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You can only go to the creative well so many times before your ideas start to get just a little thin…
With Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom now hitting retail shelves everywhere, this $1.3 Billion doctor blockbuster actually plays a little better on the small screen as you can let some of the more incredulous elements of the story go buy the wayside as it sets up for an obvious end for the Jurassic World in general.
It’s been three years since theme park and luxury resort Jurassic World was destroyed by dinosaurs out of containment. Isla Nublar now sits abandoned by humans while the surviving dinosaurs fend for themselves in the jungles. When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction level event.
While you can’t deny the fact that Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is easily the weakest entry in the history of the franchise, it still does more than enough to get us as viewers across the goal line with an entertaining action romp that sets up a fairly gonzo third (or sixth depending on how you look at it) and final entry into the series.
Director J.A. Bayona slides into the director’s chair with reasonable aplomb as he’s never been one that has been shy when it comes to stage large scale and impressive looking action. This film does exactly that from beginning to end in a solid yet all be it unspectacular style. Everything in this movie is pretty damn good, but nothing reinvents the wheel here at least from a visual perspective. However it’s the script from Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow where things get a little goofy. Sure the film plays on various themes and changes things up by bringing the dinosaurs off the island and putting their right to exist on full display, but things get muddy. Characters aren’t well defined; some plot points are shoe horned into a narrative that on occasion, actually feels a little rushed. Nothing truly bad is going on, it’s just assembled in a sloppy fashion that doesn’t feel worthy of the pedigree that is already engrained in this franchise. The movie is fine…but is that honestly enough?
Chris Pratt has the handsome leading man swagger down to a tee and he moves across the screening. He captures that delicate balance of humor and leading man bravado that can’t always be teached and at this stage of a career can carry a movie if not a franchise on his back with ease. Bryce Dallas Howard is actually a little more at ease with her character this time out as it just doesn’t feel like she’s trying as hard as she did in the first one, which believe it or not is a good thing. She comes off as genuine and compassionate rather than corporate and terrified which is a refreshing evolution for the character. Sadly the supporting players like Justice Smith and Daniella Pineda are ill defined, Ted Levine leans into a stereotype that Rafe Spall sadly cannot and for some reason James Cromwell and Toby Jones are around to be criminally wasted.
At the end of the day, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a solid stop gap entry before we see the ultimately conclusion of this grand narrative but had the train stopped here we’d admittedly have been more than a little disappointed.