"I take orders from the Octoboss."

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

This is weird, there’s a JURASSIC PARK sequel that came out 2 1/2 months ago and I didn’t get around to seeing it until this weekend, when it’s down to two showings a day. I think I saw all the other ones opening day or weekend. But maybe it was a smart move on this one because it benefits from the lowered expectations of everyone telling me it was trash.

In JURASSIC WORLD, you remember, they reopened the dinosaur park and the dinosaurs reattacked the new park and there was a new guy named Owen Grady (Chris Pratt, WEINERS) who was real macho and always trying to show off the size of his forearms. And he trains raptors and has a contentious bickery love with an uptight lady who works at the park named Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard, TERMINATOR SALVATION).

In FALLEN KINGDOM, the dinos are still loose on abandoned Isla Nubar, where a volcano is about to erupt. Claire is now a dinosaur rights activist trying to convince the government to act to save these endangered dinosaurs. She’s contacted by Eli Mills (Rafe Spall, GREEN STREET HOOLIGANS), who runs the estate of John Hammond’s dying partner Lockwood (James Cromwell, SPECIES II; also played Howard’s father in SPIDER-MAN 3) and wants to fund the rescue mission. But he especially wants to find Blue, the most intelligent raptor, and knows that Owen is the only person who could track her.

Also along for the ride are two new dinosaur activist characters, Dr. Zia Rodriguez (Daniella Pineda, NEWLYWEDS) and Franklin Webb (Justice Smith, PAPER TOWNS). Zia calls herself a “paleo-veterinarian” and knows how to do a blood transfusion from a t-rex to a raptor even though this is her first time seeing dinosaurs. But it’s kinda cool to have a scientist character who’s a tough lady with hipster glasses and tattoos. Franklin is the computer expert but Smith, who is so cool as Books, the main character on the great Netflix show The Get Down, is not well-served by the comic relief of being nerdy and scared all the time. Though he does a pretty funny high pitched scream.

I still wish they called this THE LOST PARK: JURASSIC WORLD. And it does kind of rehash some of the ideas of THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK, with lead characters from the last one reluctantly returning to the park for a dinosaur rescue mission, and then when they get there there are a bunch of macho asshole hunter dicks driving around who don’t respect the animals at all and brutalize them and really want to take them for nefarious, capitalistic, extremely stupid purposes, and then they get loose on the mainland.

Also the title they went with is really misleading because I thought it was a new section of the park that’s themed after that Denzel Washington movie FALLEN. That’s what it sounds like, right? But it’s not.

Mills’s villainous scheme is to auction off the dinosaurs to international villains. That includes a new creation, the “Indoraptor,” which uses DNA from JURASSIC WORLD’s man-made species the Indomitus Rex and combines it with Blue’s raptor DNA, recommended for military applications. I guess that will be the thing now, they introduce a new fake dinosaur in each sequel. In my opinion they’ve been overhyping this prototype, though, because nobody should pay millions of dollars for the ultimate genetically engineered predator only to find that a couple people can repeatedly hide behind a statue without it hearing, smelling or sensing them, and then for it to chase after them and keep stumbling and just missing them. Like, it happens fifteen or more times within a 15 minute period. It gets outrun by a little girl. They’re supposed to use this thing in wars? This super-monster is a total lemon.

I seem to have liked JURASSIC WORLD more than most, but I don’t remember it that well. I do recall complaints about Claire running around the island in heels. Trevorrow was accused of sexism but ironically it was Howard who insisted that was how her character felt most comfortable. The joke they make about it here is subtle: the first time we see her, the shot starts on her pumps. But on the island she wears boots. Sell out.

Last time I appreciated that Pratt was playing a type of masculinity that’s kind of out of fashion. Macho and covered in grease and always working on engines and shit. This time he’s introduced building himself a house and he has kind of an Indy/Marion contentious reunion with Claire, but for the most part is kind of generic action hero. I guess it’s cool that they give him the series’ first long-take-where-he-runs-across-a-room-punching-a-series-of-dudes. Reminded me of TEMPLE OF DOOM or something.

Ted Levine in THE MANGLER

Like JURASSIC WORLD, this was written by Derek Connolly & Colin Trevorrow, though Trevorrow did not direct because he was busy doing THE BOOK OF HENRY and the STAR WARS EPISODE XI that he would be fired from. Instead it’s directed by J.A. Bayona (THE ORPHANAGE, THE IMPOSSIBLE, A MONSTER CALLS). There are some well directed sequences, mostly in the first section of total dino mayhem as the mercenaries, led by not-even-trying-to-hide-that-he’s-evil Wheatley (Ted Levine, THE MANGLER, THE HILLS HAVE EYES) turn on the activists and the thunder lizards stampede away from natural disaster. Maybe the cleverest is when Owen has been shot by a tranquilizer dart and can barely move as a triceratops drags a big, super-detailed-cg tongue over his face. Then he WOLF OF WALL STREETs his almost-paralyzed body away from slow moving molten lava.

The most intense one is where Claire and Franklin drive the plexiglass bubble vehicle off a cliff into water and Owen heroically swims down and has to try a bunch of shit to get them out while dinosaurs and globs of hot lava drip from above.

But there’s an inordinate amount of the movie taking place at the Lockwood mansion, which does have an underground dinosaur cloning lab, but still feels a little dull and small time for a fuckin JURASSIC PARK movie. And I honestly have no idea if Lockwood is a character who was ever mentioned before. I assumed that he must’ve been in JURASSIC WORLD and I forgot about him, but apparently not.

