The sixteen year friendship of Reservoir Geeks' founders, Chris and Andy, is due in large part to their similar tastes in all things, including movies. They love the same bad movies, most Gerard Butler action films, Wes Anderson (obviously) and above all else, Jurassic Park. Lines from Jurassic Park are often sprinkled though-out their conversations and was the basis for their first episode of Prequel. Sequel. Reboot. Remake., that was until they left last night's screening of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. A movie that has been likened in reaction to that of The Last Jedi. Fans either love it or they don't and for Chris and Andy, that rang true. So, unlike other reviews we've done on this site, this Jurassic World will have two opposing reactions.
I think I've calmed down a little bit from last night. I was pretty heated when I walked out of the theater. I won't say I hated the movie, and I won't say that it was a bad movie. It was just.....
I really don't know what it was.
It's as though the writers and director just stuck a bunch of cool scenes on post-it notes on a wall and threw replica raptor claws at it and found a way to string together all the scenes that stuck. Don't get me wrong, the dinosaurs were awesome! I just had a problem with everything else in the movie. It just so damn...wacky. That's the best way I can describe it. And, that's not to say I have a problem with over the top action movies. Fallen Kingdom just gets so close to that line that you wouldn't be insane to expect Chris Pratt to ride off into the sunset on Blue's back. And, you know what, I would have loved that. I could have forgiven the rest of the movie's ridiculousness. The previous films have had their share of silly moments (karate gymnastics, anyone) but it felt like I was constantly throwing my hands in the air in disbelief at either the crazy world these characters are living in, their actions, or the characters themselves.
The tagline for the movie is "The park is gone". Yeah, it is, in the last 5 minutes! The Lost World gave us more dinosaurs in the big city! I was really wanting to see a Jurassic World and instead I got Jurassic Mansion. I think the most irritating part is that if they were so into re-hashing the plot from the Lost World they could have at least followed a similar timeline and given us some more dinosaurs running rampant in the streets. Some compys eating food out of a dumpster behind a Wing Stop would have been funny. **OR** Jurassic World could have trimmed a little fat, added a few small plot threads and added the tail end of Fallen Kingdom and we'd be in the same place. As everyone is escaping the island in Jurassic Kingdom we see helicopters swooping in to remove the animals from the park with Ted Levine in the lead. Jump forward a few weeks with Pratt and Howard having tracked down the animals and now on a rescue mission. BOOM. Animals are loose on the mainland. Sure, Fallen Kingdom sets up a sequel (and that sequel sounds badass) but it really does nothing other than that.
You can hear all of my complaints in our audio review. I don't want to repeat the same things over and over again -- I'm not Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. I'm sorry. I don't mean to be so cynical. Maybe I've just been watching way too much "Cinema Sins". I truly loved any stretch of film that had something scaly in it (luckily that was most of the movie) but I really could have gone without pretty much everything else. I'm sure I'll warm up to this movie like I did to Lost World (I really did not like that one after I saw it). I think I just need to watch it again with a fresh pair of eyes and maybe something more to drink. Bartender, do you have anything that suspends disbelief?
For now here's verdict.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Come for the dinosaurs, but leave your brains at the King Kong-sized gate.
I'm not going to lie and say this was my absolute favorite Jurassic Movie but in the entire series, it's neck and neck with Jurassic World for me. Now I apologetically love all the movies (even JP3) and that is thanks mostly to the fact that they are dinosaur movies where there are fluid moving thunder lizards sharing the screen with humans. It's equation that you cannot go wrong with. One of my favorite parts in the entire series is the final act of The Lost World when the T-Rex is running wound San Diego just tearing stuff up and interacting with the modern world. If that is what you are expecting for Fallen Kingdom, don't get your hopes up though. Much like with all trailers, they are deceiving and the mosasaurus/surfer scene is about as close to San Diego as you get.
The story is now better or worse than any other in the series, except for the original where the story is stellar. If anything the first act is very similar to that of Lost World except instead of grabbing the dinos for a new park, they are supposed to be going to save them for the island itself. There are a few new characters but most serve the same purpose as one who came before; Ted Levine is a hybrid of Roland from LW and Vincent D'Onofrio from JW, James Cromwell is the new John Hammond and the little girl is the kid in danger from any of the other four movies. Seriously, there's always kids and they are always in danger but that's okay because it's all part of the equation of JP awesomeness.
My only real criticism is that the movie didn't need and we didn't need ANOTHER hybrid dinosaur. It was a statement on consumerism constant need for more in the last movie but this time it came off more as a crutch. The part of the Indoraptor could have just as easily been filled with the return of the Dilophosaurus or even the Allosaurus that the movie was almost obsessed with or maybe even just another Raptor. I don't know, it just seemed like unnecessary rehashing from JW. Beyond that, it was a fun exciting movie that I would definitely recommend to any JP fan and one that I plan on seeing at least a few more times before the summer ends.
1. JURASSIC PARK
2. LOST WORLD
3a. JURASSIC WORLD
3b. FALLEN KINGDOM
4. JURASSIC PARK 3
1. JURASSIC PARK
2. LOST WORLD
3. JURASSIC WORLD
4a. JURASSIC PARK 3
4b. FALLEN KINGDOM
Immediately after getting out of Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom Chris and Andy dashed out to the parking lot (Andy on a cloud and Chris underneath it) to record their thoughts before even sharing them with each other. This is that recording.