Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)
June 23, 2018 5:12 PM - Subscribe

Three years after the destruction of the Jurassic World theme park, Owen Grady and Claire Dearing return to the island of Isla Nublar to save the remaining dinosaurs from a volcano that's about to erupt. They soon encounter terrifying new breeds of gigantic dinosaurs, while uncovering a conspiracy that threatens the entire planet.
posted by DirtyOldTown (43 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I was all ready to snark on this one until I noticed it's directed by J.A. Bayona (El Orfanato, The Incredible). So when DOT, Jr. asked to see it, I relented on that basis.

This is the first successful sequel to Jurassic Park. I want to be clear though that I am meaning that as faint praise. This is not a successful sequel in the sense of being a follow-up film in a series that can stand on its own merits, like say, Aliens. This is more comparable to Escape from the Planet of the Apes. If the franchise holders haven't squandered whatever goodwill you have left from the first, very good film, they have assembled an entertaining collection of additional things happening to those characters/that world which should provide you with a reduced but not insignificant amount of satisfaction in the same vein as the one that was actually good.

This is mostly due to J.A. Bayona who does a really nice job with every single set piece in the film. The script they gave him to work with is not appreciably better than the one from Jurassic World, but at least they get off the frigging island.

The movie can basically be broken down into three sections: 1) yep, we are going to that goddamned dinosaur park again; 2) our heroes got screwed over Weyland-Yutani Corp style and the dinosaurs are getting sold; and 3) back on the mainland and maybe the dinosaurs are gonna get out.

I think this is going to be one of those movies that people later grudgingly admit is better than they thought it would be. It's a solid popcorn movie, which may not be earth-shattering, but considering even Steven Spielberg managed to make a shitty sequel for this series, that still represents the high water mark of the sequels.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:27 PM on June 23, 2018 [4 favorites]


Admittedly, I watched this on my iPad two weeks before it came out so there was little chance of being blown away by the spectacle of sound and CGI, but the idea of having a deployable attack dinosaur while cool sounding is something better left for a SyFy TV movie. I'd have settled for more giant sea dinosaurs attacking boats and other mayhem rather than arms dealers.

Also, that original T-Rex is now the R2D2 of the franchise.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:48 AM on June 24, 2018 [2 favorites]


Saw it based on DirtyOldTown's "review" above. Some odd/interesting cuts near the beginning. Not the the emotional resonance of the original. More straight-up action and lots of obviousness. Good times. No regrets.
posted by zeek321 at 1:22 PM on June 24, 2018


Just got out of the movie. It was pretty terrible. Laughably terrible in parts. Still, I think Bayona did yeoman’s work.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 3:27 PM on June 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


I mean, Blue (the lovable Velociraptor) did a Scooby-Doo run at one point.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 3:29 PM on June 24, 2018 [2 favorites]


i don't even have to see the movie. You can figure out the entire plot by just watching the trailers. I confirmed with one of my friends who have already seen it and I hit it about 90%. Which is close enough for me.

I really wish the movie industry would keep the trailers to the 1st act of the movie. Just entice me! Don't show me every single action piece where I can see that "oh, everyone survives aaall the way to the end so no worries".
posted by alchemist at 12:16 AM on June 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


My nine-year-old thought it was “20% scarier than Jurassic World,” so I guess that’s an endorsement. I was pretty bored, though, and the trailer definitely gave too much away.

I was hoping for a reveal that Lockwood messed with his cloned daughter’s DNA to make it much harder for this one to die. If she had gotten slashed by a dino claw and the wound immediately sealed over as she instinctively spat poison at her attacker, I’d have liked this movie a lot more.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:10 AM on June 25, 2018 [12 favorites]


Lockwood should have mixed his daughter’s DNA with a Velociraptor’s. Now we got a movie!
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 8:29 AM on June 25, 2018 [3 favorites]


I put my review, such as it was, here because I think y'all might be the only folks who can reconcile my insistence that it was mildly entertaining and twice as good as I initially thought it would be with me also saying it was a 2/2.5 stars out of five kinda deal that would be good for say, airplane viewing.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:33 AM on June 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


