Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – Film Review

I am a huge fan of the Jurassic Park franchise, but I wasn’t thrilled about Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom at any point, not even feeling excited when I went to see it yesterday. I don’t usually do film reviews when I’m this behind (due to holiday) but as a fangirl, it only felt right to weigh in with my opinion.

The film takes place three years after the events of Jurassic World, and dinosaurs are still roaming around Isla Nublar following the abandonment of the theme park. The dinosaurs are now under threat of becoming extinct (again) as an active volcano is set to erupt on the island, so Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) recruits Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen (Chris Pratt) to help him save the animals by tracking them and moving them to safer island… but all is not what it seems.

Jurassic World didn’t feel totally necessary, but at least it had a strong, clear story with a tidy ending. Fallen Kingdom doesn’t feel like it was needed at all and was all very messy and muddled as well, like it didn’t know what story to tell, or it had loads of ideas but didn’t which one to pick.

Despite this, and its plot holes, ridiculousness and craziness, I had a lot of fun with Jurassic World. Howard and Pratt are likeable leads and manage to sell all the plot points no matter how silly they are, and are joined by excellent new additions like nerdy Franklin (squealy wuss), played by Justice Smith, and the badass Zia (Daniella Pineda). Director J.A. Bayona also gives us an adorable child to root for, Maisie (Isabella Sermon), and two hammy as hell villains in Spall and Toby Jones (complete with distracting front teeth). The action is predictable, the story is all over the place and the script wasn’t exactly inspired – but it is highly entertaining.

I love a good Easter egg as much as the next person, and as someone who can quote Jurassic Park inside out as I’ve seen it so many times, I do quite enjoy picking up on the references a regular viewer might miss, but I thought it went too far. There’s giving loving references and borrowing too heavily, and this falls towards the latter. And don’t even get me started on the creation of Sir Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell), who apparently was Hammond’s partner in the dinosaur-making business, who we’ve miraculously never heard of before. Retroactively adding him to fill in the gap left by the late Richard Attenborough is not cool, man, not cool.

Fallen Kingdom is not a great film, there are lots of things wrong with it (not enough Jeff Goldblum, for one), but it made me laugh, it made me tear up (poor dinos), and was effective with the sense of threat and dread.

In cinemas now 

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