Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom continues with the events that ended Jurassic World with a return to Isla Nublar, which is facing an extinction level event. That pretty much is told in the trailers leading up to the film, which sees a volcano on the island threatening to blow everything to smithereens. The trailers also allude to the fact that there is also DNA manipulation involving the dinosaurs as well as conspiracy to sell that technology along with the dinosaurs to the highest bidder.
That ultimately is fleshed out in the story arcs of this sequel. Much like the sequel of Jurassic Park, this one leaves the wonderment and thrill of the amusement park for more familiar territory – monsters terrorizing cities and homes all because of the almighty dollar.
That makes Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom more like a monster movie than anything else. The effects nevertheless are stunning but the magic that was present in the first film is clearly wiped out the moment the volcano destroys the island. Perhaps that was the intention of Universal and director J.A. Bayona to wipe the slate clean with this franchise before setting it up for the third and final film in this trilogy.
The seeds of that are planted throughout the movie starting with the call to save the endangered cloned animals, a rescue attempt, the dangers of genetic manipulation and cloning all the way to the seedy auction, which exposes the real monsters of the film – the humans themselves.
Still, despite that, there are some truly great moments in this film, namely the effects and also the masterful work of Bayona in some of the key scenes. The heart-breaking final moment before the volcano consumes Isla Nublar is one to watch out for, as are the scenes with the Mosasaur, although brief as they may be.
There are some elements that Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom can’t shake off though and that is the story arc involving the Velociraptor, which has been evident in every film in the franchise and the key scenes with the T-Rex as well as the child in the centrepiece of each film. Those elements along with the villainy that transpires on screen effectively reduces the roles of Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt to mere supporters, although they do make the most of it.
Ultimately, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom dishes out a morality tale in the guise of a dinosaur movie. The ending alone leaves a lot of questions left to be answered and it does lead to suggest that it may be even taking a page out of the Planet of the Apes.
In hindsight, “Welcome to Jurassic World”, as Jeff Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm says in the trailer, is not a hook for you to watch the sequel but an ominous intro to the next instalment of this franchise. And there’s no doubt that despite Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’s few shortcomings, moviegoers will want to see more of these dinosaur stars.
Popcorn Rating: Sweet & Salty