I would most definitely like to see J.A. Bayona get a chance to direct a blockbuster with a more serviceable script. Maybe a Marvel movie.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:35 AM on June 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


my insistence that it was mildly entertaining and twice as good as I initially thought it would be with me also saying it was a 2/2.5 stars out of five

My deep suspicion that it would turn out to be this kind of movie is why this is the first Jurassic film since 1993 that I haven't gone to see in theaters. And I'm one of the rare Jurassic fans who actually liked Jurassic Park III (and I thought the first JW was a solid 8/10 movie as well), so if I'm saying that this looks simply too ridiculous for me, well, that's saying something.

Obviously, nobody would have spent eleventy billion dollars making this movie without the name, but personally I just can't get into it as long as it has that baggage attached. I'd probably have loved to see a trashy piece of crap like this if it wasn't reminding me of a much better movie the whole time.
posted by tobascodagama at 9:02 AM on June 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


(I mean, in my late teens, I literally had a velociraptor OC that looked exactly like Blue, so if I'm sitting this one out I really have to wonder who's actually watching this movie.)
posted by tobascodagama at 9:08 AM on June 25, 2018


A micro-level complaint I had was that while they gave some lip service to Zaya being someone you shouldn't underestimate, they also pissed away a huuuuuge opportunity to make her interesting. Right before she and Franklin are cornered by the merc in from of the caged dino, her shirt neck sags a little to reveal a Semper Fi tattoo. I cannot tell you how disappointed I was that when the merc came in, she didn't just beat the shit out of him personally because hey, guess what? Do not fuck with Marines, not even petite dino-veterinarian ones.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:55 AM on June 25, 2018 [5 favorites]


A micro-level complaint I had was that while they gave some lip service to Zaya being someone you shouldn't underestimate, they also pissed away a huuuuuge opportunity to make her interesting.

I think her name is Zoe? And they also cut out the reveal that she is a lesbian.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 12:37 PM on June 25, 2018


Considering what the actual line was that got cut, it was probably for the best.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:56 PM on June 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


I am a huge Jurassic Park fan. I saw this movie on Sunday. I pregamed over the last 2 weeks by rewatching all the movies and rereading the books. (Fun fact: the ebook I downloaded was an anthology, and I thought it just had JP and LW on it but it also has the book Dragon Teeth, written back in the 70s but published posthumously just last year(!) and I had no idea it existed, so I got a bonus Jurassic Park(ish!) book out of this. WORTH IT.)

I rate this movie 4.5/5 stars for dinosaurs and 2/5 stars for plot.

Things I did not enjoy:
-the retconned Lockwood partner history with the implication that Hammond himself was a geneticist
-making Ian Malcolm boring
-Henry Wu being essentially a background part (I was REALLY looking forward to having him be the big evil guy of this movie, he SO could have been, but they made him boring, too)
-no references to InGen
-"Was my mother ever on the island?" "Just once, a long time ago." Except that we know all the people who were on the island a "long time ago" and her "mom" wasn't one of them. More retconning. Rage.
-those glasses looked better on Dennis Nedry


Things I DID enjoy:
-FIRST TIME SEEING A BARYONYX IN A JURASSIC PARK THING! And she got a really cool sequence, too, chasing folks up a ladder. I enjoyed that.
-IT WAS ALSO OUR FIRST TIME SEEING A CARNOTAURUS. Carnotaurus was the creepy bad of book 2, we've been waiting a long time. I knew we were gonna see a carnotaurus this movie because there was one in the trailer, but baryonyx remained a complete surprise.
-The stupid gate closing program that stops midway because the ipad breaks. Delicious.
-Franklin's talents and physical description are an exact match +10 years for Arby from book 2, it would be nice if they had also called him Arby but I guess we can't have everything.
-Traipsing through ruined JP property. Always a delight.
-Dinosaur fights on a giant neo gothic mansion. This worked for me.
-The day-saving pachycephalosaurus. She was cute. I liked her.
-Compys attack the guy you hate the most, again. Good old compys.