As you’ve seen in the trailers, Jeff Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm returns for a brief guest appearance at a hearing basically gloating that he was right and the dinosaurs are super fucking dangerous and this is crazy man. And then another hearing that they have afterwards for him to reiterate the gloating. It’s kinda cool that he comes back but honestly not that cool because the last time we saw him in part 2 he was a fuckin rockstar who wears a leather jacket and sunglasses and people ask for his autograph on the subway because of his book about chaos theory. And/or his dinosaur encounter. Now he’s just an old guy.

There is one and only one way they could’ve knocked this scene out of the park, and that’s if during the testimony he turned to the spectators to make eye contact with his daughter Kelly (Vanessa Lee Chester, now 34) and she’s wearing an Olympic gold medal for gymnastics. None of the previous JURASSIC kids return, but there’s a subplot about Lockwood’s granddaughter Maisie (first timer Isabella Sermon). She’s arguably not as silly as the other kid characters in the series, but she’s the only one who’s kept separate from the heroes for most of the movie, so she seems gratuitous until they find her hiding in a vent like Newt.

I definitely gotta rank this as the stupidest of the JURASSIC PARK series, and my second least favorite after part three-claw-slashes. That said, there’s enough good pulpy stuff that I had a big dumb grin on my face on several occasions. The transparently evil villains make the eaten-off-the-toilet lawyer from part 1 seem subtle and true to life, but at least it makes it more fun when the dinosaurs get loose. I enjoyed motherfuckers getting pieces munched off and thrown around and particularly a scene (COOL PART SPOILER) where the guy with the thick skull runs around a room full of rich assholes ramming them and you can’t always see where he is but you see people flying out of the crowd like they’re being fired out of a cannon.

I didn’t so much enjoy the Ryan-Reynolds-meets-Dane-Cook smarminess of Mills, or Toby Jones (THE MIST), but Levine is always a good bad guy, and they go the extra mile by having him call Zia a “nasty woman,” so when he reaches his inevitable Death By Poor Decision (he SPOILER goes into the Indoraptor cage for a trophy tooth) we can imagine him wearing a MAGA hat. I noticed another dig at Trump during a news report about “the Isla Nubar Crisis.” The scroll says “U.S. President questions existence of dinosaurs in the first place.” We’re in a sad moment where it pulls you out of a movie if they refer to a president who sounds competent (see MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT). Here they go extra-extra-extra-extra sub-moronic to make it seem almost as dumb as something you saw the real one tweet while you were waiting for the movie to start.

Definitely my favorite thing about this movie is that there is now a continuing dinosaur character, and she’s shown the respect of two major action moments. I was very happy to see Blue get to jump away from an explosion, though it could’ve been better with slow motion. Thankfully she gets that treatment and then some in the SPOILER glorious Indoraptor coup de grace when they fall through glass together and spin around and the heavy is triple-impaled on a triceratops skull.

It’s fair to say that this is not at all worthy of the series started by Steven Spielberg. It’s also fair to say that it’s fun to watch extremely detailed digital dinosaurs chew people up and get involved in increasingly ridiculous situations. If you, like me, enjoy JAWS sequels, you may have the capacity to appreciate this one.

Miscellaneous SPOILER notes:

They keep drawing out a big reveal of who Maisie’s dead mother was, which had me scratching my head because who could it possibly be that would be relevant – the little girl from part 1? The little girl who gets attacked in the opening of part 2? Well, it turns out Maisie is actually a clone of Lockwood’s daughter who died too young. Which I suppose makes sense for this world, but the awkward way it comes out makes it seem laughable. Anyway, the way she climbs around the building maybe she was engineered for parkour.

The Indoraptor is trained so that you can signal it with a high pitched frequency to attack whatever you’re pointing a laser sight at. And then they’re trapped on a glass roof and Claire defeats it by intentionally targeting Owen and then he kind of matadors it to fall through the glass. Which was cool but why didn’t she think of just aiming the target in the distance? Wouldn’t that be a safer bet?

The delightfully ludicrous climax involves the moral decision of whether to let the dinosaurs die from a gas leak or just release them into human civilization. I thought it was really funny that this could be done by pressing a big red button that says something about “PRESS IN EMERGENCY.” Basically they have an emergency dinosaur release button!

So, I kinda loved the ending. Hey, you’re a clone, and you let the dinosaurs out, so you’re our daughter now. Let’s go for a drive. And I especially like that Owen tries to convince his BDF Blue to get in a cage and she considers it but decides nah. I imagine she’ll travel from town to town helping people like The Incredible Hulk.

And now they’ve set up a sequel that might owe a story credit to the Dinosaurs Attack! trading cards. They better go all the way on that one.

This entry was posted on Monday, August 6th, 2018 at 11:05 am and is filed under Monster, Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

47 Responses to “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”

  1. I would pay a premium admission fee to watch Blue goes the Hulk route. That’s outstanding, Vern.

  2. I frigging loved this one, for all the reasons you outlined. It’s probably my favorite of the JP sequels. My personal preference would be for there to be no sequels at all, but if we have to have them, stylishly-directed gonzo schlock is the way to go. I’m sure it’s a bad movie but I had so much fun with it I don’t care.

    Five out of five Goldblums, would get eaten again.

  3. I thought the part where the heroes got on that barge and looked back to see a brontosaurus plaintively wailing at the end of the pier and everyone had a “oh no, we left one behind” face and the dinosaur died was really hilarious.

