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STEPHEN'S MOVIE GUIDE

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom  

Review:

There was a bit of trepidation going to see this movie, after all as second of the Jurassic World movies, fifth in the Jurassic Park franchise, I was worried about too much ‘been there, seen that’. There was reason for hope.. the director also directed ‘A Monster Calls’, and ‘The Orphanage’ so this boded well for some originality and someone at the helm who knows how to give the odd fright. As it is, I found a little more franchise fatigue than I did fresh originality, though it does have its thrills and spills and the leads are still engaging.

We find ourselves a few years after the events of Jurassic World, and Isla Nublar turns out to have a not so dormant volcano, which seems certain to destroy the island and all its dino inhabitants. The world meanwhile, debates its role – intervene to save these creatures on the basis that all life is precious, or let nature take its course and destroy something that was never natural in the first place. In this backdrop, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen (Chris Pratt) are persuaded to mount a rescue operation to take some of the species to a sanctuary. Needless to say, things do not go according to plan. “ooh, ahh.. that’s how it starts, but then there’s running and screaming..” And there’s plenty of running and screaming to make an enjoyable romp of popcorn entertainment.

There are some very familiar elements – corporate greed, man’s hubris in exploiting nature for his own ends. And while there are some nice set pieces and a pleasingly gothic tone as the movie moves off the island, there is too little of the charm or wonder the original Jurassic Park had in spades. In fact, it’s not unlike Jurassic Park: The Lost World, in terms of the themes, and also in terms of not quite nailing what was so great about its predecessor. Jurassic World was a surprising breath of fresh air, with a fresh spin – Claire was sympathetic but with a mindset of casually thinking of the parks attractions as assets, her high heels hampering her journey to enlightenment. In this movie, her journey to eco-warrior with practical boots feels too forced and sudden.. likewise, Chris Pratt has an easy charm that makes him a likable watch – but is given nothing original to do here, and is even found by Claire working on his cabin in much the same way he was in Jurassic World. James Cromwell, Geraldine Chaplin (yes, really!) and Toby Jones and even an (all too brief) cameo from Jeff Goldblum are all class acts, but let’s face it are all upstaged by the dinosaurs. Even here the movies new ‘villain’ dinosaur fails to feel as compelling as T-Rex or raptors did when we first saw them, but all your favourites are present and correct..

There are interesting nods to other horror movies including an homage to Nosferatu, and the brooding creepy atmosphere is there. The photography is good, and the score works.. so being honest, as popcorn entertainment this is a success, but you have to hope that for the third ‘World’ a bit of a rethink is done to inject some originality again.





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