Entertainment » Movies

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

by Greg Vellante
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Wednesday Jun 20, 2018
'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom'
'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom'  

"Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" is fucking stupid.

It's a film where our heroes travel to an island on the verge of a catastrophic volcanic eruption in order to save dinosaurs who massacred people in the 2015 reboot, "Jurassic World."

It's a film where our villains attempt to poach these endangered dinosaurs in order to sell them on the black market to bidders who plan to clone them for malicious intents.

It's a film where all of these characters are wide-eyed and surprised when suddenly faced with death and destruction due to their decisions regarding giant, unpredictable beasts. Oh, gee, I wonder if creating a genetically engineered blend of a T-Rex and a velociraptor is going to end badly. My eyes almost pulled a muscle from rolling so far into the back of my head. I saw my brain. It couldn't fathom the ridiculousness.

And yet...

The number of times I slapped my forehead during this film is equivalent to the number of times I sighed and glanced at my watch during Colin Trevorrow's 2015 effort. For this alone, "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" is the superior film. It's popcorn entertainment at its most preposterous, abandoning logic and coherent storytelling in favor of grandiose action sequences and unfiltered spectacle. Where "Jurassic World" attempted to become its own entity while mirroring the nostalgia of Steven Spielberg's original adaptation of Michael Crichton's novel, 'Fallen Kingdom' completely holds its own with a tonal symphony that shifts between compositions of shameless silliness and campy horror.

If director J.A. Bayona was attempting to make a serious, stone-faced blockbuster, he has failed miserably. If he was trying to make a film that 8-year-old me would watch again and again and again (as I recall doing quite frequently with my holographically covered VHS of Stephen Spielberg's sequel, "The Lost World: Jurassic Park"), then Bayona has succeeded in spades.

As such, I'm reluctant not to recommend this very stupid movie because this very stupid movie entertained me quite generously. Of course, there were questions. "How is she running so fast in those shoes?" "Did they just say what I think they just said?" And, of course, the most frequent query - "Wait... what?" But jettison the nagging nuisance of irrationality and swap it for brain-numbing engagement, and you've got yourself a damn fine time at the movies.

Plus, it's well-directed, a major upgrade from Trevorrow's limited eye. Bayona blends elements from his previous films (horror: "The Orphanage;" disaster: "The Impossible; wonder: "A Monster Calls") and concocts something both visually rich and thematically invested. The story has enough holes to engulf an entire continent, but its characters and its emotions are elevated slightly by Bayona's guidance. Say what you will about the character and performance, but I quite enjoyed the ways in which Chris Pratt's protagonist is often framed like Indiana Jones and given Jones-esque moments of hammy heroism (a bit ironic seeing as he spends most of the film wearing Han Solo's vest). Pratt even gets his own "JOCK! START THE ENGINE!" moment while running from both a dinosaur stampede and an erupting volcano.

The Spielbergian influence is certainly there, no doubt, and Bayona attempts to seize a similar wonder in style and tone. The film may lose itself in storytelling absurdities, but its strengths often hoist "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" above its failures. It's still so, so, so, so stupid, but damn it all if it didn't win me over in the end. For a couple hours, I was eight years old again. To be fair, eight-year-old me had no taste, but the fact that "Fallen Kingdom" possesses this time-traveling ability at all is a worthy stamp of approval for anyone seeking a dumb, fun dinosaur movie that entertains with unabashed outrageousness.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom -- The IMAX 2D Experience

Three years after the destruction of the Jurassic World theme park, Owen Grady and Claire Dearing return to the island of Isla Nublar to save the remaining dinosaurs from a volcano that's about to erupt. They soon encounter terrifying new breeds of gigantic dinos while uncovering a conspiracy that threatens the entire planet.


Runtime :: 128 mins
Release Date :: Jun 22, 2018
Language :: Silent
Country :: United States

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