    Also the amount of money the bad guy was doing all this for was way too small.

    Not as good as the last one, but I still laughed a lot. Dumb ass movie.

  4. Phillip:
    “I thought the part where the heroes got on that barge and looked back to see a brontosaurus plaintively wailing at the end of the pier and everyone had a “oh no, we left one behind” face and the dinosaur died was really hilarious.” I had tears streaming down my face. You MONSTER!

    Anyway, expectations were low, but for my money this was a huge improvement on JW1. The sheer audaciousness of some of its ideas: to save a raptor’s life we have to crawl into the T-Rex crate; the little girl finds out about a scary dinosaur and then discovers that it’s IN HER BASEMENT; the emergency “Save the dinos!” button…. I can only hope whoever makes the third takes such a gleeful approach to dinosaur shenanigans.

    Biggest complaint is that not until the fucking CODA of the second film do we finally see the promise of this trilogy’s name fulfilled. Nonetheless, all of those shots at the end (many of which were spoiled bye trailer) filled me with childlike joy, especially Blue descending into the quiet suburbs.

  5. Here’s how deeply I loathed JURASSIC WORLD: there’s a new sequel directed by someone not implicated in the previous debacle, and it’s described as a Old Dark House movie with Dinosaurs, and I STILL can’t muster any enthusiasm to see it. I don’t doubt that Vern is right and it’s a lot of fun, but I may not be a big enough man to forgive this franchise.


    I mean imagine if the next one opens as a domestic drama about a woman in that suburb and she acts happy but something is clearly wrong, and soon it becomes clear that her husband is abusive. Then Blue steps in to help. This could be some good shit.

  7. I think this one is ok, just ok, certainly not “trash” but certainly not even close to the standards of the original movie.

    My perspective on the Jurassic franchise is thus, the story was basically over after THE LOST WORLD, the dinosaurs get to live in peace and not be tourist attractions, the end. Which is why Michael Crichton never wrote a third novel, what more can you really do? Well as we see, if you force the story to go on things get pretty ridiculous.

    But that’s also what’s fun about the movies post TLW, it’s best to think of 3 and the WORLD movies as spinoffs, like a Saturday morning cartoon series or just a general “what if?’ deal, basically JP and TLW represent “continuity A” and the WORLD movies are “continuity B”, this makes it easier to forgive the movies’ flaws (why don’t Star Wars fans do the same thing for the sequel trilogy?) and just enjoy what’s fun about them, in particular I have a fondness for the characters of Owen and Claire, they’re somewhat thin characters but Pratt and Howard are likable actors and do a good job in making them compelling characters to follow on adventures.

    In fact I think that’s the real genius of the WORLD movies is finally giving us central protagonist characters that work, the original JP is very much an ensemble movie and the two times they tried to make Malcolm and Grant as central protagonists it never really worked as well as it should.

    Also, it’s important to understand how much JP means to me, JURASSIC PARK is literally the first movie I can remember seeing in theaters 25 years ago, it hits that nostalgic sweet spot for me the way STAR WARS does for most people, just the novelty of going to the theater, getting my popcorn and soda and sitting down to watch a new movie in the JP series was a much needed dose of nostalgic feeling, during the credits the theater actually had an employee dressed in a dinosaur costume come in and run around, posing for pictures, so I had a good time.

    I’m just such a sucker for this type of movie that I’m probably the world’s biggest fan of GODZILLA 2014 and KONG: SKULL ISLAND and even got some enjoyment from A SOUND OF THUNDER even though a big part of that enjoyment was laughing at how terrible the CGI is.

    However there are some things that bug me about FALLEN KINGDOM and I think number 1 is James Cromwell’s character Lockwood, it’s certainly feasible that Hammond could have had some business partner who hasn’t been mentioned before, but why is he a carbon copy of John Hammond himself? It’s confusing and weird, I kept waiting for the twist that he was a bad guy but no, he needed something to differentiate the character from Hammond, it feels like he was simply meant to BE John Hammond but they got cold feet about simply recasting the character with Cromwell and at the last moment changed him to someone new, but that doesn’t make sense either because Hammond was stated to be dead in JURASSIC WORLD, like I said, it’s confusing and weird.

    And the environment of Lockwood manor and how much of the movie takes place there, like Vern said it feels surprisingly small scale for a JP movie, though it is an interesting location in its own right, I enjoyed all the stuff with the Indoraptor, I also loved Giacchino’s new theme and that scene with the brontosaurus got me in the “feels”

    So overall like I said I thought the movie was ok, I’m definitely interested to see where they take it from here, I too was reminded of Dinosaurs Attack!

  8. The world building is completely farcical in this. Vern already covered the Indorsptor’s supposed abilities that get expositioned only to get ignored until it’s the right plot time. How about also how the Indoraptor is a raging barging maniac in the museum then when it’s time for a suspense sequence it starts slowly sneaking around vs savagely killing its prey? I’d add also that the dinosaurs at the end when all together and escaping act the exact opposite of how they acted when the volanco was popping off l? Why because the emotional mood of the scene is different or something.

    This movie totally relies on exploiting images and memories of the first JP (e.g the sad shot of the Dino left behind) which was legitimately great. The first movie also does a far far better job at establishing limits to the dinosaurs and the situations and not just flagrantly breaking them.

    This or JP3 was definitely the worst JP.

