Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is just short of a flat out failure — it’s only marginally better than Jurassic Park III, which is an awful, awful film. Even despite this, lock in this fifth chapter to rake in out of this world profits.
This movie will be adored by domestic audiences and is almost definitely a not-soon-to-be-extinct franchise. After the screening I attended earlier this week, the audience clapped and cheered once the credits rolled — walking out, everyone was buzzing and chatting with praise of the film. Given my knowledge of American audiences, this wasn’t as much of a surprise as it was a disappointment. I’m disappointed that audiences don’t ask for more from their entertainment.
And don’t let this criticism come off as me being some old curmudgeon (does using that word make me a curmudgeon?) — I love tons of blockbuster movies, even as recently as The Avengers: Infinity War. The first Jurassic Park is one of my favorite movies of all-time. But this movie is the lowest common denominator for any Jurassic Park movie, including the train wreck of a third installment. This movie was so loud, obnoxious, fast paced and poorly developed that it was one of the worst highly anticipated summer movies I’ve seen in recent memory.
To put it simply, this movie was like a box of good, marginal and mostly bad ideas all dumped onto a table with no story in sight. Then, with all these pieces, the filmmakers tried to arrange all these ideas together into a cohesive story. It failed.
The movie itself focuses more on the dinosaurs as leading characters than it does its human counterparts. With Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas-Howard in the film, their characters are after thoughts and get zero actual character development. They simply serve as vehicles to advance the thin plot and for the dinosaurs to chase after and try to eat. I love Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard — I was hoping their characters would be the central focus of the film and grow together through another dinosaur fiasco.
The thing that makes the first Jurassic Park such a timeless film is because the story focuses on the human characters and their plight to escape the island. The story showcases the human struggle to survive, not the dinosaurs struggling to eat people and cause destruction.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom being a throw-away summer blockbuster, of course the storytellers could not come up with a way to make the proceeding dramatic without making some new, even more dangerous hybrid raptor dinosaur that we as the audience are supposed to be extra terrified.
Said new dinosaur wreaks havoc on third act of the film, with the entire last set piece being one ludicrous main character escape after another. And for all the action that was, very little of it was entertaining. It was that type of stupid, low brow action where each and every moment an important character can be snagged in the jaws of a dinosaur, something comes out of left field to save the day, like something falling on the dinosaur, or something getting caught in the dinosaur’s mouth, or poor dino footing, and so, on, and on, and on. It was exhausting watching the same threat and escape happen over and over.
Overall, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a disgrace to the name and the franchise. I checked out about a third of the way through, when the whole movie became one ridiculous plot point after another (like a dinosaur blood transfusion — I could go on all day about all the awful ideas or poorly thought out scenarios). The human characters are all paper thin and simply serve to advance the plot. In the end, the screening I attended ended with ruckus applause, which upset me more than the terrible movie I wasted 90 minutes watching.
There is very little positive I can say about this blockbuster -- save your dollars for another summer flick.