The Problem With Too Many Dinosaurs - A Frank Look At 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom'

Review by Eric Lee

It has been a few weeks since Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom stomped into theaters. I initially watched the movie on opening night and needed the time to percolate my thoughts about it.

In place of a typical movie review, I am just going to give some points about the movie that were logical and illogical, because, lets face it, a blockbuster like this is judged based on how believable or off-the-rails the plot is.

Warning, major spoilers ahead. Though given that it just made $1 billion worldwide, it seems unlikely that I am spoiling anything for most readers at this point.

What Made Sense

  • The movie starts off with the natural fallout of the first Jurassic World. The theme park is in ruins and Bryce Dallas Howard's Claire is now a part of a dinosaur rights group that is petitioning for the creatures to be rescued from Isla Nublar's impending volcano eruption.
    Bryce Dallas-Howard as Claire Dearing
    The real world parallels between actual animal rights activists and the dinosaurs of Jurassic World are pretty neat. The idea that the Masrani Corporation abandoned the dinosaurs when the park collapsed is silly, but at least there are real consequences from the last film. The public should be wondering about how humane it is to leave dinosaurs to cruel fates.
    Owen (Chris Pratt) trains a young Blue
  • Chris Pratt's Owen Grady character is a hoot. He is much more charismatic than in the previous movie.  It helps we see a little more of his personality, instead of just the generic tough-guy archetype. The same can be said for Claire, who is much more proactive in this movie.My favorite scene was when Owen got tranquilized and left to escape a slow-moving lava cascade half-paralyzed. It was both hilarious and suspenseful at the same time.
  • Despite other critics, I think that James Cromwell's Benjamin Lockwood character makes sense as John Hammond's secret partner. Lockwood possesses cloning technology that a venture-capitalist like Hammond probably would never have even understood. It makes sense that Hammond needed to have scientific partners to help create Jurassic Park. The twist that Lockwood's granddaughter Maisie - played by Isabella Sermon - is actually a clone of his daughter was neat too. Unfortunately, the movie does not really do anything with it, so it ends up being wasted.
    Maisie Lockwood played by Isabella Sermon

What Did Not Make Sense

  • So Rafe Spall's Eli Mills recruits Claire and Owen to mount a rescue mission to save the dinos from the volcano under the pretense that they will be moved to a safer island to live. Except there's one problem. The volcano begins erupting, like, an hour after they land on the island. Who planned this trip to cut it so close? This seemed like unusually poor planning. Yes, I know that volcanos don't work on a timer, but... it all seemed a little (in)convenient.
    Ten minutes into the rescue mission and the entire operation gets FUBAR
  • Also, why do characters keep trusting rich people in Jurassic Park/World movies? They are all clearly greedy and evil at worst or misguided or stupid at best. Was anybody surprised when Eli turned out to be evil?
  • This movie, by far, has some of the worst psuedo-science ever. People repeatedly say something to the effect of "Now that Owen perfected the science of controlling raptors, we can control anything!" That is not how behavior sciences work. That is like saying, "Now that he has invented words, everybody can instantly read!" One reason the original Jurassic Park worked so well was because the pseudo-science was believable, even to the real-world scientists. Fallen Kingdom's misunderstanding of behavioral science is hilariously bad.
    The Indoraptor is really awful at its job
  • Easily the worst part of the movie is the main dinosaur villain: the Indoraptor. The Indoraptor is supposed to be the most efficient and genetically advanced killing machine. But it is laughable how terrible the Indoraptor is at actually killing people. Oh sure it killed people who were either trapped in an elevator or two inches in front of its face, but it can't find people who run away from it. Like, when it is chasing Owen and the gang throughout the mansion, it has trouble detecting the hiding humans. Keep in mind, the humans were hiding from the Indoraptor, like, six feet away from it. That seems like, for a creature breed to hunt, it has unusually poor tracking skills. Another weird example of what a poor killing machine it is was when the Indoraptor fought the "Normal" velociraptor, Blue. Owen's trained raptor thrashed the Indorapotor hard.  At one point Blue was throwing the Indoraptor through windows! Shouldn't a regular raptor be easy prey? Maybe the scientists dropped the Indoraptor's test tube a couple of times.

Conclusion

Fallen Kingdom never strives to be anything more than a loud, dumb summer blockbuster. It does not have the existential philosophies of the original Jurassic Park or World. It sort of has some real-world allegories and then quickly drops them in favor of some volcano action. If one ignores the plot flaws, then Fallen Kingdom can be an entertaining distraction.

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