  9. I kinda liked the idea of doing a Jurassic Park movie mostly inside a house. I mean, that’s got to be the most anti-tentpole blockbuster way to approach something. Still, the movie I really want to see is the one they set up. I mean, if you have the idea of dinosaurs coming to the U.S., why bother making this movie first? Start with that and then Ian Malcolm is more involved because he warned us.

    Hell, even doing the actual story of Bryce turning dinosaur activist and Malcolm speaking out against it would be more of a movie. Imagine if it was just the Jurassic World political debate and they keep cutting back and forth between that and dinosaurs eating people.

    So yeah, it really left the best ideas on the table, but the volcano scene was fun and the dinosaur mansion part was different so I was fine with it.

  10. I forgot to add that there’s a weird line included in the auction that they should’ve cut about how the Indoraptor can either hear or smell things miles away…which they completely undercut shortly afterwards. There’s also some stuff implying the new raptor is a sociopath from its isolation and maybe can communicate (at least with Blue or similar Dino’s) which goes nowhere.

    This movie is just a giant “hey wouldn’t it be cool if we did this here?” Kid fantasy logic be damned. It’s aggressively stupid and/or obvious with all it’s story beats. (How Owen gets recruited is literally what I was thinking a lazy screenwriter could do to get him back involved.) at the risk of angering people, I’ve got a hunch that the kind of people that really like this movie, I’d just not get along with—similar to how I’m not likely to personally get along with Trump voters. It definitely seems like there’s a type of moviegoer that just liked this movie in a way beyond what other monster movies e.g. Kong get.

  11. This movie made me so angry, for no really good reason. It is such a steaming piece of unimaginative horseshit. The plot is basically a meld of Jurassic World and JP Lost World. The bad guy is the same, the plot is a rehash. And basically the movie has become such a parody of itself that the dinosaurs are actually the good guys, eating the scenery chewing bad guys, always swooping in at the last minute to save the day. There is a scene where Pratt is getting ready to leave the group on the island for some nonsensical reason and he shrugs and tells Bryce Dallas Howard “I’ll be fine.” That is what sucks about these movies now. The Dinosaurs aren’t scary, the heroes never feel like they are in any danger whatsoever. I feel like these movies are falling into the rut that Friday the 13th/Nightmare on Elm Street and other slashers fell into. The big bad guy is so familiar that he almost becomes the hero. The job is to make the antagonists so despicable that you root for them to get killed. Admit it, most Friday the 13th fans are rooting for Jason, not the campers.

    As for the ending, I think I would like a sequel where dinosaurs are just a way of life. Like people who live in California have to worry about coyotes and mountain lions, people in Florida have to keep an eye out for Gators. Now people have to be careful when they let their dogs out at night that they don’t get eaten by swarming compys, raptors or pterodactyls. “Marge, a raptor got in the garbage last night.”

  12. The next movie needs to start with Ian Malcolm, boarding a plane to Europe, constantly telling the people around him with variations of “I told you so!”

    Then the movie is about Blue, living a peaceful life as friendly raptor somewhere in the woods. Every once in a while she leaves her home to visit the small town nearby, where citizens have accepted her as some kind of mascot. (They still have a healthy amount of respect for that dangerous predator, but know that if they don’t do anything that make her feel threatened, she won’t attack.)

    One day a bunch of not-so-nice dinosaurs shows up in the small town and Blue has to return to a life of violence predatory, to protect the innocent. *cue RAMBO & JURASSIC PARK themes mash-up*

  13. “I definitely gotta rank this as the stupidest of the JURASSIC PARK series …”

    Even stupider than “Alan!”


  14. I’m with Mr. S on this one. JURASSIC WORLD joins SKYFALL in the ranks of series installments so toxic they salted the earth so that nothing may grow there again until the entire site is nuked from orbit. Trevorrow’s toothless storytelling and self-flagellating nostalgia are bad enough, but perhaps they could be counterbalanced by a smart filmmaker with a good eye for set-pieces, but then there’s the “characters” Trevorrow left that poor bastard with. I’m not going anywhere near this franchise as long as John Spartan For Hilarious Outdated Sexism and Clueless Feminist From A Hustler Comic are still in it. With their gormless banter and forced chemistry based entirely on sexual harassment, they’re like Nick and Nora Charles for incels. No more money for this creative team until they sit in a corner and think about what they’ve done.

  15. Jurassic World 1: Jurasic Park 4 was so bad that I didn’t have much of a desire to see the sequel. Like Majestyk says, the characters sucked, and it made me think that Pratt can’t do much outside of loveable goofball.

    But there were moments where that film was stupid good, by which I mean so stupid that I kind of enjoyed it. High on that list would be Blue. Having a semi-domesticated raptor is the kind of idea a four year old might come up with while playing with his action figures. I’m glad to see that the latest doubles down on this sort of idiocy.

  16. I don’t know why I give Jurassic World 1 such a pass, because it is God awful stupid as well. But I enjoyed it a lot, and at least it was a teensy bit original and seemed to have a touch of a mean spirit that scary movies need.

    This new one is so bad and such a rip-off of The Lost World, in particular, that it made me angry. It is so lazy. Although I have to admit, if someone put a gun to my head and made me pitch a new Jurassic movie, I would no way be able to come up with a single idea.

    I do think the director has a good action movie in him, though. There are a lot of great action scenes in this, especially the very first one.

    Also, I read an interview with the director and I guess the sad Brontosaurus who gets smoked and left behind on the dock is supposed to be the same dinosaur from the first Jurassic Park that they see (the very first dinosaur).

