** In this post, I discuss my thoughts with Jurassic World: Lost Kingdom. There are spoilers in this post**
Taking place three years after the events of Jurassic World, Ilsa Nublar is abandoned with the dinosaurs roaming free on the island. A volcano threatens to destroy the island and all of the dinosaurs on it. Claire is contacted by Rafe Spall, the obviously villain but unknown to Clarie, to go to the island to try to save as many species as they can before the volcano destroys them all. Clarie convinces Owen Grady to go to the island with her after it was discovered that Blue, the velociraptor that Grady trained and the last of her kind, is still alive. They are being funded by a former partner of John Hammond’s, Sir Benjamin Lockwood who had a falling out with Hammond before the creation of Jurassic Park.
This movie was easily predictable and for the most part I saw everything coming. Every betrayal, every character that was going to die or I wanted to die but didn’t, and the climax. There was nothing new that this movie offered to me that the prior films had shown me. Only one thing threw me off and not in a good way, but I’ll get to that later in this post. The visuals are good and I liked the look and visuals of the dinosaurs. The film felt rushed in the beginning, slow in the middle, and speed up in the end. I didn’t mind the fast paced beginning as it did add a kind of frantic pace to the story and the mission for the characters. The rest of the movie probably could have been cut down by about 20 – 30 minutes.
I thought that Claire was more likable compared to Jurassic World. Although, it was a bit odd to me that Claire felt more “business comes first” originally, now she seems to be more supportive of saving all of the dinos. At least she isn’t running around flawlessly in high heels like the last movie. Grady didn’t seem to have much of a change. Although Chris Pratt keeps Owen likable, I wouldn’t change too much about him. James Cromwell played Sir Benjamin Lockwood and I thought that the character could have had the potential to be one of the better new characters introduced in this series. If they didn’t kill him off pretty quickly and in a predictably stupid way. The rest of your cast are two social justice warrior type characters Franklin Webb and Dr Zia Rodriguez. Both of those characters who join Owen and Clarie that I found the most annoying and really could have been cut from this film. The rest of your cast consists of a stock military mercenary Ken Wheatley, and a stock villain caretaker to Lockwood, Rafe Spall. The man who would put the “best interest” for Lockwood first, but seem to be out for himself. Even Dr. Henry Wu played by BD Wong returns, but it’s just odd that he seems since Jurassic Park to this movie to start as a normal doctor, then go towards a mad scientist route that the character doesn’t come off as a mad scientist type to begin with. This character is misguided I think.
Jeff Goldblum is in the movie reprising his role as Dr Ian Malcom. Which is cool, but he is only in the movie for a minute for the beginning and end. I’m not exaggerating either, his whole screen time is around one minute. It felt disappointing because I thought that he would have had a bigger role to play other than being an ominous warning of potential doom.
The surprise reveal was more confusing than notable. While there are no major kid characters are in this movie, fine with me because I always wonder how children outsmart deadly dinosaurs that can stop adults no problem. We get a minor child character Maisie, a young girl introduced in the film as Lockwood’s granddaughter who didn’t get to know her mother when she died many years earlier. Lockwood would keep her mother’s identity from her. After Lockwood was killed by Rafe, she takes his journal and sees a picture of her mother that looks exactly like her. Rafe reveals later a confrontation with her, Owen, and Claire that the reason Hammond and Lockwood had a fallout was the young girl was not his granddaughter, but a clone of his daughter. Hammond was against human cloning (but strangely to me, quite alright with bringing back deadly predators for show and profit) and they went their separate ways. Not a gasp moment, but an are you kidding me moment. It didn’t seem to get addressed, it felt everyone in the movie was like, oh OK. Why do this? As a reason to let the dinosaurs out at the end of the movie? At the end, the captured dinosaurs were about to die and Clarie who was about to release them from captivity, didn’t after the warning from Grady. Maisie lets them out into the world and says to paraphrase, “I’m a clone too. Would you let me die?” I felt the film needed to allow the audience and the characters to process her and think through her character instead of feeling like a plot device for the next movie. Which I hope that she is in that because these kids in these Jurassic Park movies disappear after one movie and are never really mentioned again. The only thing that comes to mind is Ian Malcom and Dr Ellie Sattler lines from Jurassic Park that I can justify is:
Ian Malcolm: God creates dinosaurs, god destroys dinosaurs, god creates man, man destroys god, man creates dinosaurs
Dr. Ellie Sattler: Dinosaurs eat man……woman inherits the earth.
I heard somewhere that these films describing dinosaurs as being more like dinosaurs and I can agree with that. The visual effects are better compared to the original Jurassic Park movies and I can see with time and better technologies, you can make dinosaurs look and act more like what they would if they had existed today. But Blue, trained by Owen and the last raptor left in this movie has a surprising amount of intelligence for a dinosaur. A bit above pet level and almost like a pet that can be obedient while still act on her own. At the end when Owen ask Blue to come with them she leans towards at the cage then she runs off. Imply she would be captured again if she stayed with them. Once again the movie relies on a genetically modified “prototype dinosaur” to be an antagonist of sorts. Called the Indoraptor, is created to be the perfect controlled hunting predator. Originally caged, of course, it escapes and I found it eye rolling bad how it escaped. After Wheatley tranquillized it to claim its tooth for his necklace. The dinosaur plays possum in a near overly comic way. Opening it’s eye to the camera every time Wheatley turned away. It was just Indominus Rex 2.0 from the first movie (I’m aware there was no T-Rex DNA that made this dinosaur, I’m pretty sure, its just how it came off to me), but made it’s appearance in the third act instead of the first. Also, it was taken down more simply, but in a pretty drawn out chase With Claire, Owen and Maisie. I did like the escape Owen and Clarie did with the Stygimoloch when they are captured. I kept calling that dinosaur Cranidos.
This movie can now live up to the title of Jurassic World, since the Dinosaurs are free on the main continent of North and South America, we are now in a Jurassic World. Although I can’t see how hard it is to wrangle them up or kill them. I don’t think more than 100 or so of them were set free. Plus they are susceptible to modern weapons. There was a scene where, Blue does get shot and nearly dies from a gunshot wound and it wasn’t even from a rifle, but a handgun. Their skin isn’t thick armor and I’m sure a well placed RPG shot, maybe even a high-powered rifle could take down a T-Rex or whatever else has escaped.
If you saw Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, what did you think? Let me know and thank you for reading.