The 'Not-So-Critical' Critic:
on JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM (2018, 128 minutes, PG-13)
The Quick of It -
With the way this week for available reviews was shaping up, I thought we had a pair of weak sequels. I can now definitively say, never underestimate the power of dinosaurs, even in movies.
When I saw the first trailer, a kernel of doubt was planted. I was turned off with the idea of destroying the main setting all the fun takes place. I was turned off with the idea of having dinosaurs on the mainland. I was turned off with the idea of seeing much of the same, trite storylines pushed out as worthy projects. Well, I was cheated of my preparatory one-liners. Clever titles like JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN TURD were stripped away.
Four years following the tragic shutdown of the park on Isla Nublar, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) are asked to aid in saving several species before the island is destroyed by the highly-active and ready to erupt volcano. JW2 is ‘not’ surprisingly the same sequences and bad decisions we’ve come to love from the other films. They get twisted up a little, but no denying the similarities. I fell for each one, embracing the glory of dinosaurs and the stupid bad guys.
The behind-the-camera essentials are unquestionably crucial to this successful addition. Director J.A. Bayona shows he did his homework. The shot arrangements and overall tone is spot-on. I could almost say he apprenticed under Spielberg. With the original writers behind the screenplay, Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow, also helps. They continue to prove their valued contribution to the Jurassic Universe. Mad props also goes out to this generation’s John Williams, Michael Giacchino. He is behind the scores of STAR TREK, ROGUE ONE, SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING, DOCTOR STRANGE, WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, etc… Impressive.
As I sat there, JW2 put me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. I laughed. I cried. And, in the end, I conceded my original opinion as unfairly dismissal. Watching helpless (fake) dinosaurs hits you right in the feels.