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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

by Derek Deskins
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Sep 25, 2018
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

I come to "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" a fan and skeptic. As a dinosaur obsessed youth, the original "Jurassic Park" was the type of movie that came to embody all that I love movies for. It is a spectacle, rich with drama, tension, humor, and thrills. It is a movie that will leave a young boy with nightmares that he knowingly accepts with each rewatch. But alas, the "Jurassic Park" of yesteryear has yet to be recaptured and the efforts of Colin Trevorrow in his middling "Jurassic World" did little to persuade me otherwise. Yet, there is something different about "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," an uneven film with hints of something special.

In the aftermath of the events of "Jurassic World," Isla Nublar has been abandoned, leaving behind a deserted theme park populated by roaming dinos. The world is intent to let the dinosaurs live out their days on the island, that is until it is discovered that the volcano long believed to be dormant has sprung back to life. Now it is up to Owen and Claire to try to save the dinosaurs from extinction yet again.

The initial premise of "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" is ridiculous and a special kind of stupid. Thankfully, this farcical rescue plot is merely the film's first half. This does unfortunately make for a film that feels like little more than a rehash of its precursor for nearly half of its runtime. It trips in the same way that Trevorrow's "Jurassic World" does, seemingly oblivious to the strengths of the original "Jurassic Park" other than the conceit of large creatures running amok. But once the film has dispensed with this lazy rehash, it ventures into something more interesting.

In the film's back half, director J.A. Bayona seems unencumbered by the contrivances of the previous film and flaunts his skills at building dread and takes the film into a much more horror-tinged world. The large and dimly lit mansion is eerily reminiscent of Bayona's previous "The Orphanage" with just an extra layer of varnish. While it isn't without its missteps, particularly the character work which still struggles to connect, the return to the more fear-inducing tendencies of the franchise is welcomed. This feels like the Jurassic Park movie that Bayona wanted to make, with the film's front coming across as the notes of a studio executive.

For fans of the Jurassic Park series, the Blu-ray release of "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" should leave you grinning. The release comes boasting an array of featurettes, most clocking in south of five minutes. While the quality of the fare is typical of these releases, the sheer quantity is impressive. Included amongst the featurettes are a handful that are made purely for those reveling in "Jurassic Park" nostalgia, a cheap but effective play. "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" fails to reach the heights of "Jurassic Park" or even "The Lost World" but it is still a step forward for a franchise that looked to be on creative life support.

"Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom"
Blu-ray + DVD + Digital

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