Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

I saw a double feature of the Jurassic World films tonight.  The first Jurassic World (the fourth of the franchise) was a fun film, but I found it less entertaining than I did on first viewing. I saw some flaws that did not bother me the first time.

Then the second one started.

And I wished I was watching that first one again.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is not a good movie.  I was very disappointed with it.  Yes, the dinosaurs looked good.  The CGI was great and the film was shot exceeding well by new director J.A. Bayona.  But that is about the end of the positives I can say.

No, there is another.  Chris Pratt is always entertaining.  He is playing basically the same character that he always plays, but he does that very well.  Also, Bryce Dallas Howard was better than she was in Jurassic World.  Plus, she did not run anywhere in heels.

The rest of the film was brutal.

It seemed to jump into horror movie cliche world with jump scares and with characters doing stupid things because it was needed for the plot to work.

The storyline was needlessly convoluted with plotlines that felt like they were tossed in for no reason.

Three years since the events of Jurassic World finished off the theme park, Isla Nublar, the island where the dinosaurs remained, suddenly became an active volcano (which would have caused trouble for the amusement park as well).  A debate began about whether or not the dinosaurs should be saved or allowed to go extinct once again.  Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) is on the pro saving team as she has been working for dino rights.  Ben Lockwood (James Cromwell), the old partner of Hillard, contacted her with a plan to rescue the dinosaurs and take them to a new island sanctuary.

Lockwood has Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) organizing everything and he suggests to Claire that she talk Owen (Chris Pratt) into returning to help save his old friend Blue the velociraptor.  There are military guys along led by Ken Wheatley (Ted Levine) and they aren’t going to turn on our heroes…wink wink.

That is not a spoiler, by the way since it was shown in the trailer, as too much of this movie was.

After the first half of the movie on Isla Nublar, the film heads off to Lockwood’s estate, in what looked like a castle for the second half of the film.

The first half of the movie on the island was okay.  There were still people who were doing stupid things, but at least it was somewhat entertaining.  The second half at the Monster House was considerably less entertaining and had many more rolls of the eyes.

Another character that we were introduced to was Lockwood’s granddaughter Maisie (Isabella Sermon).  She was here because there needed to be a kid involved in a Jurassic World/Park movie or else they take away your writing card.  Then, he story is just SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO STUPID!  Her story comes completely out of left field and then is never touched on again.  Her inclusion in this movie, with this ridiculous plot point, makes zero sense.  The young actress Isabella Sermon was fine as the character, acting wise, but the writing of that character is so inane that it really felt shoehorned in for some odd reason and felt as if she was in the wrong movie.

The writing here is really below expectation.  The plot is slow and derivative.  The dialogue is tough to listen to.  The characters do so many stupid things it was painful.

There were several scenes that felt as if we had already seen them in this franchise, and the reason we had already seen them was that they were, in some cases, shot for shot repeats.  There is a fine line between nostalgia and lazy writing and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was stomping into that direction.

And that ending… SPOILER… I guess I am just going to wait for Blue to learn how to talk, gather all the dinosaurs together, and become the leader of her people.  There is a distinctly Planet of the Apes feel to the end.  I will say that I did not hate the end, but it did feel a bit unlikely.  END OF SPOILER.

Oh, and Jeff Goldblum returned as Ian Malcolm, speaking in front of Congress about whether or not the dinosaurs should be saved.  Now, if you have seen the trailers for this movie, you have seen almost the entirety of Goldblum’s appearance.  So if you are going to see Goldblum bring back his iconic character, just pull up the trailers on YouTube and you can save yourself some money.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a dumb movie with excellent special effects and a reasonably engaging lead actor and actress.  There can be some enjoyment watching the movie, if you aren’t bothered by a lack of plot, storytelling or logical/intelligent characters.  I was bored with the film is several spots because I usually need more than just the spectacle.

2.3 stars

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