Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Review

Reviews Films




When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event.

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom arrives in time for the 25th anniversary of Jurassic Park, following up on the events of 2015’s Jurassic World, the new film is from director J.A. Bayona, and written by Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly.

Fallen Kingdom is ambitious in the sense that it seeks to do something refreshing with the series, it strives to subvert expectations in its use of set pieces and locations, becoming a little more innovative along the way however in doing so it misses the mark in terms of what makes the best Jurassic films so entertaining and fun to watch.

As these types of event films need to, Fallen Kingdom is quick to progress its plot which is a simple idea to throw together the main events and action sequences in the film. A rescue operation to Isla Nublar is quickly undermined as the film’s story takes a turn, moving from set piece to set piece as the remaining plot unfolds.

The story is predictable and uninspired, it seeks to deepen the ongoing mythology of the franchise all the way back to the original film, while delivering a sufficiently villainous plot which unleashes some Dinosaur driven carnage. Rather than following the more typical sequel route of bigger is better, Fallen Kingdom opts for something smaller and more claustrophobic which has mixed results.

Its smaller scale idea isn’t inherently a poor creative choice, but even where it seeks to excel, this film doesn’t manage to deliver a sequence that matches what some of the previous films have done merely is a sub-plot. Fallen Kingdom isn’t effective in making use of the tension or terror of Dinosaurs, and it elects not to make use of the over the top carnage and scale that a dinosaur film provides for. Where the script really does a real disservice to the film however is in delivering one of its best sequences, far too early on, leaving the final act lacklustre in comparison.

Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard easily revisit these characters and deliver their usual charm onscreen and are a pleasure to watch, Jeff Goldblum returns in a disappointingly underutilised way, Justice Smith is intended to be the comic relief but while his delivery and timing is good the material fails to shine. Rafe Spall and Ted Levine round out the films villains, and are underwhelming and given no opportunity to leave a memorable impact in the film.

As a Jurassic franchise film there’s an abundance of visual effects on display and the overall production quality of the film is excellent, its sets, characters, and visual effects all look polished and a high quality resulting in a great looking film.

Ultimately however Fallen Kingdom just falls short in most of what it tries to do, underutilised characters, misused dinosaurs, and no real tension. Another instalment to round out a Jurassic World trilogy is almost a certainty, hopefully the trilogy can finish stronger than its middle chapter.

I’m giving Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom 6 out of 10, it’s in cinemas from 21 June, 2018.

Leith spent most of his formative years growing up on the coastal fringes of Western Australia without a cinema in sight. There he grew up on the wonders of home rentals before relocating to Perth and gaining access to a proper cinematic experience just in time for the Star Wars Special Edition re-releases. From there Leith's love of movies expanded to volunteering on a Star Wars fan film, reviewing films, writing about film news, and attending film and pop-culture related conventions on the other side of the world. Leith's favourite films are too many to mention but all start with the Star Wars saga, Back to the Future, the Dark Knight trilogy, Indiana Jones, Lord of the Rings and all things Kevin Smith. With an insatiable appetite for all things pop-culture related Leith also has an unhealthy addiction to the world of comics and can often be found buried under a pile of unread back issues madly trying to catch up on a number of titles coming out from mostly DC and Darkhorse.