  17. of course it was because never mind the gymnastics necesssary for that to be plausible, let’s just throw some imagery that people have a connection with against the wall with minimal explanation or effort to earn the emotional payoff because that’s all this movie was. They did the exact thing with the clone payoff. Btw I’m surprised nobody is ragging on the cgi. Imo it was even worse and more fake than JURASSIC WORLD. It’s clearly blue screened and there’s very little of the Spielberg tricks like the paw imprint, the water quaking, etc that made the first one feel more lived in and grounded in a reality.

    God, I hated this movie. I think all the JW haters will either hate this more (I thought JW was ok) or they’ll love this like how people love TROLL 2.

    I also beg to differ on the great action set pieces remarks. I think when people see this again on a smaller screen they’ll realize all the issues with most of those scenes.

  18. The thing about JURASSIC WORLD PT 1 is that it’s not actually a Jurassic Park movie, it’s a PG-13 Paul Verhoeven movie. There are tons of pieces of evidence for this in the film, but probably my favorite example is this scene.

    Vincent D’Onofrio struts into the control room to pitch an idea to the guy who owns the theme park. Vince is clearly very proud of his idea (he says it could have won the war in Iraq earlier!). He wants to let a bunch of raptors loose on an island with 20,000 people so they can find this iRex or whatever. Boss man rejects the idea at first, but is then convinced to give it some thought. He says something like, “I will look over your proposal in order to determine if it is consistent with the company’s ethical standards.” He’s got to find out if letting a pack of 8 foot tall murdering lizards run around the island is consistent with his firm’s –“progressive”, it goes without saying– values. As he says this the male comic relief guy sarcastically frowns and nods in the background.

    The movie has tons of shit like this, either tech VC assholes or defense department style psychos neither of whom have any idea what they’re doing screwing things up every step of the way and generally talking like lunatics. In this movie failure is not because life found a way to stymie otherwise competent human planning. It’s because the people are completely irresponsible thoughtless maniacs.

  19. This movie was utter shit. Utter shit. Rarely do I have nothing constructive to say about a film, but here we are…

    I guess I liked the bit where the paleo-veterinarian explains that Blue’s blood is worthless for extraction because she filled the Dino up with T-Rex blood.

    This should have been so much more fun. Uhh… the final monologue was good, too?

  20. Even dumber than the brain dead and awful JURASSIC PARK IV: JURASSIC WORLD which is saying something. I like the ‘idea’ of a Haunted House/RESIDENT EVIL* movie with dinosaurs though, it’s like a cheap DTV sequel idea that somehow made it into an actual multi-million dollar theatrical release with a huge summer release. Also a velociraptor gets a few badass action beats so that’s kinda funny… There’s a cool and sad shot of Isla Nublar going down like Skull Island in SON OF KONG…

    Other than that: abstain

    Alt-opinion: my youngest nephew loved it and cried at the end when *SPOILER* Blue left. Blue might be the action hero we need after all.

    *Gamers call that DINO-CRISIS btw

  21. After binge-watching both series this summer, I’m going to admit the unthinkable – the Jaws Series is totally better than the Jurassic Park series.

    1) JP1 is great but c’mon, Jaws 1 is a Top 10 all-timer, it’s no contest.
    2) Jaws 2 may not be a classic, but it’s full of iconic images and beats and has a knockout Roy Scheider performance. Any of the JPs would be lucky to be this good.
    3) JP3 and JW aren’t “bad” I guess, just boring and aggressively mediocre. The Lost World and Fallen Kingdom both made me physically angry, whereas the only Jaws I didn’t like was 3, which was still a blast to watch on 3D Blu Ray.
    4) The much maligned Jaws: The Revenge has better character development, acting, and more heart than either Jurassic World movie. It also has a better score and it’s like 45 minutes shorter.

    Anyways, Fallen Kingdom isn’t as mean-spirited or shapeless as Lost World, but it’s just as rote and uninvolving, with the added detriment of also being obvious and predictable since it’s also a soft reboot (of a sequel nobody liked!) It’s cynical 2018 filmmaking via committee, with another sequel-baiting ending and special care to hit all those demographics they missed last time while not actually giving anyone a character to play. There’s no joy, wonder, thrills, humor – it’s a movie made to be half-watched out of the corner of your eye while you play on your phone or surf the web. I can’t believe how far this series has fallen.

  22. I saw this one yesterday and it’s now my 2nd favourite of the series, dethroning part 3.

    Yes, it’s even by the standards of this franchise stupid, STUPID as fuck, written by aliens who have no idea how real people act and react*, but god dammit, this is now gonna be my new go-to example for how the right director can elevate a shitty script into something cool. (The previous one was the Bruce Willis joint HOSTAGE. Damn, I thought Florent Siri would’ve been a bigger name at this point.)

    The dinosaur scenes were fun and inventive and more than once the build-up was actually scary. I wouldn’t call J.A. Bayona a director with horror experience (because THE ORPHANAGE was one of those early examples of a drama being labelled as horror, because it has a supernatural element, although it’s more sad than scary), but this motherfucker knows how to build the suspense of an incoming dino attack!

    Part 1 will forever be a masterpiece in blockbuster filmmaking, but I love it when the sequels try to do something on their own. Like when part 3 just said “Fuck the sense of wonder, we already had two movies of people being super excited about dinos, let’s just throw them into one crazy adventure after the next”. Can we now FINALLY use the John Sayles dinos-with-machine-guns script?

