There’s gonna be some minor spoilers in this review, because… well I don’t really care and neither should you honestly. But if you do, don’t read any further until you see the movie.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is the newest movie in the Jurassic Park franchise and the second on the Jurassic World side. In this one, our heroes from the first movie in Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are sent back to the island because the screenplay says so. They team up with a billionaire and a group of mercenaries to try and save the dinosaurs from a volcano on the island on the brink of erupting. In an obvious turn of events, they get betrayed and the dinosaurs are only rescued so they can be sold. Oh and they create another new, killing machine dinosaur because humans are stupid and don’t ever learn their lesson.
Normally, I’d start the review with some positives on the movie. We will get to those in a minute. First I have a rant I need to go on. I like the first Jurassic World just fine, but not as much as I did when I first saw it. It doesn’t hold up on repeat viewings because it doesn’t do enough to separate itself from the original movies. These Jurassic World movies could be a little more entertaining if they were their own thing. Well, this movie doubles down on the Jurassic Park references, and all it does is drive me absolutely insane. No movie is going to live up to that original movie and if these Jurassic World movies want to be just fun, popcorn dinosaur action films they need to be their own thing. From my memory there’s a scene involving the same SUV that Dr. Grant, Tim, and Lex were in during the T-Rex attack (why is it even still there), a scene where one of the kids in this movie pulls down on a door as a dinosaur attacks (like Lex did during the kitchen raptor attack), a scene where someone makes a loud noise to distract the dinosaur (again, Lex in the kitchen scene), and the T-Rex saves the day several times. And one of those times, the T-Rex roars as the volcano explodes in what is obviously a copy of the scene at the end of the first one when the banner falls. I could go on, but it isn’t worth it. Those are things I remember off the top of my head having seen the movie 2 days ago. Plus, as I mentioned, the movie follows the same exact plot point from Jurassic World where they create a brand new dinosaur. This one is a mix of the Indominus Rex and the Velociraptor, which is already a main component of the Indominus Rex so I’m not really sure how that works. Oh and there’s also the fact that NOW THEY’VE BEEN CLONING HUMANS. That’s right, not just dinosaurs, but also 14 year old girls. I wanted to walk out when they brought up that little joy of a plot point, and then acted like it was completely normal and never mentioned it again. I literally would have rather seen the Velociraptor look at Chris Pratt and start speaking.
Anyway, I’ll point out the couple good things that were present in the movie. My favorite parts are when it actually feels kind of like a horror movie. The camera and lighting does some cool stuff to make you wonder if there are actually dinosaurs around and it is really well done. I wish they would have taken that approach the whole movie. This movie would have been 50 times better if it had literally just taken place on the island as they were trying to rescue the the dinosaurs, keeping in the horror element. That’s a version of the movie I want to see. Similar to the first Jurassic World movie, there are also some really cool dino fights in here. The visual effects are better than in that one, which helps as well.
In the end, Jurassic World’s biggest problem is that it can’t get out of its own way. It wants to rely on your Jurassic Park nostalgia because it doesn’t believe it is good enough on its own, and it never will be. The nostalgia hurts the opportunity these movies have to separate themselves from the original, which it desperately needs to do. There’s some entertainment to be had here, but very little substance, along with truly laughable plot lines. Don’t expect too much or you’ll be disappointed. I can see this score possibly getting better or worse over time, but for now Fallen Kingdom gets a 2.5/5.