The Jurassic franchise has been going for quite a while now, fueled by excited fans and childhood nostalgia (every kid loves dinosaurs, right?). Unfortunately, the newest instalment Jurassic World 2: Fallen Kingdom failed to impress with a convoluted storyline and poor villains.
Three years after the destruction of the Jurassic World theme park, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) return to the island of Isla Nublar to save the remaining dinosaurs from a volcano that’s about to erupt. They soon encounter terrifying new breeds of gigantic dinosaurs, while uncovering a conspiracy that threatens the entire planet.
On its own, the first part with a volcano sounds like a pretty fun movie and probably would have been enough for JW2. There are some incredibly fun and tense scenes here, and I really enjoyed this half of the movie. We even get the devastating moment where a Brachiosaurus is stranded on the island for death-by-volcano. It’s one of the most heartwrenching moments of the franchise and would have mattered a lot more if we were on Isla Nublar the whole time. Instead, we move on the second part with a conspiracy to capture and sell the dinosaurs from Isla Nublar to the highest bidders—all with militaristic goals, of course.
If that first part of JW2 was extended to be the whole movie, we could have had character development, dino-emotional development, and we would have continued to play on the great parts of the first one. Plus, it would have given us a more stream-lined villain role, as the poacher could really be played off as a major villain before we move to JW3 for the conspiracy-Fallen Kingdom part, which brings in the bigger bad-guys selling the dinos. Unfortunately, there was no character development from any of the main characters or even relationship development that would have made sense between Owen and Claire.
Clearly, one of my biggest frustrations was the lack of clear villainy. We’ve already seen an incredible villain this year from Black Panther‘s Eric Killmonger (Michael B Jordan) with backstory, specific goals, real emotions… this immediately fell flat on all of those categories. We have a capitalist-minded seller of dinosaurs who seemingly wants money solely to have more money. There’s no explanation of his connection to his benefactor or the little girl, or why he’s delving into the illicit dino-selling market. The new dinosaur creation also went a little far, mainly since I have no clue how they’ll make the next one even more intense. However, it was scary and anxiety-inducing which I loved.
The plus? Bryce Dallas Howard has more sensible footwear this time! I guess they really heard how angry everyone got about that in the last movie because they made a big point to show her shoe choices throughout. Well, at least she didn’t break an ankle.
Once again, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) has created some great special effects for the dinosaurs. In multiple scenes, I was marvelling at how real (well, not real but definitely life-like) the dinosaurs looked. It seemed like there was a lot of effort in the dinos movements since you could see individual muscles moving like you would on different animals.
If all you’re looking for is a scary, mindless action movie, then this would be a great pick. Just don’t go in expecting character development or a great story. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is still in theatres.