    *Am I the only one who laughed when the villains got REALLY excited that their auction of living, breathing dinosaurs made less money than the budget of SPIDER-MAN 3?

  23. grimgrinningchris

    March 12th, 2019 at 7:50 am

    Screw Spider-Man3… the auction made less money than it cost to design and build the Jurassic Park rides at Universal Hollywood and Orlando- and most of their dinos aren’t even fully animatronic, just pneumatic, like The Jungle Cruise.

    There was the whole scene with Pall and Jones with Spall explaining the auction was only to raise enough for seed money for further research. It’s like they shot the auction first and realized “Heeeeey, isn’t this money kind of small potatoes for what had t have been spent just to GET these dinosaurs… we better write in some sort of stupid explanation and plug it in earlier in the movie.

    Also, Toby Jones has never looked more like Paul Williams than he did in this movie.

  24. As I’m sure you’ve all noticed by now, I am a total fucking hypocrite, so I buckled under the queasy allure of potentially hilarious dinosaur carnage and watched the sequel to the worst movie of whatever the fuck year that was. And goddamnit, I kind of liked it. These characters are utter frauds and the setup might be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard in my life, but it’s an honest kind of dumb. It’s not pretending that its dumbness is actually smartness in disguise like its self-loathing predecessor. It just throws out “A rich guy’s employee builds a secret dinosaur jail in the rich guy’s house without the rich guy noticing” like that’s a premise that makes sense. (DINO HOARDERS: Coming this fall to A&E…) And it kind of works. We’ve seen dinosaurs stomping through the jungle in all the sequels, and the perfunctory nature of the action on the island in this one proves that there’s no mileage left in that. So they decide to go a different way and make a whole movie out of the kitchen scene from the first one in order to play up the suspense. And somehow it, well, I won’t say it *works*, per se, because there’s never a single moment of actual danger, but it’s fairly consistently entertaining. It’s all SO dumb that there’s no point in nitpicking any one area of dumbness. It’s a comforting blanket of dumbness that encourages you to relax and just let it wash over you. Sure, there are questions. Why should anyone take these creatures seriously as threats when like 20 assholes rounded up a whole island of them in like a day? Why should we be concerned about the spread of dinosaurs when there seem to be no mating pairs and thus they’ll all be dead in a generation anyway? How is a monster who has to run across a room to kill a guy with a laser pointer aimed at him more effective than a bullet fired from a gun with a laser pointer on it? And aren’t dinosaurs made of meat and thus vulnerable to, you know, weapons? Like, we have missiles that destroy tanks. I’m pretty sure one of those would reduce a T-Rex to a pink cloud. Put these things on a modern battlefield and they won’t last five minutes. On that same note, how much more effective would an Indoraptor (side note: Snoop should start calling himself this) be in a combat situation than a squad of dudes with assault rifles or any number of currently existenting military assets? In a world where drone warfare exists, I really don’t see this thing as much of a game changer.

    None of this adds up for a second, but at least Jake Johnson isn’t there blowing smoke up my ass about ass about how in on the joke the movie is. If you’re gonna be dumb, own it.

    Still, I have no idea why these movies are so terrified of exploiting their own premises. The first one was sold on the premise of the dinosaurs getting loose in the park while it’s operational and then devoted one scene to that idea. (The news footage of that one laughable pterodactyl attack shows how puny and low rent that aspect of JW was.) This one wants to be about finally getting the dinos off the island but then it just locks them in yet another secret lab for the whole movie so they might as well have stayed there. They seem to be setting up a full scale dinosaur integration for the third one but no doubt they’ll find some way to isolate them all in one location for most of the next movie. Maybe an abandoned amusement park. Hey, has anybody thought of that?

  25. I learned to love this as a big budget DTV sequel.

  26. Majestyk, I would never dare accuse you or anyone else on this site of hypocrisy (Lord knows, i like movies I empirically should hate, and hate movies I should love, every single day). But I don’t understand how you of all people gave this one a pass – especially since you give us like 20 more reasons to hate this movie! (Let’s add to the list – they give the movie’s “oooh ahh, I’ve never seen a dinosaur before!” moment to Zia, the one character who went to school for and now is an actual dinosaur veterinarian. How she got this degree while never seeing a dinosaur, WHILE THE PARK WAS STILL FUNCTIONAL AND AROUND LONG ENOUGH TO BE OLD HAT AND FOR KIDS TO BE BORED BY IT, is some Lori Loughlin college-scandal shit.)

    I think what you’re saying is this movie is so stupid it almost reaches giddy delightfulness, which I feel about a lot of movies, but I’d argue this movie totally thinks it’s smart. It thinks that the twist with the clone is some deep and profound “What is life?” Black Mirror shit. It thinks that nonsense with the laser pointer being the Indoraptor’s downfall is some Shane Black-ian setup-and-payoff. It thinks it’s ending is a big Escape from NY/LA button-pushing world-ending game-changer when in reality it’s like 7 dinosaurs on the loose, whoopty-do. If any of this was thrilling or exciting I could give it a pass – when the abominable Transformers movies are on TV, I’ll totally stop and watch the spectacle of the action sequences. There’s not a single sequence here that I’d rewatch (maybe the faux-one take in the underwater ball thing). You’re right that the entire last third of this movie is a riff on the “kitchen” sequence in the first one, except not as good. Why would anyone want that? Forget the miracle of “life finds a way”, this movie finds a way to make a scene of a paralyzed dude scooting away from lava not exciting and not funny. That’s downright miraculous right there.

