The long-awaited sequel to Jurassic World (2015, Movie Man 1144, 7) has arrived.
Once again, a sequel falls short of the original.
About the film
Jurassic World stunned box office prognosticators.
It not only surprised with it titanic opening weekend, but went on to become one of the biggest moneymaking movies of all-time.
Worldwide, the 2015 original eventually made an astonishing $1.671.1 billion.
Back then, that was good for No. 3 on the elite list; it got passed later in ‘15 by Star Wars: The Force Awakens (MM #1285, 7).
Jurassic World then got bumped back once more this year by Avengers: Infinity Wars (MM #1304, 8).
Still, No. 5 all-time is nothing to sneeze at.
(Avatar [2009, MM #856, 7] and Titanic [1997, MM #212, 8) are one and two.)
The Jurassic World sequel, Fallen Kingdom, wasn’t expected to open as big as the original, and it didn’t.
But it did surpass prognosticators’ guesses with an opening take of $148 million.
The theory was that Incredibles 2 (MM #1311, 5) would shave off much of Fallen World’s potential take since both have the same target audience – kids.
But the dinosaurs beat the superheroes.
Both movies should fare well in the upcoming week since there is no major release planned.
Afterward, Ant-Man and the Wasp will court that same cash-flush youth and dent both movies.
While word has gotten out that this second dino picture isn’t as good as the first one, that has not stopped the turnstiles from revolving.
The island that houses the remaining dinosaurs from Jurassic Park is about to be decimated by a massive volcano.
Government officials worldwide are trying to decide whether to save the animals or not.
Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), who spent some time on the island, tells a committee to let nature do what it does and wipe out the creatures – it’ll correct our mistake by bringing them back in the first place, he argues.
The government agrees, but activist Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) does not.
A group that wants to secretly save them says they need her handprint on a security device on the island to fetch the critters before the lava arrives amid the explosions.
She recruits old lover Owen (Chris Pratt) because he has a rapport with velociraptor Blue – the last of its kind and highly sought after.
The mission suddenly shows a dark side once things get underway as a conspiracy is proven to be afoot.
Now Pratt, Howard, and two more cohorts – with an island quickly deteriorating around them – must try to keep bad guys from getting the dinosaurs while avoiding the criminals themselves.
Then comes a pivotal moment: deciding whether to save the dinos or not with just a push of a button.
Even when a decision is made, a gargantuan issue raises its massive head, and it sets up a sequel. (One that you can get a glimpse of – a very brief glimpse of, about five seconds – if you sit through about 1,000 minutes of end credits.
Pratt is his usual happy-go-lucky hero and his scenes with Blue are best.
There’s a funny shot introducing Howard. The first film was pounced on by feminists for having her run around the entire movie wearing heels while the guys had sensible footwear.
Her opening shot in Fallen Kingdom is of her shoes – nice, comfortable shoes made for fleeing monstrous beasts.
The opening sequence is solid with its underwater attack.
There’s another fun performance in the movie by sassy scientist Zia (Daniella Pineda).
And, of course, there’s a doe-eyed youngster who gets thrown into a violent adult world, replete with dinosaurs intent on devouring her.
The little girl, Maisie (Isabella Sermon), ties to flee an attacking monster by hiding under the covers in her bed.
But the wily, freshly created creature, a hybrid named an indoraptor, traces her there.
Director J.A. Bayona, slyly turns the film into an old school monster movie – think A Nightmare on Elm Street – with a clawed fiend slowly reaching for the covers where an innocent cowers.
It was the one truly suspenseful scene.
(But the escapes get ridiculous pretty quickly.)
What doesn’t work
Fallen Kingdom is awkward and lacks any sort of flow.
The film wastes some talented actors. Goldblum isn’t in it much. Toby Jones has a silly role and James Cromwell seems shoehorned in.
The movie is almost dull at times; the Movie Man nearly nodded off.
A big strike is that it’s not very funny. The beauty of the Jurassic films is their balance of action and humor. That’s lacking here.
The last-second escapes are dumber than usual.
And who knew you could hang out so close to lava!
The PG-13 is, as usual, for mayhem from giant creatures.
The Movie Man wasn’t the only one disappointed in Fallen Kingdom; the audience with him moaned, too.
Maybe the hoops comedy Uncle Drew.