JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM: 4 out of 10 (DINO-Might Not)
The opening minutes of JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM gives a pretty good idea as to how the entire film is going to go. A few mercenaries are back on Isla Nublar gathering samples. It is raining because of course it is. It is also night-- despite the fact that no one else is around since it is a *deserted island.* But then again we also know that is the only time mercenaries are on the clock. It also seems that these men have chosen to take on this job in the most difficult way possible, which leaves them as bait for hungry dinos. All of this goes on with the most pretentious score possible; the music practically hammering the audience down with its heavy-handed orchestration.
I could go on and describe the entire film in a similar fashion. And it wouldn’t be spoiler-ific either. Mostly because anyone going to see these films go in expecting exactly that. JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM is painfully familiar—including some really obvious (though sometimes clever) visual callbacks to the original film. But probably the silliest part of this film is the premise itself—Save the Dinosaurs! Have they killed hundreds of people in past films? Yes. Have they posed a clear threat to humanity? Yes. Has Jeff Goldblum appeared in what could only be called a cameo to warn everyone of the dangers of keeping dinosaurs alive? Yes. And the rest of the film goes on as a sort of checklist like that.
· Chris Pratt’s mustache—check
· Bryce Dallas Howard’s bangs—check
· Let’s save dinosaurs because we can make money—check
· Comic relief techie doubles as only one in the world who can push a button—got it
· Dinosaurs battle each other mano e mano—Gotcha twice
· Kids in peril—hell yeah
· Dinosaurs are cute—Awww…check
· Oh SHIT…Dinosaurs will KILL you—Damn right
· Guys with guns don’t use guns but do get eaten—Absolutely
· The hero (and heroine) STOP while running away to create artificial tension—yep
As a kid, I visited a theme park and stayed till it closed at midnight. Very few people were still in the park, and so I decided to ride one particularly thrilling rollercoaster over and over. Thirteen times in a row all told. Why did I keep going? Maybe after a while, it was to have said I did it. Maybe it was a feeling of accomplishment. But every time around the ride became less thrilling. I knew each turn that was coming and every drop and lurch. And looking back I have to wonder why that 15-year-old version of myself didn’t spend that time riding *all* the rides in the empty park than the same one over and over. JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM is a painful reminder that these films have nothing else to say or do. They exist as little more than that theme park thrill ride of sorts-- and one that you feel like you have been on before. Having said that, those same feelings may come over some who choose to see yet another dino-destruction movie. Maybe you feel accomplished. Maybe some like the familiar thrills. Some, however, may long for other choices when it is all said and done.