Quick Hit: DINOSAURS IN YOUR CLOSET! DINOSAURS ON YOUR ROOF!
Walking out of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, I couldn’t help but feel slightly shell-shocked. I’ve watched dinosaurs eat people out of stalls, dinosaurs get rounded up and taken to New York to drink out of swimming pools, and Jeff Goldblum talk about chaos while demonstrating with a drop of water. But nothing I’ve watched in the 5 movie series to this point could have possibly prepared me for what came in Fallen Kingdom. The series essentially got cranked up way past 10 to 50 – and I probably wasn’t ready for it – and neither were most people.
In total – the film really kind of feels like two films. The first film (half) feels like it took a page out of Jurassic World’s book and leans fairly heavily on nostalgia by retreading some ground from The Lost World – military types come to the island to trap dinosaurs to take them to the mainland. Chris Pratt still exudes effortless charm, and Bryce Dallas Howard, though more relaxed than before, is still a bit uptight. But there’s new characters – geek light and geek heavy – though none really go that far to make themselves remembered afterwards. And yes, we get another generic bad guy, something the series always struggles with (who cares about the human bad guys because DINOSAURS – more on that in a minute). Oh, and a certain little girl that has been hidden away by everyone.
It’s fairly easy to see where a lot of the plot points are going to go, but I don’t think I would have been able to tell you that I felt extremely sad that an entire island was going to blow up. Indeed, in probably the most emotional scene in the movie, I felt more for a Brontosaur (?) than I did for most of the characters. But hey, we need to get on to more dinosaurs that can haunt out dreams forever.
Let’s talk about the IndoRaptor. For the first time, we finally start to get somewhere with a dinosaur that feels as scary as the original T-Rex. Why, you might ask? Thanks Reader – I’ll take it from here. I would say that’s largely to do with the imagery that is presented. We get some terrific use of shadows, and you may not believe it but the movie gets downright Gothic in its second half. There’s some great stalking scenes that go back to the original Jurassic Park. But I think the problem is that the film just didn’t know where to stop. I mean, we literally get intelligent dinosaurs jumping away from fire. We get dinosaurs on the roof that know to pull back bedsheets. And yes, the Pachy will always be king, but it also leads to somewhere we knew that the plot of the film was going. Right? Rightt??? DINOSAURS ON YOUR PLANET!
By the way, there is a scene in the middle of the movie that perfectly encapsulates the whole series, and that's the scene with the T-Rex in the container with Chris Pratt. This scene is perfect. Tension filled and absolutely a blast - it shows why we still love dinosaurs enough to shell out billions for them. Anyways, back to the main review.
I’m always for suspending realism in films – horror is my favorite genre, and I think fantasy and science fiction follow closely behind that. But there generally is something that ties a film to reality. The only think that I’m afraid of is that Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom started to fray that line too much, because the movie is totally bonkers, and not always in a good way.
So, for this uneven film, I’m giving it a “C-“. Probably generously, but GOTHIC DINOSAURS!
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
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