Doug Reviews: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

2015’s Jurassic World was…not a good film. Its sequel, Fallen Kingdom, is directed by J.A. Bayona with a script from Derek Connolly and the first film’s director, Colin Trevorrow. Does this film improve on the previous one or is it an even bigger disaster?

A volcano threatens the dinosaurs living amongst the ruins of Jurassic World. Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) has become an activist and is pulling for the U.S. government to evacuate the genetically cloned beasts as opposed to letting them all go extinct again. The government refuses, because apparently they have actually learned the lessons of the previous Jurassic Park films, and Claire is approached by Eli Mills (Rafe Spall), who represents Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell), John Hammond’s original partner that we’re just hearing about for the first time in five movies. Lockwood wants to set the dinosaurs up in a sanctuary—where they’ll apparently die anyway, because they’re supposed to be genetically prevented from breeding—and Eli says that the one dinosaur that needs to be rescued above all others is the hero of the last film, Blue, because…reasons. So, Claire goes to recruit Owen (Chris Pratt), the guy who trained Blue in the last film. At first, Owen is smart and says, “No,” but then he thinks about the terrifying monster that could rip his face off and how much he loves her, so he agrees to help. The two idiots go to the island and meet Ken Wheatley (Ted Levine), the guy hired to collect the dinosaurs and double-cross Claire and Owen—these aren’t spoilers, they’re all in the trailer. From there, they discover that Eli’s plan is to go ahead with the dumbest part of the first Jurassic World—militarizing the dinosaurs. The film just gets dumber from there.

This movie is ridiculously stupid. There are some entertaining parts here and there and you’ll definitely find yourself rooting for the dinosaurs, but just like in Jurassic World, the human characters are completely worthless. Bayona, however, is blameless here, as all the problems are script-based. His shot selection and the overall look of the film are actually pretty impressive. No, the problem here is Trevorrow, as everything he has done since his stellar breakout, Safety Not Guaranteed, has proven that Kathleen Kennedy made the right decision when she fired him off of Star Wars Episode IX. I just don’t understand how you double down on the worst part of the last film and hope that it sounds less dumb this time around. Why would the army use dinosaurs they can barely control when we have tanks and the advances being made in robotics? Also, what is the point of saving the dinosaurs in the beginning of the film when THEY CAN JUST MAKE MORE? Nothing makes sense in this film. There was one twist in this film that I enjoyed, but beyond that, it’s a terrible movie. However, it has made a ton of money, so there will inevitably be a third Jurassic World. Hooray.

If you loved Jurassic World because it was a dumb film about dinosaurs eating people, you’ll probably enjoy Fallen Kingdom more than I did. But, if you actually care about characters and a plot that makes some semblance of sense, you’ll be in hell for two hours. Wait for cable, because there’s really nothing worth paying fifteen bucks to see here.


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