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: Halloween Poster, The Happy Prince, More!

Plenty in this week’s preview of coming attractions, which include the brand new Halloween poster, Hereditary, The Happy Prince, and more…

Halloween Poster

Here is the new poster for the upcoming Halloween. Forty years since the original Halloween film, and twenty since Jamie Lee Curtis reprised her famous role in Halloween H20, Michael Myers is back once more. Curtis is joined by Judy Greer and Will Patton, and the film is directed by David Gordon Green (Your Highness, Stronger). With John Carpenter among the Executive Producer, Halloween hits the big screen on 19th October 2018.

Hereditary Trailer

Above is the new trailer for Hereditary. The upcoming horror is about a family who reveal something sinister about their ancestry when the matriarch of the clan passes away. Hereditary stars Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne, and is the feature debut from writer-director Ari Aster. The film is set for release on 15th June 2018.

The Happy Prince Trailer

The Happy Prince is written, directed, and stars Rupert Everett. The film is his directorial debut. Everett stars as Oscar Wilde, portraying the writer in his final years. The film also stars Colin Firth and Emily Watson. The Happy Prince will be released in UK cinemas on 15th June 2018.

Life of the Party Trailer

Here is the latest trailer for Life of the Party. The comedy stars Melissa McCarthy as a newly divorced mum who decides to go back to college. The film is directed by McCarthy’s husband Ben Falcone, and penned by the couple. Also starring Gillian Jacobs and Maya Rudolph, Life of the Party will be released in UK cinemas on 11th May 2018.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Trailer

Above is the last trailer for the upcoming Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. The sequel sees Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard reprise their roles from 2015’s Jurassic World. Jeff Goldblum also reprises his role from the franchise. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom launches onto UK screens on 6th June 2018.

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: Pitch Perfect 3 Poster, Detroit, More!

This week’s preview of coming attractions includes the latest Pitch Perfect 3 poster, Battle of the Sexes, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Detroit, and more…

Pitch Perfect 3 Poster

 

The Bellas are back in this latest Pitch Perfect 3 poster. The film sees the return of Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and the rest of the gang for one last hurrah. Expect more a cappella tunes as made popular by the first film. The trailer for Pitch Perfect 3 will launch on 25th June, and the film is due for release at Christmas this year.

Battle of the Sexes Trailer

Here is the new Battle of the Sexes trailer. The film is based on the real-life match between women’s number one Billie Jean King (played by Emma Stone) and former men’s champion Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) in 1973. The film also stars Andrea Riseborough, Sarah Silverman, and Bill Pullman. Battle of the Sexes is set for release in UK cinemas on 20th October 2017.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Poster

Here is the first poster for sequel Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Not much is know about the film yet, but the film sees the return of Jeff Goldblum as Dr Ian Malcolm from the first series (hence his famous quote being appropriated for the tagline). This sequel to Jurassic World also sees Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard reprising their roles. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is scheduled for release in June 2018.

Annabelle: Creation Trailer

One of cinema’s creepiest dolls is back for another instalment. Annabelle: Creation is a prequel to 2014’s Annabelle, and tells the origins story of the doll. The film is produced by James Wan and directed by David F. Sandberg, who helmed last year’s Lights Out. Annabelle: Creation hits UK screens on 11th August 2017.

Daddy’s Home 2 Trailer

The sequel to 2015’s Daddy’s Home features even more dads. Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg reunite for Daddy’s Home 2, and are joined by John Lithgow and Mel Gibson playing their respective dads. This film is set at Christmas, when the two families decide to spend the holidays together. Daddy’s Home 2 is set for release later this year.

Home Again Trailer

Home Again is a new romantic comedy from producer Nancy Meyers. The film stars Reese Witherspoon as a separated mother of two, who decides to take in three young filmmakers. The film also stars Nat Wolff, Michael Sheen, and Candice Bergen. Home Again will be released in UK cinemas on 29th September 2017.

Detroit Trailer

Detroit is about the civil unrest that rocked the city in the summer of 1967. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, the film stars John Boyega, Will Poulter, Anthony Mackie, and Jack Reynor. Detroit will hit UK screens on 25th August 2017.