Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

In Films by Alex Moss Editor

The underlying theme of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is “messing with genetics is bad’’. It is therefore ironic that the film seems to be a hybrid clone of every Jurassic film before it. If you’re honest, besides the original Jurassic Park, are any of the Jurassic films really that good? Sure, they’re fun in places, Fallen Kingdom at least gets that right, but, they are essentially an extension of the original film’s premise; a roller coaster gone wrong.

This time around the up and running theme park of the last film is but a distant memory. But the island is about to be wiped out by an erupting volcano. Probably a good thing the park failed in the end based on such things. So Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen (Chris Pratt) are tempted back to the park to rescue the animals. Of course nature finds a way, or rather, as is the case of all Jurassic Park films, big corporation greed finds a way of messing everything up. Big time.

The film is at its best when it’s back in the park, the opening act might offer little in the story and character department but it’s a breakneck thrill ride and does exactly what you want from a summer blockbuster. The erupting volcano amid dino stampedes is a welcome addition to the franchise. Furthermore, the opening gambit is probably the best since the original film as a group of mercenaries sneak onto the island to steal something and get, well, caught out by our friends with lots of teeth.

It plunges into silly territory when we leave the island and find ourselves on the mainland to watch the dinosaurs being auctioned off. Where the last Jurassic World was essentially a retread of Jurassic Park, this is essentially a retread of Jurassic Park: The Lost World. You even have a sneering big game hunter type who is a carbon copy of Pete Postlethwaite’s more humane version of the same stereotype.

Once we’re in the final third of the film it descends into something more akin to a monster movie. In fact it’s reminiscent of the schlocky ‘90s horror film The Relic, as a nasty new dinosaur hunts our heroes around a museum like mansion. It’s never a bad film, it just doesn’t really do anything to raise the pulse or try anything new. It’s content to just be another by-the-numbers Jurassic movie.

Where this changes is in the climax. By the end there is the breaking of a new dawn for the Jurassic franchise and it hints at going somewhere that, arguably, it should have gone a long time ago. In this closing moment you are left thinking, maybe, just maybe, the next film might break the mold and dare to actually evolve.

Some great set pieces aside, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom feels frozen in the amber of the DNA of all the films before it, here’s hoping the next chapter finds a way of being something different.