When Jurassic World released two years ago, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia of the Jurassic Park films that I grew up with. The magic, wonder and sheer terror that came with the gigantic, prehistoric beasts were all there, making it a welcome trip back into the notorious park. Three years later and we’re back where it all began, only this time, there was no nostalgia nor was there any magic. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (“Fallen Kingdom”) really was the ‘fall’ of the franchise that once proved glorious and memorable to the minds of many.
Fallen Kingdom began without much introduction. The island, on which the park was built and was home to dozens of dinosaur species, was collapsing on itself, its volcanic activity threatening the widespread extinction of the island’s inhabitants. Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen (Chris Pratt) team up to save the dinosaurs, uncovering a dark and sinister plot along the way.
The premise of the film is neither good nor bad and the plot made the film a decent watch, however, the idea of a rescue mission isn’t exactly novel or new. The build up to the inevitable extinction of the dinosaurs was certainly poignant and watching these majestic creatures attempt to flee from the erupting island did tug on my heartstrings but the predictable twist didn’t add much to the imagination.
Of course, the Jurassic films were never really about the narrative. Rather, these films had always been centered around the horrifying thrill of being around deadly, human eating creatures. Fallen Kingdom certainly lived up to this premise with the depiction of fierce and some, rather terrifying, creatures. However, while there were some dinosaurs that were portrayed as extremely dangerous and vicious, there were also those that made me go “aww” the way I would when I see cute animals.
The graphics and visuals were definitely on point with the dinosaurs looking extremely lifelike, with features that one would expect of beasts of that kind.The way in which the island blew up with hot lava and ash, effectively collapsing upon itself due to its volcanic activity, was impressive. Fallen Kingdom certainly made full use of its CGI graphics and made everything we watched on screen appear incredibly real.
While the film was visually gratifying, the same can’t be said for the characters. Character development was incredibly poor, to say the least. Very little detail were given to each character, with the presumption that audiences should be able to guess the motivations behind each character’s actions. However, several pieces of information that the film highlighted about a particular character were never explored and simply left hanging in the air for audiences to make assumptions. These unfinished and unnecessary additions to the plot are often a turn off for me as it makes me wonder whether the writers of the film actually thought through what they were creating.
There were plenty of unnecessary moments in Fallen Kingdom that could have been left out. I, personally felt that many scenes could have actually been cut in place for added depth to other ideas within the film. There was a lot of potential for the film in this regard, to allow for a film that not only appealed visually but also emotionally too. Not only that, but the way in which the film dealt with its biggest conflict made it feel as if the threat wasn’t as terrible as it was made to sound originally. On top of that, the ending certainly was an incredible let down, leading to more questions than answers.
Needless to say, Fallen Kingdom was just another run of the mill dinosaur film with predictable twists that simply did not surprise nor delight. While watchable as a film, it certainly appeared to be one that was made purely for financial gains rather than a continuation of the franchise. The Jurassic films need not return after this one.