– Film Review –
By Davie Nguyen
Dinosaurs stomped the box office in the blockbuster hit “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.” Released in theaters June 21, the science fiction film is the fifth installment of the Jurassic Park franchise. The film is directed by J. A. Bayona, who has directed other works including, “The Orphanage”(2007), “TheImpossible” (2012) and “A Monster Calls”(2016).
According to Forbes, the film’s sales roared past the billion-dollar, worldwide milestone July 5. The movie follows the events of 2015’s “Jurassic World,”where dinosaurs are bred and displayed for entertainment. Chaos ensued after a new genetically engineered dinosaur, the indominus rex, escaped from containment and ripped through the park forcing the humans to flee and abandon it.
“Fallen Kingdom” takes place three years later, when a volcano is about to erupt putting the free-roaming dinosaurs at risk of extinction. The film’s first act centers around the dilemma of saving the creatures or letting them die out again. Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) warns Congress of the dangers of saving the dinosaurs.
Feelings of hopelessness are felt throughout the movie as natural and manmade dangers are ever-present.
Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell), who along with John Hammond, founded Jurassic Park tasks his assistant, Eli Mills (Rafe Spall), to carry out a plan to save dinosaurs before the volcano erupts.
The fate of the dinosaurs falls on Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), who managed Jurassic World operations in the previous film. Eli asks Claire to help Masrani Global Corporation track down the remaining species, including a one-of-a-kind velociraptor named Blue. Claire looks for Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to tell him his beloved Blue is still alive and recruits him on a rescue mission.
Owen and Claire are deceived and learn about Eli’s plan to auction the dinosaurs for a weaponized project.
Seeing the dinosaurs roam freely is riveting. But the storyline quickly turns to the ethics and values protecting them. The moral conflict takes unexpected turns as the ideals of using science to play God over other species is evaluated by the character and government.
Genetic power, a theme that has existed beneath the surface since “Jurassic Park,” is explored in greater depths as Eli and geneticist Dr. Wu (BD Wong) attempt to create the perfect weapon through a new genetically engineered dinosaur.
The question of co-existence between humans and dinosaurs is explored after the dinosaurs are taken off the island.
According to Common Sense Media, “Despite this action-packed sequel’s uneven tone, director J. A. Bayona continues to thrill audiences with jump-worthy suspense and to create a bond between viewers and the dinosaurs.”
Seeing the long-necked brachiosaurus chomping on greens, pteradons flying or hearing the obnoxious T-rex roar on the big screen is riveting. Although not my favorite movie of the franchise, the world of Jurassic Parkhas always remained dear to my heart.
A fan tweeted Chris Pratt, “Honestly can’t believe I hesitated to watch the new Jurassic World tonight. Many tears were shed and my emotions were out the window. @prattprattpratt @ BryceDHoward, you guys did absolutely amazing.”
Pratt on twitter saying, “Right!?!? Everything you want but not what you expect. @FilmBayona is an AMAZING FILMMAKER!”
And that is what “Fallen Kingdom” gave audiences – a new story with more dinosaurs that went to areas that were not expected. The action sequences on the island were visually spectacular. New dinosaur fights, including a battle between a sinoceratops and a carnotaurus in the mists of the chaos, brought new depths to the film portraying the natural animal instincts of the dinosaurs in the midst of their impending doom.
Although, expectations will never compare to Stephen Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park,” dinosaurs in the movie were still frightening. Audiences will be at the edge of my seats, wanting more. And although predictable at times, viewers will feel like a 7-year-old and watching the original film for the first time again.