I went to the Jurassic World traveling exhibit thing last summer when it was at the Field Museum. There was a section with a raptor (maybe Blue?) in an underground cage, now we know why! There was a section with the t-rex having a freak out in the back of a truck. Now we know why!
posted by phunniemee at 2:06 PM on June 25, 2018 [8 favorites]


OH, and I also liked that Blue was hiding out in the jungle in an overturned original green and red Ford Explorer.
posted by phunniemee at 2:08 PM on June 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


good for say, airplane viewing

Not so long ago, I traveled regularly for work. And I have a spouse who is ambivalent to action movies generally, though it is a genre I enjoy greatly. So airplane viewing of action movies is something I am very familiar with. My experience is that generally the small screen and poor sound quality remove the focus on the spectacle and set pieces, and you find yourself focusing a lot more on the characters and their development and the plot structure.

Your review does not make me think this will be good airplane viewing.
posted by solotoro at 6:38 AM on June 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


I got to watch dinosaurs eat people.

This movie meets or exceeds my expectations.
posted by mikelieman at 8:56 PM on June 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


My short review: pretty pictures, very bad script: 3/10.

Half in the Bag Episode 149: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
posted by Pendragon at 12:01 PM on June 29, 2018


It felt to me that the director was bored with what he was working with, or incredibly handcuffed by the studio, so we got a lot of mirror shots and shadowplay and other fun tricks. It was fun to watch but oh so very stupid.
posted by graventy at 9:31 AM on July 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


The only thing I didn't hate about this movie was that none of the trailers I saw gave any hint that getting off the island was only the first act. Well done, trailer makers.

Everything else? Boring retreads, telegraphed poorly.

I started calling it "Jurassic World: Perpendicular Kingdom" after the seventeenth or so instance of a dinosaur suddenly coming from off-screen to surprise-attack, regardless of whether one of the characters (such as they were) should have literally seen it coming.

And this franchise has now had five major dinosaurs-escape-ironclad-security-and-rampage events, and yet, everyone thinks they'll be fine clambering right into a cage with a pair of fucking pliers. No. I refuse to watch more stupid people formulating more stupid plans and then acting stupid.
posted by Etrigan at 11:29 AM on July 2, 2018 [2 favorites]


this franchise has now had five major dinosaurs-escape-ironclad-security-and-rampage events

Excuse me, but I'm pulling rank. It's had 3. A soft 3.

JP1 - yes, dinosaurs escaped ironclad security and rampaged
JP2 - the island had intentionally free roaming dinos and vince vaughn had bolt cutters
JP3 - same intentionally free roaming dino island
JW1 - yes, dinosaurs escaped ironclad security and rampaged
JW2 - I may have missed it (I haven't had a chance to go see it again yet) but while the dinos did in fact escape and rampage, I don't recall suitboy smugly describing his security dungeon as ironclad

Also, movie JP might lead you to believe that if not for Nedry's hacking and thievery the island would have been fine. Book JP is much more clear about the ironclad security being fundamentally fucked.
posted by phunniemee at 6:42 AM on July 3, 2018 [3 favorites]


Is the description of this Baryonyx scene in this Jenny Nicholson video more or less how it really goes down? The dinosaur literally walks through lava and is fine?
posted by tobascodagama at 8:46 AM on July 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


JP2 - the island had intentionally free roaming dinos and vince vaughn had bolt cutters

San Diego isn't an island.

JP3 - same intentionally free roaming dino island

I'll give you this.

JW2 - I may have missed it (I haven't had a chance to go see it again yet) but while the dinos did in fact escape and rampage, I don't recall suitboy smugly describing his security dungeon as ironclad

Oh, come on. They were breeding and training them there. Neither of the suitweasels using the word "ironclad" doesn't mean that everyone involved didn't think it was safe enough to host a party with murdersaurs as the centerpiece.
posted by Etrigan at 11:21 AM on July 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


I was laughing about halfway through at all of the ridiculous moments, but was howling at the ending. When the girl says, "They're alive, like me?" the entire theater was giggling.

