Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is one of those movies whose enjoyment depends on the audience that view it. If you are one those people who go to the theaters for an escape and like to suspend disbelief then this is totally a movie for you. If you can’t deal with highly illogical decisions, or plot conveniences then maybe it would be best to skip it. There is a good movie in here somewhere and while it does have its great moments, it ultimately falls short due to many conveniences and a lack of narrative sense.
Taking place three years after Jurassic World, the dinosaurs that previously inhabited the island are under threat to an active volcano. Wanting to save the animals and preserve them, Claire and Owen (Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt) team up with a rescue team to try and move the dinosaurs to a safe location. But little do they know the true intentions of the mission as something more dangerous lurks in their path.
These movies have become the classic summer blockbuster which features some fun action scenes that make for good popcorn entertainment. Anytime we see our leads in an encounter with a dinosaur, it is something truly exciting to behold. While it does require some disbelief, especially when you see Chris Pratt escaping an ash cloud, it is truly magnificent to behold and had me clenching my fists in my seat.
The visuals are another thing to truly behold in this movie. There is a lot of attention to detail from the spots on the dinosaurs to the flies that surround them in the jungle, they feel truly life like making them all the more frightening. Even the new Indoraptor has frightening designs and features that show much effort the team has put into the visual aspect of the film.
Sadly, whenever dinosaurs aren’t on screen the movie loses a lot of its momentum. The human characters are pretty one-dimensional and react stupidly to events going on around them. One character literally just screams the entire movie and it became very annoying and irritating to watch. Chris Pratt steals the show due to his charisma and on-screen swagger, but sadly the rest of the characters can feel kind of cartoonish.
There is an attempt to add some depth to the movie by viewing the dinosaurs not as monsters but rather as animals who deserve to live among humans. While the depth is appreciated, it completely misses its mark near the end with certain decisions making no sense and ultimately are due to the fact that the studio wants to set up a third film. The previous movies have shown what a terror dinosaurs can be and now all of a sudden we are supposed to side with the fact that they aren’t so bad? It feels poorly thrown together with no clear reasons or good arguments made in that case.
When those dinosaurs are on screen though, it is a treat to behold and makes the price of admission almost worth it. This is definitely one of those “turn your brain off” movies where you suspend disbelief and just enjoy the ride. The first and third act are where the movie truly shines in its action and excitement thanks to the excellent visuals and charm of Chris Pratt. But the lost momentum during the second act of the movie and an ending that does not feel earned bring this movie down. It feels like set up for an eventual third movie and when movies feel like that it hurts the enjoyment. There are some cool moments, but it ultimately depends on your taste of good entertainment.