“Jurrassic World: Fallen Kingdom” Mixes a dose of Horror with the Action Adventure
By Liz Lopez
Director J. A. Bayona (“A Monster Calls,” “The Impossible,” “The Orphanage”) takes the helm of “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” working from a script by Colin Trevorrow (“Jurassic World”), and co-writer Derek Connolly who shared writing credit on “Jurassic World”, based on the characters created by Michael Crichton (“Jurassic Park” 1993).
For some of us who viewed the film directed by Steven Spielberg from the screenplay Crichton wrote, it has been 25 years since we have seen how the dinosaurs roamed the earth during our modern day lifetime and so has the following generation with a couple of sequels. The dinosaur franchise remains too popular to be left alone and filmmaker Trevorrow’s “Jurassic World” brought us John Hammond’s dinosaur theme park. I highly recommend watching the 2015 film to catch up and/or refresh the mind about what happened to the humans and the dinosaurs with that project. This will help to keep up with the characters that return and meet the new ones as “Jurrassic World: Fallen Kingdom” begins this weekend.
Bayona’s direction of the “Jurassic World” sequel certainly brings sufficient action and adventure to the thrilling scenes, with a very good dose of horror that elevates the film to another level. It is certainly not one I will recommend for very young children with some scenes that leave adults sitting on the edge of the theater seat. It is rated PG-13 and with good reason to decide if a child should view this film or not. There is one scene that involves a little girl that I am not going to forget soon, but I won’t add any spoilers here. Cinematographer Oscar Faura, known for his collaborative work on the three films that Bayona has directed (listed above), provides excellent horror imagery and visuals with the dinosaurs, especially the close up shots, as well as the landscape shots of Hawaii and other parts of the world where this was filmed.
In this script by screenwriters Trevorrow and Connolly, “Fallen Kingdom” shows the dinosaurs now existing in a modern world among humans, but both creatures aren’t good friends after their residency at the theme park on Isla Nublar (Costa Rica). There is a current threat to life on the former park on the island and the Dinosaur Protection Group led by Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) is ready to take action. Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) who manages the Lockwood Estate established by Hammond’s former partner, Sir Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell), has plans to get the dinosaurs off the island. Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) is invited to help rescue the Velociraptor Blue. A paleoveterinarian, Dr. Zia Rodriguez (Daniella Pineda, “The Vampire Diaries,” “The Detour” TV series) becomes part of the rescue effort, as well as systems analyst Franklin Webb (Justice Smith). The mission takes a turn for the worse when greed surfaces and Mills’ has a different vision for this rescue and a genetically engineered dinosaur, the Indoraptor.
Overall, the “Fallen Kingdom” script is strong and engaging, but don’t expect too much as far as the “romance” between the two leads (Claire and Owen). The performances are good, with Pratt as charming and brave as Owen, and Howard playing Claire as quite the leader. Smith’s Franklin is very good as he delivers his very good comedic lines. It is a great casting and writing decision to have Pineda portray Zia as an intelligent and strong paleo-vet that doesn’t back down from the bullies in her scenes. Also new to the franchise is Isabella Sermon in the role of Benjamin Lockwood’s granddaughter Maisie. She is a great actress who delivers an impressive performance as a survivor in the film. Jeff Goldblum returns for this sequel reprising his role as Dr. Ian Malcolm, but his performance is so brief and comes across as a cameo. Great as ever though!
The film is entertaining and sets the viewers on the path to anticipate “Jurassic World 3” and the dinosaur’s journey. “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” is definitely one to watch no matter if you are a diehard fan or still playing catch up on the dinosaur action. It runs 128 minutes and is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of science-fiction violence and peril.
The film will play in some U.S. theaters starting Thursday evening, June 21st and nationwide, Friday, June 21, 2018.
Source: Universal Pictures