By Adam Ray Palmer
Yes, I know I am late to the game. And yes, I know there has been tons of Fallen Kingdom reviews already; but you can’t rush an opinion, can you?
But now I am ready to air my view, I just hope there is enough of you still wanting to hear it! Let’s quit the jibber jabber and get down to business…
Written by Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly and directed by J. A. Bayona; Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom stars the returning Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and the long-serving returnee Jeff Goldblum. Joining the shenanigans this time around is the villainous Rafe Spall and Toby Jones, the young Isabella Sermon and James Cromwell as Sir Benjamin Lockwood.
In this outing with the prehistoric animals, the dinos are in grave danger. The island of Jurassic World has a huge problem in the form of a not-so-dormant volcano. This means Claire (Howard) and Owen (Pratt) must head back to the island to mount a rescue campaign for the remaining dinosaurs before an extinction-level event occurs.
Let’s get it out of the way, yes, I think it is better than the first one. I say this for one reason only – J. A. Bayona. He is the man behind the camera pulling the all-important strings. The reason the original classic from a quarter of century ago was so brilliant was the dark and haunting themes. Bayona has brought back to the franchise the moody and chilling feels.
This outing feels like a twisted fairy-tale, where the dinosaurs just toy with the humans like they are, ironically, toys. The film is quite haunting, and especially for the youth. In my screening, two families had to leave due to shaken children, now that’s a feat. Bayona is no stranger to this style of filmmaking, Fallen Kingdom follows suit to his 2016 A Monster Calls movie about a child and his imaginary tree creature friend.
I think my admiration for this film comes from my Alfonso Cuaron locker. The dark themes are reminiscent of Pans Labyrinth and Prisoner of Azkaban. It’s the murky style of filmmaking and slow-panning camera before the action ramps up that gets you. I’m a huge fan of the dinosaur series as it is, but when you chuck Bayona’s panache into the mix, I’m already queuing up for the next instalment.
For Jurassic fans on the whole, you still get your dino deaths for entertainment, you still get action scenes to remember and you still get the emotional poignancy from the more tender sequences when the animals get into distress. It’s impressive from a film where it makes you feel guilty and down for a species that aren’t even around anymore.
On the whole, it’s just a better all-round product compared to the 2015 effort. Pratt and Howard have more chemistry this time around it doesn’t come across forced, there’s still that chuckling humour and quips throughout – it’s just that bit better. Go and check it out, even if it is just to see the Goldblum back on the big screen.
Cineroom’s rating: 3.5 stars
Jurassic World is out in cinemas worldwide – certificate 12A.