It’s blockbuster season and they don’t come much bigger than Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which picks up the action following the events of Jurassic World and throws audiences into a far more darker, dangerous and edgier story which is packed out with some serious thrills.
Following the events of Jurassic World, former velociraptor tamer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and park manager Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) return to what remains of Jurassic World in order to save its creatures from an impending volcanic eruption that is set to engulf the island of Isla Nebula. But their mission takes them back to an altogether new Jurassic World where dinosaurs now run free and could lead to major catastrophes for both humanity and their creations.
Setting the stage for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is noted Spanish director J. A. Bayona who brings his unique understanding of the horror genre to great affect here. While I can’t go into deeper detail without raising the risk of spoilers I will say that Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom really ramps up the terror. It’s all about the horror here and Bayona imbues the film with a great haunted house idea where plenty of terrifying and out of control dinosaurs await. The location of the film really allows for the director to play up the scares and he pulls together some truly freaky moments of Owen and Claire trying to survive and out think and out maneuver the most dangerous creature on the planet: The Indoraptor! Trust me when I say you’ll jump because this is one scary creation, and this lethal dinosaur is programmed for one thing and one thing only: TO KILL. All of this added together makes for a great horror rush and I was definitely feeling the chills.
Along with his horror tone, Bayona also uses the action in this film as a storytelling device. He builds off of his set pieces such as the volcanic eruption on Isla Nebular and the drastic chase to save the dinosaurs and escape the island, and it’s an adrenaline rush that will really crank you up. This approach of action as narrative is something that I’m a fan of and I liked how engaged and invested it got me into this film. And being a blockbuster the action is truly BIG and Bayona and his stars really push the envelope.
In returning to the trajectory of the Jurassic World franchise, evolution is a big theme and this relates not just to the dinosaurs but also to the main cast of Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard as Owen Grady and Claire Dearing. Since the events of the first film both Owen and Claire have evolved and changed with Claire now less of a boardroom business woman and more of a social activist, while Owen has decided to leave the events of Jurassic World behind him and only wants to live away from the world. But when given the chance they jump back into the action to save the dinosaurs and things get interesting from there.
Pratt is again all kinds of heroic as Owen and he once again jumps into the action, overcoming impossible feats and obstacles to punish the bad guys and reconnect with Blue, the velociraptor whom he raised from birth. Howard is also just as agile as Pratt and really gets her hands dirty as Claire and the two of them again exhibit more of their tremendous charisma up on screen and again make this film something really special.
I’ve also got to give a shout out to living legend himself Jeff Goldblum who returns to the Jurassic World franchise as Dr. Ian Malcolm. While his role is small, it’s an extremely important one that gives context to the actions of the film, and the presence of dinosaurs in our world. What Malcom touches on is humanity’s desire to play god and to continually manipulate our ecosystem and planet in the name of ego and profit, and that no matter now much we might believe it we cannot control mother nature….and that their will be consequences for it.
If you’re looking for a rush then you’ll find it with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. This is blockbuster filmmaking at its most epic and by the end of the film you’ll understand that we’re no longer the dominant species on the planet…the dinosaurs are.
Image: Universal Pictures