Many, many moon ago, I saw the original Jurassic Park in theaters with my dad. It was nothing short of a religious experience. The flashing lights, the roaring and screeching sounds, the visuals of dinosaurs in a tropical setting: it all combined into a movie deserving of recognition and admiration.
From there, Jurassic Park inspired me to read the book by Michael Crichton, an impressive feat done in three days by my younger self. For as good and impressive as the movie was, the book was even better. Muldoon was a badass taking out raptor nests, Dr. Hammond got eaten by the little compsognathus (compy) dinosaurs, and the death scenes described in the book were eye-wideningly descriptive, reading them as a youth.
By the time The Lost World: Jurassic Park came out in theaters, I had already read the book, along with just about every other Michael Crichton novel at the time. It was good. Both had kept the spirit of the originals, though they weren’t as good as them.
And when Jurassic Park 3 had come out, I had lost my fervor for the franchise. The reliance on CGI seemed to have overshadowed the practical effects and even the dinosaurs themselves.
So I passed on Jurassic World when it hit theaters 3 years ago. Sure, everyone was talking about how great it was, how it was the worthy sequel we deserved, but I didn’t care. Michael Crichton was already dead and this film seemed like a cash-grab by Steven Spielberg's Amblin studio.
I saw it after it had been released on home, jacking it from one of those chinese streaming sites. So safe.
It was good. Very entertaining and felt like what I had wanted all along. While the characters didn’t stick out like Dr. Grant or Ian Malcom, Chris Pratt’s raptor wrangler character was what Muldoon should have been in the first movie.
Now don’t get me too wrong, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a decent movie. It has action, plenty of tense scenes, and the settings, while maybe over-utilized in the third act, are certainly interesting. I mean dinosaurs in Northern California? Sign me up to cosplay as Muldoon in my own backwoods.
But those aren’t the problems with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. The problems lie in its formulaic bad guys, shoddy CGI, and placing much of the action within the stale halls of a mansion.
But while there was some of that, the rest felt kind of flat. It even had the stank of #NeverTrump/#Resist peppered in. From the villains being white men of fatherly and grandfatherly age, the constant pounding against God-blessed capitalism, and to doing the right thing by making a child do it, this film felt like it went through a Hollywood checklist of popular lefty feels.
Most of the dinosaurs looked flat. The only two that stood out were the stars of Jurassic World, the raptor, Blue, and the t-rex, Rexy (yes, that is her name).
They always look good, and this time they get to fight another asshole hybrid dinosaur, named the Indoraptor this time. Why do these two always got to clean up everyone else’s genetic messes?
The last hour of this movie is dragged out. They could have a gone a really cool direction with it, utilizing the locale, but they played it safe. They kept it in and around the boring-ass mansion…
“Wow, what a great idea! Instead of bringing dinosaurs into urban environments, stalking people on the streets of San Francisco or something, let’s just have them fuck around this mansion for next hour!” - The producers of this film.
Yup, they dropped the dino-ball big time. The Lost World at least had the balls to bring Rexy into the mean streets of San Diego, so why couldn’t this film let the Indoraptor go on a few month tear through the lovely setting of Northern California? It upset me greatly. More than a movie should. But that’s what I do, I allow movies to hold power over my emotions.
The first hour and half of this movie is good. Great at times, with a couple callbacks to the first movie, including a car Rexy had once been intimate with. It's the last hour that I have a problem about.
Rating: 2 Garbage Can out of 4. It’s not a horrible movie, just a disappointing one. Wasted potential, cookie-cutter dinosaurs, and flat characters sums up why this movie got the score it did.
The action that takes place on the island is the best part, and should have taken up most of the movie. But they fucked it up by placing too much of an emphasis on the gene splicing and black-market trading.
I can see that shit on just about any summer movie, I just wanted classic, Jurassic Park dinosaurs roaming our urban jungles here.
Instead, I had to watch 2 hours of movie, just to learn that James Cromwell’s granddaughter is a clone of his daughter. Sorry, spoiler there.