Directed by: J.A. Bayona
Written by: Colin Trevorrow, Derek Connolly
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, B.D. Wong, James Cromwell, Ted Levine, Justice Smith, Geraldine Chaplin, Daniella Pineda, Toby Jones, Rafe Spall
Runtime: 129 min
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.
Owen is driven to find Blue, his lead raptor who's still missing in the wild, and Claire has grown a respect for these creatures she now makes her mission. Arriving on the unstable island as lava begins raining down, their expedition uncovers a conspiracy that could return our entire planet to a perilous order not seen since prehistoric times.
If you don't know by now, I am a huge Jurassic Park fan. It is one of my all-time favorites and Spieldberg's influence on movie history, especially sci-fi, is undeniable. A lot of people forget this, but he directed Jurassic Park AND Schindler's List in the SAME YEAR! How crazy is that?! A lot of fans don't know this, and I think this is part of the reasons why fans' expectations for these Jurassic World films are misleading.
Jurassic Park is a masterpiece. It established itself as a classic. You can't get better than that! You can never expect a sequel to an A+ to also be an A+. That is saved for some of the best sagas EVER. The Lost World - Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III didn't stand a chance and couldn't recreate the original's success (even if The Lost World is not as bad as people might think). So, when it was announced that Jurassic World was going to resurrect the franchise, I was a bit skeptical.
Nevertheless, the first one was released, and I genuinely had a blast. Yes, it has some flaws, namely some of its characters, but otherwise, I really liked where they were going with the saga. They created two new protagonists (Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard) who I can definitely get behind, even if we all agree that Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) is right about the moral dilemma of bringing back to life dinosaurs or not. Therefore, my expectations for Fallen Kingdom were that it continued the success generated by its predecessor...
Worst. Movie. Of. The. Franchise. I am sorry. I rather sit and listen to the talking raptor from Jurassic Park III than watch this one again. It ruins so much of what I loved about the original and of Jurassic World. My biggest issue is that it turns a classic saga into a generic, boring and even cartoonish flick. The villain is paper-thin and extremely cliche (money, money, money). The supporting characters can't even be forgettable because they are so annoying that it is impossible to forget all of the screaming and crying. Even our protagonists lack some of the characterizations given to them in the previous installment.
The actors are fine. Chris Pratt is likable as always, but his character barely gets any development. Bryce Dallas Howard's character (Claire) thankfully doesn't get to make stupid decisions again, and she actually has some good moments. However, when you replace her occasional stupidity with a whole new character that has such a silly subplot only to provide an even more absurd ending ... This is just horrible writing.
The screenplay is full of logical flaws that question the events that happened in previous films. Midway through the movie, something happens that completely changes the entire film. It went from a good idea to one of the worst scripts of the year in an instant. I have no idea what went on Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly's minds, but they didn't write a single good script. Character or subplot, they are all terrible.
I have talked about trailers and their danger for years. I stopped watching them since 2016 and my cinematic experience exponentially increased. Once again, I didn't watch any Fallen Kingdom's trailers, except for an image or a few seconds here and there. I always complain about two significant things trailers do that may ruin anyone's movie experience: spoiling some key plot points and showing too many awesome sequences since it takes away that feeling of watching something amazing for the first time. It is just not the same after watching it in a trailer.
Fallen Kingdom stands alone as the only film that I know of, able to accomplish those two things. See, I never watched a clip or image from the final trailer, only from the first one. So, I just saw images of the dinosaurs on the island and the volcano erupting. Basically, I expected a rescue mission for the entire runtime which I thought was a good concept for an entertaining but also an emotional movie. However, and this is not a spoiler since it is in the freaking trailers, this film is only a rescue op for less than an hour.
The second half is a tedious and cliche story about a cardboard villain trying to sell dinosaurs. Because money is cool. Of course, everything from that point on is awful. From the well-directed yet ridiculous action sequences inside a mansion to some cringe-worthy lines of dialogue, this is NOT a Jurassic Park sequel in any point of view. It is just a flick that Trevorrow needed to write in order to write the actual movie he wants to do in a few years to complete the trilogy. Absolutely despicable.
I don't even know what to write anymore. I am so disappointed that not even the mind-blowing visuals can save this. I don't understand how Bayona can direct the hell out of this film but not see the gigantic flaws of the screenplay. As good-looking as the movie is, it is not enough to change my mind: this is one of the worst films of the year. Jaw-dropping CGI (contradicting my expectations that it would be excessive) help to produce some terrific set pieces, but when both the story and its characters fail, no technical aspect can save such disaster.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is one of the worst movies of 2018 and one of my biggest disappointments of the last few years. An excellent cast, some mind-blowing CGI and a great director ... All wasted due to an extremely flawed screenplay and paper-thin new characters. Trevorrow and Connolly turned a classic saga into a dinosaur-monster film, with so many irrelevant and unnecessary subplots that only led to an even worse ending. The fact that the trailers show 95% of the movie also doesn't help, but the disappointment was due to happen. I'm sorry Steven Spielberg. Maybe one day, you'll be avenged.