Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Review

Jurassic World is back, and now it has booms and bangs running all over the place. If you were hoping to see a nice sequel development, you will be disappointed. But the movie delivers enough action for as a passable, family entertainment. I was able to watch Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom on 4DX in a local theater. And I must say, this will remind you of Universal Studio’s Jurassic Park ride.

As a sequel, the new Jurassic World sits in an awkward space again. The park is in ruins again, lawsuits followed, and corporate ladders are completely destroyed. None of the information from previous movies can give you any clues on where it stands as of now. The movie has a lot of gaps to fill in, even before its own plot can develop, but it jumps to first chapter after a short premise. And this is a pattern of behavior you will soon see in this film —moving on to a next chapter without a proper introduction.

One of the earliest interruptions you would see is the mosasaur. Mosasaur was the literal beginning and the end of the first Jurassic World film, and in sequel, you are greeted again by the gigantic beast with the worst possible climate for a theme park from the original 1993 movie. But that beast is not important on its own. It’s not a character. It’s a phenomenon, much like a natural disaster. It made us to go ‘wow’ in the first film and ended the movie with another ‘wow’. Much is the same in this movie, except this time around, we don’t have any other characters to project on to. Who are those men, operating in the abandoned park? Is that even a legal activity? Are they connected to InGen, the parent company of the park? Or are they connected to the illegal hunting group? Because legality, in this film, comes around as part of ethical dilemmas it throws at you. But all the beast can do in this sequel is to create a wonderful —and obviously bloody horrific for its victims— scene for us without a proper context.

Human characters were tossed into the movies too, much like beasties were tossed in. This problem rises most apparent with the villains. Protagonists have a whole movie to develop their characters, but antagonists need to arrive armed. But none of them are truly ready for the big show, and ones that are ready fall flat with a simpleton mindset. I’m talking about Mills, the most idiotic antagonist of all time in Jurassic Park franchise. He is a typical millennial, wanting more, dream bigger, and more money everywhere, scheming and plotting against the ‘good guys’. But in every encounters, he fails something comically bad. It would have been fine if he were portrayed as a fool, but he is shown to be a competent, yet a buffoon. So the movie fails to show how he is losing control even among the humans, how he fails to control his assets, his people, and how he doesn’t understand the technology. These are all crucial hallmarks of the franchise, and every time a camera is pointed at his face, movie goes nuts with him. What happens to Henry Wu and his research? No idea, just that Mills failed to deliver. What happens to dinosaurs he tried to sell? No idea, just that Mills failed to contain. What happens to people he hired? No idea, just that Mills didn’t care. What happens to InGen, the park, and the foundation? No idea, just that Mills lost bases. It is okay to have incompetent antagonist. But his incompetence can only be found collectively, not in each moments he makes them. It should make you wonder, how a wise elderly man, who can find out about this villain’s scheme in a single day, had left him to do his evil things so far. There’s your plot armor boosting the villain’s LUCK stat.

Speaking of buffoons, at least Mills uses right buzzword to suit his unintended bluffing. Wheatley and Wu, Two Ws, are incredibly one dimensional in this film. Wheatley, the hunter, is after his trophy and money. Obviously, it leads to his inevitable demise. Wu, the scientist, is after power and perfection. Obviously, him too find his demise in his goals. And their characters are subtly suggested in the movie. They are literally thrown on your face, explaining their purposes, as if they are in interviews. Sidekicks, both good and evil, also do only what they are supposed to do, and literally leave the stage right after.

With all the jumpy characters and developments, we are left with few cool scenes. Dinosaurs in the sequel played only a minor roles, as most of them were already captured by the time protagonists were on screen. The only dinosaur that could have put nature on the helm shows up late in the party, plays boogeyman, and dies after giving some comical goodbyes to sidekicks.

Conclusion: Passable Family movie, but not Great

The Nerdwriter on Youtube once said we are seeing an “epidemic of passable movies”, and I have to agree with him on this front. This film is a typical guilty pleasure. I loved it for its booms and bangs. But not all audiences go to a movie for theme park ride, and certainly this ride-like experience didn’t make it through the transition. I mean, why did they bother with the moving seats during a peaceful car ride? To give motion sickness? But once it hits the DVD shelves, I doubt I’d watch it again.

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