A New Era for Humans and Dinosaurs Begins in ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ – Review

This Friday, we are getting another dinosaur movie in the form of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Following up from the past events from its predecessor, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom sees the mistakes from the first film come full circle in an unexpected way. The ancient creatures are an endangered species and humanity has to make a decision on whether or not they should be saved.

It’s been three years since the Jurassic World theme park fell into ruin and Isla Nublar has been abandoned, save for the few species of dinosaurs that had been created for the park. An unexpected team ends up on the island, extracting remains from some of the creatures dead and alive on the island before we are re-introduced to Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard). The former Jurassic World operations manager is now on a mission as a dinosaur rights activist, heading her own organization called the Dinosaur Protection Group. Having seen the havoc wreaked firsthand and the lawsuits that followed, Claire knows many people do not care about the fate of the dinosaurs. With the volcano on Isla Nublar now active, politicians and lawmakers are faced with what to do. Do they save this endangered species or is the impending volcanic eruption an ‘act of God’, which means the dinosaurs are destined for re-extinction.

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Owen training an infant Blue (Courtesy of Universal Studios)

Of course, Claire is doing her best to see that does not happen. She receives a call from Eli Mills (Rafe Spall), the man working with Sir Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell). As Sir Lockwood was John Hammond’s former business partner, Claire knows this opportunity presented to her by Mills is the final solution in saving the dinosaurs from re-extinction. As she, Mills and Lockwood talk about the island sanctuary Lockwood owns, which is self-sustaining to re-home the dinosaurs, Claire is alerted to the fact that all species must be captured and moved off of Isla Nublar; this includes velociraptor, Blue, who is the last of her kind. Knowing she will be near impossible to capture, Claire has to enlist the help of former flame, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt). The reunited duo team up with Claire’s colleagues Paleo-veterinarian, Dr. Zia Rodriguez (Daniella Pineda) and IT technician, Franklin Webb (Justice Smith) in order to secure the dinosaurs for transport, as well as get into the old theme park systems.

Of course, things do not go exactly as planned and the team that Mills has hired do not have the best of intentions as it comes to the animals. Unbeknownst to Claire, Owen, Franklin and Dr. Rodriguez, Mills’ team is solely on the island for financial gain. They need to get in and get out with the animals, specifically Blue and the other predators in order to receive their payments and alleged ‘bonuses’. Claire soon finds out that not only are the dinosaurs not being rehomed, they are set to be used for something much more sinister. As she, Owen, Dr. Rodriguez and Franklin are set to leave the island and expose everything, the volcanic eruptions begin, putting a wrench in their plans. Will the heroes be able to save the day and if they do, what price will they and the rest of humanity pay? Well, you will just have to watch the film and to find out.

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Blue and Owen on the now abandoned Isla Nublar (Courtesy of Universal Studios)

If you enjoyed Jurassic World, it’s likely that you will enjoy Fallen Kingdom. With similar elements and great chemistry between Howard and Pratt, it’s a fun film to watch. The introduction of new characters played by Pineda and Smith fit right into the group dynamic. Both are relatable and funny in their own ways, bringing some added freshness to a group comprised of mostly familiar character archetypes. This movie provided the audience with clear villains, played by Spall, Toby Jones and Ted Levine that you love to hate. Most likely, you will spend most of your time rooting against them, and it’s perfectly warranted and something that was a bit different from the last film. We once again have a moment with some of the original Jurassic Park cast with B.D. Wong returning as Dr. Henry Wu and Jeff Goldblum appearing as the beloved Dr. Ian Malcolm. Essentially, the cast is better as a whole and the story is a bit more fleshed out with twists that were non-existent in the past movie. It served well in adding a little something extra to an otherwise formulaic story. Once again, the true stars of the film were essentially the dinosaurs. The Tyrannosaurus Rex asserts its usual dominance and velociraptor Blue continues to be a fan favourite but might have some competition with the head-butting Stigymoloch after this film.

Directed by J.A. Bayona and already making waves with its monstrous entertainment overseas, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a welcome addition to the Jurassic Park franchise. Of course, this next installment has some cinematic parallels with the Steven Spielberg original which are sure to delight fans. Other than suffering from some conventional storytelling and predictability, it’s still a fun watch. Be sure to check out Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom this weekend!

 

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