Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is Ambitious but Takes a Long Time to Get Going (Review)

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This week I watched Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.  I certainly liked the first one. Dinosaurs are awesome and Chris Pratt is handsome, it’s a winning combination.  Obviously I’m not the only who thinks so, the theater was packed. There must be quite the market for Dinosaurs and/or sexy, adorable men and so I had high hopes.  Could they make a sequel to Jurassic World that was as good as the first?

When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event.


 

It’s no secret that there’s a formula to all the Jurassic World movies.   We know what to expect. Scientists create dinosaurs, dinosaurs run amok and our protagonists barely escape with their lives.  All the while we are reminded of how truly big these monsters are and how humans aren’t guaranteed to be top of the food chain.  Why do they do it this way? Because it works; there is nothing wrong with that. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom does uses this formula too, reluctantly, but it took so much time trying to set itself up that I found myself waiting impatiently through the first third of the film.  Man, it took a long time to get going.

Once it did get going, the action was so intense it had me squirming in my seat.  Volcanoes are scary, especially when teamed up with stampeding dinosaurs. It was very exciting.  But then the pace slackened and the plot wandered again. It’s like it knew where it needed to go but not how to get there.  It meandered, tying up loose ends from the last film, hinting at new things in this film and then hitting on an action sequence or two.  Then, back to wandering, like it couldn’t decide what to do next. I think this is because it tried to keep too many balls in the air at once.   This film could have benefitted from a rewrite but even cutting about 20 minutes would have helped it immensely.

Jurassic World:  The Fallen Kingdom looked amazing.   The Dinosaurs looked so believable; their movement was natural.  The colours were great, all the lava and explosions and other wonderful things.  One fault with the visuals I will point out: there was no fan service. Chris Pratt was good in every other way though.  There was such chemistry between him and Blue. And also between him and…. every other character. Even the romantic subplot (and there was one) was credible.  There were other good performances too – I liked Toby Jones and Isabella Sermon. Rafe Spall was great too, alternately empathetic and sinister.  And I love me some Jeff Goldblum too, though I’m not sure why he was in this movie, other than to be able to say that he was in this movie.

So is Jurassic World:  Fallen Kingdom worth watching?  I’m torn on that one, but mostly No.  You could watch the first one again, it was much better.  Though that’s not to say there weren’t some amazing moments.  The Volcano sequence was almost worth the price of admission, too though it that high again, even at the movie’s climax.  And the Mosasaurus – that thing was badass.  So maybe yes, go see it if you’re inclined, there are some very good bits.

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