And when Malcolm is making the speech at the end, were they trying to make us feel connected with the 'heroes' of the story, after they LET THE DINOS LOOSE IN CALIFORNIA FOR NO REAL REASON?!
posted by knownassociate at 7:30 AM on July 5, 2018 [3 favorites]


security in the mansion seem so outdated, who still uses 4 digit codes to their secret large basement ? no fingerprint scanner? why are these arms dealers seem amateur and have no deadly weapons in the trunk of their car?
posted by metafus at 7:31 PM on July 6, 2018 [1 favorite]


I saw this last night.mwhat a stupid movie. First part was boring exposition, second part was predictable and dull action. I couldn’t get over how dumb all the characters were. Everyone had an idiot ball.
posted by fimbulvetr at 1:03 PM on July 7, 2018


You think by movie 5 it would occur to all the characters that letting Dino’s roam free was a super bad idea. How many people will die because the heroes wanted to save some dinosaurs?
posted by fimbulvetr at 1:11 PM on July 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


I was entertained by the action, not so much by the story. Are we supposed to be on the side of Team Save the Dinosaurs? I saw the original JP just a few days ago (with the score provided by a live symphony orchestra, which was quite a treat), where Malcolm is basically right about everything, so in this movie when he says that they should let the dinos die on Isla Nublar, I'm inclined to agree with him.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:19 PM on July 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


I felt like this movie was mostly just Chris Pratt saves the day over and over again. Granted, I don’t remember all the details, but I’m pretty sure he’s the only person who solved any problems except for Zoe when she solved the Blue problem.

were they trying to make us feel connected with the 'heroes' of the story, after they LET THE DINOS LOOSE IN CALIFORNIA FOR NO REAL REASON?!

I think technically the heroes were going to let them die and then the clone set them free, so maybe they were trying to prime us to distrust clones?
posted by LizBoBiz at 1:40 PM on July 21, 2018 [2 favorites]


Some of the silliest compositions of the movie are in that free-the dinosaurs moment. Somehow a bronto (or other giant veggiesaur) is smushed up in the mansion zoo with a stegosaurus, triceratops, et al, framed perfectly in a surveillance camera, and it seems like one of those chaos shots of all the Muppets. When the door finally opened, I assumed the secretary had just had enough dander and feathers.
posted by condour75 at 7:22 PM on July 28, 2018 [2 favorites]


OH, and I also liked that Blue was hiding out in the jungle in an overturned original green and red Ford Explorer.

I saw the flick today and in reading about it since, it seems this Explorer is intended to be the one that the kids get trapped in in the first film and which ends up descending vertically through the tree to rest at the base, where we now see it again, four movies later. Maybe you have to be a lot more immersed in JP canon than I to catch this.

Anyway, I saw it this afternoon in the cheap second-run cinema down the street from me. I don't begrudge the four bucks I paid, but it was largely unremarkable with a few superb moments and set pieces. As with one poster above, I figured Chris Pratt Saves the Day Nine Times is a thin subtitle for this installment; holding this up next to Bayona's other movies, I feel like I just watched a Lamborghini Countach tool around the track at 20 mph for fifty laps.

One genuinely funny moment that no one else has commented on: after all the absurdity in the previous movie of Claire running about in heels, there is a James Cameron shot of her feet in sturdy, heavy-duty boots hitting the ground when she arrives on the island.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:02 PM on August 31, 2018 [2 favorites]


So now that we're into home video releases... I sorta wish I'd seen this one in the theater? Possibly with my large flask. It was a perfectly cromulent, if stupid, popcorn action movie. If it had starred the Rock instead of Crisp Rat, you'd have known that going in.

No, almost none of it made sense. Yes, they beat you over the head with like the one vaguely interesting plot point (the nature of the granddaughter, IMO - everything else was old hat). No, they didn't take that plot point anywhere that mattered anyway. But there were big dinosaur setpiece fights. They got off the island far faster than I expected them to, and the Weyland-Yutani twist kept it from turning into a terrible drag if it was otherwise two and a half hours getting the dinos to Isla Bore-na.

