**WARNING – THE FOLLOWING POST INCLUDES SPOILERS FOR JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM. IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE YET, THEN GO NO FURTHER.**
It’s early in the morning and I’ve not long got home from a screening of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – the latest entry in the Jurassic Park series. In the UK, the movie opened at midnight and while I initially planned to watch the film at a sensible time like a normal person, the temptation to watch the new movie got the better of me at the very last minute.
Going into this movie I expected something a little different to what has come before. The trailers, plus the involvement of director J.A. Bayona, suggested this would be a darker entry, skewing more towards horror than the previous JP/JW movies and for the most part that is true.
While the movie does have shades of The Lost World (1997) in places, Fallen Kingdom feels very much like its own thing with a dark underbelly. Those expecting the tried and tested Jurassic formula of John Williams music and scenes that make you go ‘oooohhh’, may be a little disappointed.
Fallen Kingdom is very much a movie looking to break into new territory, whether you want that or not.
Does it work?
Sometimes and when the darker moments take place the movie really excels – in particular during the opening sequence. However, there are elements of this movie that just feel… well… pointless and that is a big shame.
I’ll be honest – I didn’t love Fallen Kingdom. I didn’t hate it – but I didn’t love it.
It’s also fair to say that this will be a divisive movie. I expect half of the audience to enjoy it for what it is and the other half to turn on it in the same way audiences turned on The Last Jedi.
In fact, I expect this movie to follow a similar box office pattern to The Force Awakens/The Last Jedi. Whereas The Force Awakens (2015) & Jurassic World (2015) brought audiences in with promises of nostalgia, I think Fallen Kingdom, like The Last Jedi, may alienate audiences by trying to be too different.
Of course, Fallen Kingdom shouldn’t be blamed for trying something new and ultimately it’s a brave move to push the series in a new direction. But, certain parts of this new direction just don’t work – it’s as simple as that.
For me, the film suffers on a number of levels, first and foremost in its inclusion of certain characters that just don’t really go anywhere. While it is great to see Jeff Goldblum back in the role of Dr. Ian Malcolm, this is a glorified cameo at best – nothing more. You’ve seen the trailer? Then you’ve seen his part.
James Cromwell’s character is also pointless and seems to be included just so the film can create a connection to Jurassic Park (1993). There really is no need to bring him into the movie other than to introduce a side plot revolving around his daughter/granddaughter, who is a clone.
If there is one pointless storyline in this entire movie it’s the granddaughter/clone plot. It doesn’t feel needed – other than to resolve a moral dilemma at the end – and it just seems out of place in the series.
I get that introducing a clone is the series’ way of saying, ‘look what else science can do’, but I’m just not sure that’s what audiences want from a Jurassic movie. It just did nothing for me.
Arguably the biggest issue surrounding Fallen Kingdom is that it suffers from ‘Batman V Superman trailer’ syndrome – something I was worried about a couple of weeks ago after I saw an extended teaser for the movie. Basically, if you’ve watched the trailer you’ve pretty much watched the film – or can at least work out the entire story.
Worst of all, there are moments in the trailer – the mosasaurus/surfer scene & the T-Rex/lion scene – which are brief sequences in the completed movie. Neither of these scenes offer anything other than what we’ve seen in the trailer, so they feel uneventful.
I wanted to see an epic sequence where the mosasaurus attacks a bunch of people enjoying some beach time fun! Alas, that just wasn’t part of the movie and instead I got brief flash at the very end of the film.
It sounds like I didn’t like this movie at all, which is unfair as I did, I just felt underwhelmed – and that’s pretty hard to do when you’re presenting a multi-million dollar movie with big freakin’ dinosaurs in it! Maybe I expected more. Maybe I just saw too much of the film prior to sitting down in the cinema.
At present – having only seen the film once – it would rank as my least favourite entry in the series, sitting just behind The Lost World. It’s a perfectly serviceable movie and should please many people looking for some summer fun, but it’s not quite the Jurassic film it could be.
Fine, just not amazing.
Oh and for those that stay for the after credit scenes, there is an after-credits scene, but it really isn’t worth waiting around for. The scene lasts just a few seconds and it is just a shot of dinosaurs on the loose.