Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,
Directed by J.A. Bayona,
Starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt, Ted Levine, Jeff Goldblum, Toby Jones, James Cromwell, B D Wong, Daniella Pineda, Rafe Spall
After the latest loss of human life in the Park, the world is going head to head with one another about whether to save the living dinosaurs from an impending eruption from the island’s volcano. One of the original Park’s creators hires Bryce Dallas Howard to convince Chris Pratt to return to the island and help him save as many different dinosaurs and move them to another island where they can live out their days happily and not as part of a tourist attraction.
I remember when the first Jurassic Park film came out, and myself and a group of friends from school skipped the afternoon lessons to go see it. I mean we could have gone later in the day after lessons but there was something about avoiding detection and getting to a cinema to watch the film when we should have been learning something important that we use every day like Algebra, or the Irish language. It was back when I thought Steven Spielberg could do no wrong, long before some choices I don’t understand from him, and it was glorious. It wasn’t just about the special effects, the dinosaurs, there was a true story at the back of it where the people mattered. When you scrape back everything it’s basically a monster movie and in most of those films the people are just fodder.
Here we pick up some time after the last disaster in trying to turn the creatures into a tourist attraction (of course they never learn), and a big volcanic eruption is about to wipe out the remaining dinosaurs on the island. Rafe Spall plays the slimy assistant to the remaining living original creator James Cromwell, who is spearheading the saving of the creatures, and their removal to a safe island. Bryce has to convince Pratt to join her on the mission, as she is now an advocate for the safety of the dinosaurs, and it doesn’t take long after their arrival on the island for everything to go wrong. The main focus of the rescue is the Raptor Blue, the one Pratt’s character trained in the last film.
The heart of this film is the relationship between Pratt’s character and Blue, as we go back through his training of the team of Raptors from the last film, which shows that Blue and himself had a little bit of a bromance, man and animal bonding with one another. Sure, here it is a dinosaur, but we all know that strong bonds have grown between all sorts of animals and humans, and there is something very special about that when it happens. Their relationship is the key to most of what happens in the second half of the film.
I honestly thought that the first half of the film was a mix of three of the last films, taking Jurassic World, mixing in some of the original movie’s wonder, and then a lot of The Lost World. If it had stayed on this course through the whole of the film I wouldn’t be so cheerful. Thankfully the second half of the movie gives us more of what I had hopes The Lost World could have been. Rather than just the T-Rex going around an inhabited town we have a bigger problem. There is also a new dinosaur as the idiots will never learn their lesson and have created another hybrid.
The film moves very fast and you don’t feel the two hour running time going before your eyes. It’s probably more action-packed than any previous Jurassic movie before, and yet doesn’t suffer from the pumped up adventure, it’s balanced with a very human story and some good performances. Ted Levine plays the grizzled big game hunter sent to help to wrangle the dinosaurs off the island; he can do this role in his sleep and it would still be watchable. Spall is a fine actor in his own rights now and his ambitious executive is someone that you think at the start as a nice guy but it’s not long before true colours are coming forward. Bryce is fine, her usual steady self, but it’s Pratt that I have a problem with. He seems to have developed an inflated ego over the last few years and does little but grandstand for the whole film. Small gripes really when it comes to the film, it’s an enjoyable fun filled movie, packed so full of action that at times you don’t feel you can catch your breath. What more could you ask for from a Summer Blockbuster? Also dinosaurs are always cool…