Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) (mini-review++)

(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)

(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there may be some in this review)

acting 7

directing 6

effects 7

editing 6

writing 5

SW SCORE: 32

3 out of 5 🐙

++

I like dinosaurs. I love Chris Pratt. I like Bryce Dallas Howard ok. I loved the first Jurassic Park. I did not like the two sequels to the original at all. I enjoyed the start to the new franchise with Jurassic World (2015). As I said above, I just love Chris Pratt. He is just walking charisma, buoyant joy, and friendly bro energy. When I heard about this sequel, I just couldn’t get excited. It had most of the same parts as the previous installment. It had a big budget. Two of the four screenwriters returned. But despite all those synergies, I just wasn’t excited. But I went because you can’t shit on a movie without seeing it. 

Here’s the setup: the dinosaurs were living in peace on the island after the theme park was destroyed in the previous installment. But readings reveal that the volcano on the island is going to blow, and it will probably kill everything on the island. So, the same main characters, Owen Brady (Pratt) the rugged dinosaur handler, Claire Dearing (Howard) the required whip smart scientist, and Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) the proselyting mathematician, rush to save the dinosaurs from going extinct…again. These are the same dinosaurs that tried to eat everyone in all the previous installments. I get they are animals and should be moved to a sanctuary but maybe, just maybe, they should have left the gigantic super predators go extinct again.

Look, I love animals and dinosaurs. And in this fictional world, I would probably go and try to save the dinosaurs. And being reasonable would be a really short movie. 

So the team goes to the island with the help of an altruistic company that wants to save the dinosaurs and take them to a sanctuary. Because companies have never had ulterior motives in the Jurassic franchise. Guess what. They did. They decided to pick only the animals that can catch a good price and throw a big auction for the usual super rich people who like to collect things like illegal dinosaurs. 

I watched with a stone countenance for most of the movie. Everything was slick, but it was also boring. It wasn’t a new story. It just felt like a tortured extension of the franchise. It was another, yet another, disaster when humans tried to interact with the dinosaurs. Even Goldblum couldn’t save the movie. To be fair, he didn’t have the classic lines he had in the original movie. 

The only time I had any kind of intense emotional reaction was when they were pulling away from the island as it was being smothered by the volcanic explosion and lone brontosaurus was standing on the edge of a dock and it was clearly terrified but I couldn’t swim and save itself. That hurt me. I know that was the intention. The poor brontosaurus should have been spared, and they should have killed a few human characters instead.

The only other time I felt something was when Blue the velociraptor saved the day. Blue is cool. But he was not enough to save the movie. 

The franchise did come back to life in 2015, but it has fallen now. We will see if it can get back up with the planned sequel Jurassic World: Dominion slated to come out in 2021.

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(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.

(2) Octopuses (0-5 🐙, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)

(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feeling…not that SW score is scientific…but this one is even less so

(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)

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