    I think everyone’s least favorite part of the last one was D’onofrio’s evil military guy – so of course they triple-down by giving us three mustache-twirling evil humans that we supposedly can’t wait to get theirs, but they’re not fun or interesting – waiting for them to get eventually eaten is like watching paint dry. Speaking of shitty new characters, if you’re going to fill out the demographic gaps from the last one by putting in a young white girl instead of young white boys, and a Spicy Latina and a black guy, and you HAVE to make the black guy’s one trait “He’s scared, kinda like Kevin Hart”, then I dunno, make his catchphrase scream actually funny or something. Just a thought. (Yes, I’m totally for diversity in movies but not when these characters suck. I can’t wait for the next one’s gay character who gets hyped up in interviews and causes a bit of controversy and then turns out to have no evidence of being gay, a la Sulu in Star Trek Beyond and Pansexual Lando in Solo).

    I forgot to mention in my earlier non-review how bland and unlikable Howard and Pratt are. These are two actors I’ve liked in many, many things, but there’s no soul in their performances, which is a deadly combination when they’re not given any characters to play. I won’t put the blame at any of their feet – the buck certainly doesn’t stop with two actors in a movie like this, but if you made the exact same dumb movie with the exact same dumb plot and CGI-d out the two leads and replaced them with….anyone, don’t you agree the movie would be better? Anna Kendrick? Blake Lively? A Hemsworth? I just saw in the other thread your dislike of Oscar Isaac but c’mon, he’d be able to create a character more interesting than Pratt’s “lunk of wood that’s supposed to be charming somehow”. Anyway, I’m ranting too much – this movie is terrible and retroactively made me change my mind from “man, people are too hard on Colin Trevorrow” to “Colin Trevorrow shouldn’t be allowed to write anymore”.

  27. What can I say? It surprised the hell out of me too. I expected to come on here with a tirade but I ended up having a decent time. I suppose expectations had something to do with that. I expected this one to be a turd and it just barely cleared that low bar, while I expected JURASSIC WORLD to be a watchable movie made by professionals who knew what they were doing and it forfeited the match without even trying.

    I think the difference is that FALLEN KINGDOM (what a dumb name for a movie that dispatches with that element of its story at like the 45-minute mark) are some set-pieces that deliver, that put you in the moment, and ideas that are ludicrous and not just bad. JURASSIC WORLD has none. Zero. It’s just as badly written and acted and conceived as FALLEN KINGDOM but with absolutely no directorial flair of any kind and a smug hipster attitude toward itself that drove me nuts. That pushes FK just over the line from insulting-bad to fun-bad.

    I also didn’t pay to see it in the theater, which always makes me a little easier on a movie. I didn’t have to put real pants on to watch it, so it owes me less.

  28. Say what you want about the stereotypical black nerd character, but the biggest (intentional) laugh in this movie was the running gag about him constantly getting mistaken for a random henchman of a different profession, culminating in a long stretch where we don’t see him at all, but when he returns to the movie, he has a completely different “job” than when we saw him the last time. Just the thought of him spending the last day or so trying to get away from all that shit, only to constantly Hey-you-take-this-and-come-with-me’d, makes me chuckle. One more day and he probably would run the whole criminal organisation by accident.

  29. I knew somebody would find Troll 2 level enjoyment out of this. Congrats, Mr. M.

    Just tell me how you managed to love those Indo Raptor setpieces. Because there’s no set up or real logic to any of them. Was it like just going along for the ride in some Michael Bay visual setpiece porn (which I’ll admit I sometimes enjoy)? Because this movie still kinda pisses me off whenever I think about it.

  30. LOVE is a strong word. I loved nothing about the movie. It’s not good enough or bad enough to merit that level of emotion. But the Indoraptor set-pieces had a more traditional horror/monster vibe, which I appreciate, particularly the part in the kid’s bedroom, which had a self-conscious, on-the-nose fairytale quality that I enjoyed despite (because of?) how much of a reach it was. I also thought the Indoraptor itself was a much better design than any of the fake dinosaurs/merchandising opportunities this series has trotted out so far. If that sounds like faint praise, well, it is.

  31. I’m genuinely surprised how many reviews of this movie gave serious praise to Daniella Pineda’s character, Zia Rodriguez, the “paleo-veterinarian” who’s never seen a living dinosaur in her life, let alone treated one for so much as a cold. She’s beyond insufferable, smug in everything she says and does, with that distinct too-hipster-to-BE-a-hipster look and personality.

  32. I laughed very hard when she told Ted Levine “I can take care of myself”, five minutes after she randomly jumped out of a secure vehicle into a very unsafe area despite being repeatedly warned to stay inside, just because watching a dinosaur through a window wasn’t good enough for her.

  33. So Colin Tomorrow dropped some JURASSIC’S WORLD 2.5.short film thing on youtube today. Prior to this I didn’t even know they were considering a 6th JP movie. Didn’t this one just come an go? I literally know not one person who actually saw it.

  34. Well, it made 1.3 Billion Dollar worldwide and is the 2nd most successful of the whole series, even if it might be the least liked one. Still, I don’t think they have a reason to discontinue the series. At least not from a financial POV.

  35. It’s one of those films that was shrugged to a Billing Dollars

  36. Over 1 billion for a movie people don’t even talk about? DAMN!!! times HAVE changed. You’re right though CJ numbers don’t lie. At this rate I also expect a 7th movie announcement (JURASSIC UNIVERSE?) in addition to JURASSIC WORLD TOUR going into production.

