Review: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

The dinosaurs escape the island in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. It has been three years since the destruction and evacuation of the Jurassic World amusement park on the island of Isla Nubar. With a volcano set to erupt on the island and threatening to destroy all the remaining dinosaurs, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) wants to do anything she can to save them. She is summoned to the estate of, late Jurassic Park founder, John Hammond’s former partner Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell) and is asked by Lockwood’s assistant Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) to return to the island and help evacuate 11 dinosaur species for a private sanctuary. Specifically, Eli wants the highly intelligent Velociraptor “Blue,” who was trained by Owen Grady (Chris Pratt). However, it soon turns out that Eli has a hidden agenda to exploit the dinosaurs, which includes the creation of the new genetically modified “Indoraptor.”

25 years after Steven Spielberg first brought us to Jurassic Park, director J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage, A Monster Calls) brings us the fifth entry in the series, which is a direct follow-up to 2015’s Jurassic World, with that film’s director Colin Trevorrow returning to co-write the screenplay. The story of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom takes place three years after the events of the previous film and the dinosaurs are set to go extinct again. While experts such as Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) believes that history should be left to course correct itself, others like Claire Dearing and her colleagues Zia Rodriguez (Daniella Pineda) and Franklin Webb (Justice Smith) want to ensure that these creatures be allowed to live. However, it soon becomes apparent that others want to exploit the dinosaurs to military and agricultural purposes, which threatens to permanently change human history.

When Jurassic World was released after a nearly fifteen year hiatus from the series, I thought that it was a nostalgic and generally entertaining return to the park I first visited when I was 11 years old. However, with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, puts this nostalgia aside, in favour of just being a big dumb action film, with the dinosaurs being the real stars over the humans, who are mostly there to eventually become dino-fodder. The issues I have with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom are similar to the ones I had with Jurassic Park III, my least favourite entry in the series, in how it’s much more of a film meant to cash in on the previous successes of the franchise.

There is very little in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom that hasn’t already been done to better effect in previous films of the series. Probably one of the biggest selling points of the film is the dinosaurs getting off the island, though was previously done in 1997’s The Lost World: Jurassic Park, in which a T-Rex terrorized San Diego. Even the return of Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm is little more than a cameo that bookends the film.

While there is some level of entertainment value in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, with some well-constructed set pieces, I do have to admit that after 25 years, I am probably done with this franchise.

Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).