Beforehand, I was anticipating yawning and a lot of watch-checking, and thinking that the only plus is that it’ll take people away from Solo: A Star Wars Story, as Disney really need to be taught a lesson, but then people have already given that a miss.
The latter stages of Jurassic World hinted at a potential plot for this film, as Vincent D’Onofrio was seen trying to get away with as much of the dino DNA as he could, but then the creatures swiftly dealt with him before he could escape, so that’s that idea knackered.
The main problem with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is that, much like Solo, it really has no reason to exist. Dinosaurs were only ever a surprise in the first movie, in 1993, and after that, the spectacle has gone. It was a welcome treat to still see then on BBC1’s Walking With Dinosaurs in 2001, since it was the first time we’d seen the same thing in a TV show, but ever since then… nah.
So, can Jurassic No.5 change my mind?
But what about the plot, I hear you cry? Well, the plan is for rich old Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell) and his underling, Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) to rescue as many of the dinosaurs off the island before it explodes, since it’s got a volcano, Mt Sibo – and oh, the irony, that part of the film was shot in Hawaii!
Who can help do the necessary? Well, it’s a case of ‘getting the band back together’, hence the return of Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen Grady (Chris Pratt).
Of the student-types hanging around with everyone else, I’ll hide my potential spoilery thoughts about Franklin (Justice Smith) behind a spoiler header, but when it comes to Zia (Daniella Pineda), it’s like where Claire works, you can only get a job there – when in your 20s – if you have an attitude and ridiculous tattoo scrawl all over your arm, and the chance to show it off at every opportunity. There’s several arrogant army types also along for the ride, the main one – Wheatley (Ted Levine), coming across like he’s playing the Robert Loggia role.
Jeff Goldblum also pops up in a very brief role, again as Dr Ian Malcolm, but only giving his musings to Congress about the whole dinosaur situation, and how far we’ve come since 1993. However, you know the lines in the trailer which lead to the film’s tagline, “Life Finds a Way”? Well, he doesn’t say that in the film!
What sort of new dinosaur is created this time? (since there’s always one) It’s the Indoraptor, but while everyone looks aghast at this new creation, I’m left thinking – erm… it doesn’t look much different than most of them!
However, I never felt bored and, in fact, I laughed quite a lot during this. They might not have been wholly original things I laughed at, but there’s always times in these films when people think they’re safe, and suddenly a dinosaur pops up out of nowhere. A lot of those would be predictable, but I try not to think ahead and just let the film do it for me.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is also the first in the series to be filmed in 2.39:1. Steven Spielberg shot the first two films in 1.85:1 so the dinosaurs would still look as big as possible on TV, which in 1993, were mostly 4:3, and in 2001, Joe Johnston continued this with Jurassic Park III. With 16:9 TVs, this is even more essential. In 2015, Colin Trevorrow opted for the rather odd 2.00:1 ratio for Jurassic World which is somewhere inbetween, and I expressed my thoughts about that oddity at the time.
I saw this film in 2D and I can’t see any point in watching it in 3D. It wasn’t shot in 3D, like most films that end up in 3D on the big screen. Not all of it takes place on the island, and even when they’re on it, the fast-cutting between shots wouldn’t make any effective use of 3D.
There’s a moment in one of the trailers which was changed for the film, and it should’ve stayed as it was. Normally, I wouldn’t hide this behind a spoiler header as it’s been in the trailer, but it’s a good joke, and if you haven’t seen it, you may just want to wait until you see the film.
There’s several callbacks to the first film:
Some other bits and pieces:
Oh, and one major query I had, but this a spoiler so do not read if you haven’t seen it, although even if you do read it before seeing it, you won’t know what I’m talking about.
As I get to the end of this review, I’ll address the post-credits scene, but first – why is it always in films like this where everyone has to arrive at an island in a silly, tiny plane and with a skeleton crew? They’re freaking dinosaurs!!!
So, the post-credits scene:
And now, non-spoilery about the post-credits, it was difficult to make out the content at Vue Lowry. It’s bad enough that they whack up the lights so bright during the closing credits, and also that when it comes to mid- or post-credits scenes, the lights overspill by a few seconds into these scenes – thus still killing the mood.
Today? They didn’t go off at all!!! I couldn’t see the damn thing!!!
If that happens to you, tweet them later and COMPLAIN! I got 2 free tickets!!
Running time: 128 minutes
Studio: Universal Pictures UK
Cinema: Vue Lowry, Salford Quays
Format: 2.39:1 (ARRIRAW (3.4K) (6.5K), Dolby Vision)
Released: June 6th 2018
Director: JA Bayona
Producers: Belén Atienza, Patrick Crowley and Frank Marshall
Screenplay: Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly
Music: Michael Giacchino
Claire Dearing: Bryce Dallas Howard
Owen Grady: Chris Pratt
Ian Malcolm: Jeff Goldblum
Ken Wheatley: Ted Levine
Benjamin Lockwood: James Cromwell
Gunnar Eversol: Toby Jones
Dr. Henry Wu: BD Wong
Eli Mills: Rafe Spall
Zia Rodriguez: Daniella Pineda
Maisie Lockwood: Isabella Sermon
Iris: Geraldine Chaplin
Franklin: Justice Smith
Congressman Sherwood: Peter Jason
Jack: Robert Emms
Screaming Woman: Jo Hart
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.