Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – 2.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – 2.5/5 – There is a term used when entering the realm of fantasy: suspension of disbelief.  This allows you to live the vast creative worlds of wizards and magic (Harry Potter) or expansive galaxies (Star Wars).  What makes films of fantasy great is taking the unimaginable and making them innately real.  No matter how fantastical, you’re able to live the journey on screen.  With this next installment in the Jurassic series, there are a lot of great ideas introduced, but it falls short on landing its mark.  For all the potential, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom fails to create that memorable, fun adventure.

Premise:  When the dinosaurs are facing extinction, it is up to Owen and Claire to save them.

In the returning main roles, you have:

Chris Pratt as Owen Grady

Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire Dearing

These two do a great job in continuing the dynamic from the first (Jurassic World).  By providing a sense of realism, they are the anchors for the audience.  Through witty dialogue, sensible interactions and strong charism, they level a disjointed journey to save the dinosaurs.  At times the dialogue can be cheesy, but when the one-liners hit, they provide the laughs and drama you expect.  It is their on-screen chemistry that makes Pratt and Howard endearing figures in the film.  The new and secondary cast are basic adventure archetypes.  The actors/actresses are placement holders to have ‘someone’ speak standard lines when around the main characters.  The villains are downright terrible.  With predictable dialogue and one-dimensional mannerisms, you are mentally wounded when these characters are present.

The direction is an example of a tale of two halves.  What you have is as followed:

First half – Prologue that includes reintroductions of characters and aftermath of last film.  Adventure elements mixed with escape style themes.

Second half –  Story shift from adventure to horror elements.  Contrasting tone/mood and new ideas.  Closing sequences with forced possibilities and unresolved twist.

There are times when using the two halves method works because it allows for a blending of genres and styles to spruce up indifference in writing.  When the layers between the two don’t blend well, it creates a situation where the story is incomprehensible.  The first half reintroduces us back to the island, dinosaurs and the extinction level event from an (plot point) ‘active’ volcano.  This is the catalyst for Owen and Claire to return with a group to save them, specifically Blue.  With character driven motives and a profound sense of adventure, you are steeped in levels of genuine detail.  This allows for the survival themes to compliment the ethical issues of saving a species.  Through some action packed scenes and unpredictable situations, you are gripped to the adventure.  Once the story shifts to the mainland (second half), the film takes a dramatic shift away from character/adventure style storytelling to predictable ‘villainy’ concepts, atmospherics tension and melodramatic scenarios.  The contrasting of tone and forced themes cause friction to what was introduced in the first half.  By changing lanes without explanation, it leaves a path where new information, twist and worthy ideas become convoluted with the plot.  Even as the horror stylings have strong moments, the cliché setups, forced expositional dialogue and mind-cringing twists pushes you away from believability.  This all leads to a climax that turns into a heavy one-note of improbability, which creates the dumbest sequence ever in this franchise.  Once at the epilogue, you are left with questions more than answers, leaving you to wonder if it is worth seeing the next chapter.

The visuals are a mix of amazing exotic locales and darkly lit environments.  By filming in actual locations, it helps provide a realistic aesthetic to the CGI dinosaurs.  Once on the mainland, the shift creates a contrast that allows for a claustrophobic feeling.  Even if story elements are confusing, the emotive visual sense drives the audience to stick with the main characters.  The score is common for any adventure film.  All the music does is add levels of resounding base and loud orchestras to raise the feeling of the film.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom had the potential to shift into new ideas, but falls flat in the execution.  From the meandering tones to the unbelievable situations left in the second half, the film leaves you in bewilderment.  If you’re a fan of the series or like dinosaurs, I say check it out.  Otherwise, save this for rental on a rainy day.

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