It has been three years since we re-entered the narrative of Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park franchise with Jurassic World, a new and updated version focusing on a futuristic park that highlighted everyone’s hunger to witness these historic dinosaurs once again. And here we are, discussing another one.
Of course, people were sceptical about the return of a much-adored franchise. Some, like myself, enjoyed the thrill of yet another ride through the park; others not so much due to a certain opinion that Hollywood is more interested in creating bigger-than-big sequels in order to rack in the dollar than making the franchise as iconic as it was 25-years-ago. *inserts eye-rolling emoji*. I’d argue that this new age of dinosaurs in the film industry isn’t primarily a sequel as such, but more of a continuation of a story that can survive the modern days of cinema. And just to look at the facts, Jurassic World, directed by Colin Trevorrow, earned $1.672 billion worldwide at the box office, making it one of 2015’s most successful films.
The second film in the Jurassic World franchise, Fallen Kingdom is a spectacle in many ways – it’s a hell of a lot darker, more cynical and incorporates some light horror to the narrative. While those few small adjectives may allow you to think this film separates it from the original Jurassic Park you are wrong. One of the main aspects of the film that make it feel alike to the 1993 classic was its score, composed by Michael Giacchino – who had previously scored Jurassic World, and the video games Warpath: Jurassic Park and The Lost World Jurassic Park.
With a rating of 66% on Rotten Tomato’s – whose critic consensus describe the film as having “genuinely thrilling moments [that] are in increasingly short supply”- there appears to be a pattern of negative and arguably unfair reviews about Fallen Kingdom, or simply put that the film is like marmite, you’ll either love it or hate it.
Below are some thoughts on the second instalment in the franchise:
David Ehrlich (via Twitter): “FALLEN KINGDOM makes Jurassic World look like Jurassic Park… a tedious, infuriating, and braindead ordeal that knowingly epitomizes so much of what’s wrong with modern blockbusters. Please for the love of god put this franchise out of my misery and kill the dinosaurs already.”
David Crow (Den of Geek): “Whereas ‘Jurassic World’ coasted by as a breezy summer entertainment… ‘Fallen Kingdom’ is forced to grasp at the evermore ludicrous rationalizations of a billion-dollar franchise wringing money out of an intellectual property that probably should have only ever been a one-off.”
Eric Kohn (Indiewire): “Fallen Kingdom’ is at its worst when attempting topicality… or when beefing up its crass plot. The invention of souped-up dinosaurs feels like half an idea, much like it did the last time around.”
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion (obviously) and whilst there are still some pretty great things said regarding the film, I feel some people have seen a whole different movie. Fallen Kingdom embodies everything that is right in a modern take on the Jurassic Park franchise, and while a small fraction of the film comes across a bit farfetched and out-of-place, the film includes a ton of action, stunning cinematography and acting that has since been excelled since Jurassic World – aka, Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard return with chemistry that has evolved and is a thousand times better than something you’d see in any other sequel (e.g. not a sequel but the entire 50 Shades trilogy…seriously though Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, what happened?).
All that said, Fallen Kingdom, in terms of narrative and visuals, is pleasing to a point you will not be disappointed. Director J.A. Bayona (A Monster Calls) deserves a round of applause for bringing to life a film that continues to make a franchise relevant in an era of never-ending superhero flicks.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom hits theatres June 22nd in the US and is out now in the UK.