Film Review: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Director J.A. Bayona’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom offers something a little different in terms of setting. It is a shame that the rest of the film feels all too familiar. 

Three years after the disaster at the park, a volcano becomes active on Isla Nublar. As politicians debate about the fate of dinosaurs, a philanthropist enlists the help of Claire and Owen to save the creatures…

If the Jurassic Park/Jurassic World films are to be considered a horror franchise, then Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is the scariest of the lot, on paper at least. A dystopian plot and a penitentiary-style setting should mean fear reigns in this latest instalment. But despite the darkness, the film lacks the moments of terror executed so finely by Steven Spielberg in the first film, and the even the frisson of excitement offered by its predecessor. 

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom features big set pieces on the island. The addition of the active volcano gives a new dimension of urgency to proceedings. The sequences here generate a good sense of excitement, even if they occur early enough to negate real danger for the main characters. 

Writers Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly shift the setting to a more inclosed space, far less removed than the island. This is a good move in terms of moving the narrative along from a simple ‘escape the island’ dynamic. Instead of the isolation of the island, Bayona imbues the film with a sense of claustrophobia in this second setting. Yet the writing lets the film down. The climax is too reminiscent of earlier ones in the franchise, and this means the tension is not present. The dialogue is poor at times, and there is not enough in the way of ingenuity to forgive this. 

New characters are given little in the way of development with the writers relying on staid archetypes. This means it is hard for viewers to care when they are in danger. Bayona shows some visual flair, which is most welcome. Cinematography by Óscar Faura is a highlight, even if the shadow compositions are overused by the end of the film. Like the very first film, there are moments of horror, yet because so much in these scenes has been utilised previously, it does not seem so scary this time around. 

Performances in the film are perfectly adequate. Jeff Goldblum is always a welcome presence, even if his role is very minor. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard reprise roles well, others such as Toby Jones are not allowed to move beyond their caricatures. 

The way that Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ends could very well indicate the end of the franchise. At this point, there seems little place where the series can go. 

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Previews: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Featurette, More!

This week’s preview of coming attractions includes the latest Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom featurette, The New Mutants, and more…

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Featurette

Ahead of the trailer’s launch tomorrow, this Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom featurette reveals a little bit more about the plot and characters. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard return, and are joined by Jurassic Park royalty Jeff Goldblum. A Monster Calls‘ J.A. Bayona directs this sequel, taking the helm from Jurassic World‘s Colin Trevorrow. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom hits UK screens on 7th June 2018.

The New Mutants Poster

Here is the new poster for the forthcoming The New Mutants. The film is part of the X-Men franchise, and is about the first graduates from Charles Xavier’s school. The film looks like something different from the superhero genre, in that there is an emphasis on horror rather than just action adventure. The New Mutants will be released in 2018.

Mary and the Witch’s Flower Trailer

Mary and the Witch’s Flower is the first feature from Studio Ponoc, formed by Studio Ghibli alums. The film is about a young girl who discovers a flower which gives her the power to be a witch. Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi (When Marnie Was There), the English voice cast features Ruby Barnhill, Kate Winslet, and Jim Broadbent. Mary and the Witch’s Flower is scheduled for release in UK cinemas in Spring 2018.

A Matter of Life and Death Trailer

Here is a trailer for the 4K restoration of the Powell & Pressburger’s classic A Matter of Life and Death. The film was originally released in 1946, and combines fantasy and romance as an air force pilot is given additional time on Earth by an afterlife jury. Starring David Niven, a 4K restoration of A Matter of Life and Death will be released in UK cinemas on 8th December 2017.

Previews: Jurassic World Featurette, Macbeth Trailer and More

Plenty in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the latest Jurassic World featurette, the trailer for Macbeth, and the latest Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation trailer…

Jurassic World Featurette

Steven Spielberg talks about passing the torch to director Colin Trevorrow in this new Jurassic World featurette. The importance of the cast and crew being fans of Jurassic Park is highlighted in the video, which hopefully means that the new film will pay homage to the original. Jurassic World hits the big screen on 11th June 2015.

Macbeth Trailer

This trailer for the new film adaptation of Macbeth is haunting. Starring Michael Fasbender and Marion Cotillard, this is a period-set version of the Shakespearean classic. Macbeth, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, is set for release on 2nd October 2015.

Song of the Sea Trailer

After it’s Oscar nomination, Song of the Sea gets a UK release. The animated film tells the story of Ben and his sister Saoirse who embark on a journey across a fantastic world. Featuring the voice of Brendan Gleeson, Song of the Sea will be released in cinemas on 10th July 2015.

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation Trailer

The big set pieces continue in this latest instalment in the franchise, Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation. The film sees Tom Cruise reuniting with Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, and Ving Rhames, plus some new faces. Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation will hit UK screens on 30th July 2015.

Terminator Genisys Clip

This clip shows Terminator Genisys paying homage to its predecessors with a famous line. The film sees the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his famous franchise, as well as Jai Courtney, Emilia Clarke and Jason Clarke. A fractured timeline is created when Kyle Reese is  sent back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor. See what happens when Terminator Genisys is released in Uk cinemas on 2nd July 2015.