Rampage (2018): ‘The Rock of Friendship’ – A Film Review

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017): ‘The Game Film’ – A Film Review

 

This was an analytical review of….

 

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (d. J. A. Bayona USA/Spain 2018)

 



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