  37. So I just spent 8 minutes watching the new Jurassic World thing. It’s fine, I guess – more par-for-the-course “dinos trying to eat humans but can’t fit their heads into tight spaces” shit like we’ve seen in every single Jurassic Park movie, but I guess the kids these days aren’t as bored of this shit as much as I am. It’s at least better than those unwatchable Alien shorts that I never made it through.

    *SPOILERS* And I like how Trevorrow and co. still can’t bring anyone to actually die from these loose dinos since you know, we don’t want to pin any deaths on that clone kid from the last one. Also like how the short is woke as fuck by revolving around an adorable multicultural family, but then the climax argues that your kid stealing your neighbor’s firearm (that he taught her how to use in secret) is ultimately a good thing. Very fine movie audiences on both sides.

  38. Oh neal and here I had blocked those Alien universe shorts from my brain.

    I’ll just carry on with my delusion that nothing exists beyond ALIEN RESURRECTION. Even though admittedly I’d eventually check out PROMETHEUS III: THE SORCERER just for the fuckery if it ever got the greenlight.

  39. Since we did the JAWS series, my nephew and I are now going through the JURASSIC PARKs. I’m dreading re-watching WORLD…

  40. I still don’t see the problem with Jurrasic World. It’s fine.


  42. So, JURASSIC WORLD: DINO DRIFT is once again content, like it’s predecessors to re-fry beans served on JURASSIC PARK & LOST WORLD about 25 years ago. Once again, there’s an Evil Corporate Entity, BioSyn which replaces InGen and out to exploit Dino DNA for maximum moolah and why the hell not? If you can rebrand Skynet to Genisys and then Legion, why can’t rapacious million dollar corporations engaged in exploitation and corruption get a makeover?

    It’s content to coast by on Nostalgia, rightly predicting audience affection for Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler and Ian Malcolm but then also mistakenly presumes we give an equal shit for those supporting characters from JURASSIC WORLD 1 & 2 (the French dude working with Pratt in Part 1, the geeky tech nerd and the paleo vet something something who looks like Velma from Scooby Doo from Part 2).

    It’s also crammed full of stomping, rampaging dinos of every conceivable shape and size to detract from a scattershot script that doesn’t know what the fuck it wants to be (Dinos disrupting the current Eco System thanks to one of the Stupidest Decisions ever taken on screen by a deeply Stupid Kid at the end of FALLEN KINGDOM? Killer Bio-Engineered Locusts? A rescue thriller?).

    I’ll give DOMINION props on one thing though: An insane, exhilarating, bat-shit action sequence that could have come out of BOND or MI, but with more dinosaurs.

    Unfortunately, it’s placed right at the middle of the film, giving the narrative an adrenaline surge which the rest of the movie struggles to maintain as it limps forlornly to a damp squib of an ending.

    Neill, Dern and Goldblum are the only bright sparks here, valiantly injecting wit and humor in every scene, most likely thankful for both the paycheck and a script which thankfully didn’t LAST JEDI them into insulting irrelevance. This is a blessing especially since Bryce Howard continues to horrendously over-act and even Pratt’s naturally effusive charm is strangely muted here.

    DOMINION bridges JURASSICs PARK & WORLD, making it the X-MEN:DAYS OF FUTURE PAST of the franchise, with about a tenth of the depth or intelligence.

    Oh yeah, and this shit is 2 and a half hours long

  43. Doesn’t even seem to be a controversial opinion. So far I haven’t seen anybody say something good about that movie.

  44. Even a couple of the “aw shucks mister, I sure did like that neato film you just invited me to, please invite me to your next screening sir, oh please, oh please!” YouTube critics who turn up in my feed don’t have much good to say about it. Although I guess they’re probably not so worried about being invited to Universal films at the moment…

    Still going to see it mind!

  45. Let’s be honest. We are all going to see it sooner or later.

  46. Until they make CARNOSAUR: REDEMPTION we don’t have much choice.

  47. Four years and change later after it came out, I overcame my hatred of Jurassic World and watched Fallen World.
    It’s all right – lowered expectations and everything, I liked it well enough despite it being as dumb as anything I’ve seen this year. I mean, barely anything in the script works, but it gives material to a very talented director and technical teams to work with and they do wonders with it. Like Godzilla – King of Monsters, it makes a lot of its action very pretty as well as cool.
    The volcano escape sequence was grand, and like Vern I adored the raptor jumping and running away from the explosion; as far as I could tell, he did not look back. The only good sense the script shows is that after a short introduction it’s mostly there to set up and facilitate (very dumb) action and chase sequences.

    What really pisses me off these new movies is that they still try to crowbar in these GM mutant dinosaurs in there and act as if they’re important… and they end up being indistinguishable from any of the other dinosaurs (in fact, they get their asses whupped by standard model dinos.) Aren’t normal dinosaurs enough for your dinosaur movie, Colin? Least you could do if you really thought that was to make them proper interesting – give them jetpacks and mounted missile launchers, not this half-assed ‘but they’re tougher!’ bullshit.

    Maybe I’ll watch Dominion in four years… though Trevorrow is back at the helm, so there’s literally nothing tempting me to see it except dinosaurs and the original cast. Is it really that much better than the first JW, for it to have a scene that’s comparable to MI? I literally did not find a single thing to like in the first one.

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