“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” is the kind of movie that talks down to you. The script treats you like you’re a 4-year-old boy playing with dinosaur toys in the bathtub. It’s garbage, and in a just-world, it would lose money.
The film begins with a prologue scene in which some corporate lackeys are attempting to retrieve a piece of bone from the “Indominus Rex” carcass lying at the bottom of the ocean. It reminds you of the opening scene of “Jurassic Park”, only instead of making you excited for what is to come, it makes you dread the next two hours of your life. You immediately know what is going to happen, and thus know it’s going to be more of the same schlocky garbage you’ve now grown accustomed to in following this franchise. CGI dinosaurs are going to be chasing characters around, and some of those characters won’t make it.
Once we get past that opening scene, we’re in for 15 to 20 minutes (feels like an hour) of plot set-up. Three years have passed since Jurassic World was destroyed, and we learn that the dinosaurs still there are in danger due to the fact that the park was built on a giant volcano (why?) that's set to erupt at any moment, killing them all in the process. Enter Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), who works for some sort of “dino rights” organization (think PETA for dinos) and has been lobbying to have the government go in and save these creatures. Lucky for her an old colleague of Dr. Hammond (the old guy from the original film) has money and plans to (with Claire’s help) get the dinosaurs off of the volcanic island and over to another island with natural barriers where the animals can live a peaceful life away from us awful humans.
Going along with Claire is Owen (Chris Pratt), who is needed because he’s the only one who can get close enough to a raptor named “Blue” (you probably remember Blue from the last film) to capture her and get her to safety as well. They’re both joined by a private military force on a trip to the island where everything will go wrong precisely as you expect it to. There are a few twists and turns, but absolutely no surprises to be had here (were you not expecting a new “super dinosaur” of some kind?). Pretty much everyone outside of our main characters is despicable, leaving you with no tension, and no reason for watching.
If this all sounds pointless and boring, it’s because it is. This film is devoid of any substance what-so-ever. It’s one generic action set piece after another, with a few one-liners sprinkled in between them. Its “funny moments” make you want to throw something at the screen, and its dramatic moments are hilarious. There’s a scene where a character you’re meant to care about dies that had me laughing out loud in the theater.
This script was just god awful. I would have thought that it would be next to impossible to make me dislike Bryce Dallas Howard or Chris Pratt, but I haven’t been more annoyed with a duo of actors in quite some time. Every time they opened their mouths bile came out in the form of dialogue, and I had to cover my face in embarrassment.
Fortunately, there were two moments in this movie that did impress me, and both had to do with the cinematography. One involved a neat shot of a brontosaurus that’s left behind on the island, and the other was a creative shot that was used to set up a scary scene (the camera turns upside down and peaks through a window that a dinosaur is looking through). The movie is not ugly, and I guess it deserves some points for that. There’s no shaky cam and the dinosaurs, while not as dazzling as they used to be, look great.
I haven’t walked out of a movie early in years, and if it weren’t for you (mostly) fine folks reading this review, I would have today. “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” is that bad. It’s long, has an awful plot, and is full of cringe-worthy dialogue, terrible characters, and the kind of laugh-out-loud moments where you’re not supposed to be laughing. Watching this film was just an awful experience. As Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum, who’s in this movie for all of three minutes) would say, this was, “… one big pile of shit.”