So yeah, dumb as a box of rocks, but I'd have gladly enjoyed an afternoon out of the summer heat drinking gin and juice, chewing through stale popcorn while watching that on the big screen.
posted by Kyol at 6:48 PM on September 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


Crisp Rat

oh no you've ruined me forever

posted by phunniemee at 3:13 AM on September 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


Is the description of this Baryonyx scene in this Jenny Nicholson video more or less how it really goes down? The dinosaur literally walks through lava and is fine?

Yes. Pretty much word for word. It is just as stupid and hilarious as it sounds.
posted by Kyol at 7:10 AM on September 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


I don’t really remember JP2 or JP3 but what I loved about JP and liked about JW was the intro to the dinosaurs and the parks that were created before everything went wrong. This movie was just about the mayhem. Yes, lots of nice trick shots, but no scenes that showed how wonderful the dinosaurs are when they aren’t caged or fleeing lava - the closest was the video of Chris Pratt with young Blue. I did like the shot of the bronto at the end of the pier as the ship left.
posted by Sukey Says at 3:24 AM on September 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


making Ian Malcolm boring

Book-canon Malcolm is a mouthpiece for Chricton's global warming skepticism, so hearing Goldblum stress the out-of-control nature of human effect on the environment was jarring.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:55 PM on October 7, 2018


This was a very boring movie but I was legitimately cheering every time the dinosaurs ate people.
posted by liquorice at 1:04 AM on November 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


a 2/2.5 stars out of five kinda deal that would be good for say, airplane viewing.

I just watched it on an airplane, and I can confirm.

I loved the pachy causing chaos, that was the highlight for me. I did notice all of the beautifully composed shots, without knowing that the director was somebody known. The bronto on the pier was nicely elegiac, but I was stuck thinking that that's a water-going dino and it should get in the water. And of course, every time a bad guy got eaten was great.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 2:33 PM on December 24, 2018


Come for the well composed shots of elegiac brontosaurs, stay for the bad guys getting eaten.
posted by phunniemee at 6:53 AM on December 25, 2018 [4 favorites]


I mean, if that doesn't sound like a movie worth your time I think you're in the wrong franchise.

Another thing I've been mulling over is the theme of save the dinos/kill the dinos, which people have rightly pointed out gets a bit muddled. Whenever it can do so, the movie goes out of its way to portray them as beautiful but tragic and doomed. The brontosaurus on the pier and the dinosaurs trapped in the HCN cloud are the most direct examples, but the ideas show up in other ways throughout. The dinosaurs here are largely a proxy for extinction in general.

This is theme the movie is drawing on when Claire makes the decision not to save the dinosaurs. If they could go to a nature preserve they could be saved but kept alive as representatives of the past. They must however, become integrated with the modern world - they are too dangerous, and it is tragic but they are from the past and must be resigned back to it. They have no place now.

That scene tuns on a dime, narratively and thematically, when Maisie steps in. She draws the connection between herself and the dinosaurs through their shared origins in advanced technology. It's for sentimental reasons that she saves them, but she is also asserting with her youth and technological nature that these dinosaurs are not of the past but rather the future - our world will be shaped by them and this cannot and should not be prevented.

It's a little muddled because "Dinosaurs are the future" is, before that point, largely the theme of the villains - their vision of dinosaurs fully integrated into capitalist warfare is explicitly futuristic. Malcom's testimony also concerns dinosaurs as the future, but in a cautionary tenor.

(Somewhere in the middle is a theme of 'dinosaurs as the present', which is maybe every time the characters talk about the experience of seeing a live dinosaur for the first time, but also every time a dinosaur is a threat or problem that is driving a scene maybe?)

So that's my grand theory of this movie
posted by vibratory manner of working at 9:45 AM on December 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


Should have read: They must not however, become integrated with the modern world

well past the edit window here, unfortunately.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 6:33 PM on December 27, 2018


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