As a fan of “Jurassic Park” which took the world by storm 25 years ago, I was both excited and apprehensive when the first “Jurassic World” came to the silver screen in 2015. We all know how sequels and reboots usually fare, cases in point being the two disappointments that followed Steven Spielberg’s original 1993 masterpiece featuring these magnificent “de-extinct” beasts.
However the first Jurassic World proved to be quite a pleasant surprise, and my hopes were high for its sequel, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”, which hit theatres last month.
Did it meet those expectations? … Partly.
The whole film is wildly entertaining, interspersed with thrilling action-packed sequences and, of course, the fight for survival amidst dinosaurs running amok which, ultimately, is the core appeal of the Jurassic series. The saga has come a long way from the incredible animatronic dinosaurs used in the original Jurassic Park, to the state-of-the-art CGI of today – and the visuals continue to impress with each new ‘monster’ to behold.
Similar to the first Jurassic World, Fallen Kingdom also has throwbacks to the original Jurassic Park. From poignant versions of the saga’s iconic theme music, to events that draw parallels with unforgettable moments from past films, Fallen Kingdom manages to lure viewers into nostalgia whether it be in a quiet moment or a heart-racing encounter.
However, the characterizations and plot do leave much be desired. While none of the subsequent films ever reached the calibre of the characters and story-line of Jurassic Park, Fallen Kingdom falls short of the standard set by Jurassic World as well. There certainly is humour in the repartee between Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howards’ leading characters, as well as the new side characters introduced. Yet all of them fail to be completely three-dimensional, from the leads to the predictable villains, while the plot also dulls after the film’s exciting transition from the first half to the latter. The actions and objectives of the bad guys are more of the same thing derived from the first Jurassic World.
Regardless of the flaws, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom remains a fun ride, with a brilliant buildup of suspense under the visionary eye of director J.A. Bayona, heart pounding action, and the fantasy of a present world where humans and dinosaurs coexist.
Perhaps what stands out most is that this film packs a strong emotional punch, with certain scenes – one haunting moment in particular – that lingers long after the end credits roll. Fallen Kingdom also takes the ethical issues posed by the Jurassic series further, leaving one to ponder the morality of the characters’ choices - and more perturbingly, what would YOU do, if you held the balance of the world as you know it in your hands?