Oh no, not another film were I don’t have to think….

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Directed by: J.A. Bayona

Written by: Derek Connolly, Colin Trevorrow

Featuring: Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt, Rafe Spall, Toby Jones, Daniella Pineda, Justice Smith, James Cromwell, Isabella Sermon

The US Senate debates whether to the abandoned Jurassic World complex on the Isla Nublar should be allowed to disappear to ocean as its volcano starts to erupt and tear it apart. In the meantime, regardless of the decision Benjamin Lockwood, former partner of Jurassic Park founder John Hammond, with the help of his aide Eli Mills undertakes a mission to rescue the dinosaurs. Mills recruits Claire Dearing the former operations director of the island and the Velociraptor wrangler Owen Grady to help out with capturing the creatures. Once everyone is assembled on the island it is clear everything is not as it seems.

Dinosaurs in the 21st century are rare, also finding a film that I genuinely dislike so much that it makes me angry is equally as rare. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is just a film. I felt like I’d lost some IQ points after the final credits had rolled up.

Let’s break it down though.

The acting, everyone in this is not on their game. Bryce Dallas Howard, who I admit am I biased against, is bland and unconvincing, Chris Pratt, so much a great screen presence, has clearly sent a clone of himself, there’s no chemistry between our leads, no charisma from a very charismatic actor and the action sequences do not suit him and border on funny.
 
Rafe Spall is a fine actor and has proved he can turn his hand to any type of role. In Fallen World his role is Scooby Doo baddy, it is as subtle and poorly written as that. He is rich and wants to be wealthier so obviously he is evil, and he has to do it illegally. To be fair to Mr. Spall the house he bought from this role was definitely worth it.

Toby Jones is one of my favourite actors, like Rafe Spall he is a fine British thespian who can make at the minimum a reasonable fist of any role thrown at him in any drama and turn out great performance regardless of the material. Here he is a Bargain Hunt auctioneer but selling dinosaurs to stereotype snarling, comic-book bad guys.  Why oh why is he wearing Dick Emery’s vicar’s teeth?

None of the last two paragraphs makes me happy, both Spall and Jones have given me every impression of being down-to-earth honest and friendly types so slagging off a film they are in and question their motivations for making it does not sit well with me. It would be interesting to see what they say about this film after some distance is put between them and it – at least they will never be in any sequels.

The supporting, grand-children, younger people, roles are filled by two relative unknowns Daniella Pineda and Justice Smith are neither relatable, funny or have any real purpose in the story. It is noticeable that they disappear for a long part of the film only to return at the end. It feels as if both were thrown in at the deep end and were not ready for this type of film or role. That only leaves Isabella Sermon to scream, run up and down corridors and spy on the adults plotting like something out of the Famous Five.

But despite all of the above the biggest annoyance for me is the terrible, awful, story. I am fully aware of the ‘it’s entertaining defence’ and this works if the film is made for eight-year-olds but presumably the story, and definitely the source-novel and original film, were also aimed at the older viewer too?

I’m insulted by this film. Insulted by it.

Firstly the whole driving point – dinosaurs as weapons for despots? Just buy tanks and planes like everyone does, they can be bought legally and would surely be easier to maintain and that driving force for science-fiction/fantasy story is so old that the grey whiskers it has have grey whiskers. Getting all gooey eyed over $10m for ankylosaurus, which as an herbivore would probably not be that aggressive but $10 that buys you a good League One footballer in this day and age.

The story eats itself with all these logical dead ends. Even within the world of the movie and implausibility of the situation, with all disbelief suspended, this still stretched credibility until it breaks. Not only that it further insults fans of the original by rehashing so many set-ups and stunts from the first movie that you can predict everything coming. Stealth Tyrannosaur anyone? Velociraptor that is more intelligent than most of the humans? Great White Hunter who is nasty and gets his from a big old dinosaur? A cardboard cut-out baddie who avoids everything that happens and seems to have got away but…. doesn’t? Check the tick list, they are all there and these are not plot spoilers because you’ve seen these scenes at least twice before in dinosaur related mayhem films.

The whole debacle seems to have been written and directed by an 8-year old Scooby Doo and monsters’ fan who has had way too much sugar and should sit down and have a nap.

The CGI is good.

The ending is beyond preposterous and just sets up a dire sequel to this farcical film and one can only imagine how much spinning Michael Crichton is doing.

That final shot of the lion and tyrannosaur is as annoying as it is baffling. I can just imagine the makers saying ‘It’ll be sooooo cool bro’ in the meeting. It is not.

Here’s hoping the next Jurassic World story goes down the root of the Phantom Menace. A full two hours of the legal ramifications of what happened in the last two films. Firstly Claire Dearing was front and centre and directly and indirectly responsible for hundreds of innocent deaths and also in charge of a minor who realised hundreds of dinosaurs in the USA, some of which are ferocious carnivores so she’s probably going to be in prison for the rest of her life and Owen as a willing accomplish will be probably not far behind.

Oh, I give up, this film is tripe.

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