Jurassic World 2 is what going to the cinema is all about.
The original Jurassic Park is one of the finest blockbusters in movie history. It found this rare balance between sheer popcorn fun and edge of your seat terror, and will go down as an all-time classic. Although since the 1993 original, the series had spawned 3 sequels, all featuring plenty of memorable moments but never coming close to matching the magic and originality of the first.
Then came Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. A terrifying, hugely enjoyable rollercoaster of a blockbuster and a return to form for the franchise. It isn’t without problems, but this is essential viewing. A film of truly epic proportions.
When the dormant volcano of the Jurassic World island begins to roar in to life, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. But everything is not as it seems.
Chris Pratt is a superstar. One of the most likeable and charismatic men in Hollywood, Pratt has never been better here as leading man Owen. He is effortlessly charming and a real hero you root for, sharing a genuine chemistry with the always lovely Bryce Dallas Howard. They have a real spark and it was really nice to see their relationship develop further. Dallas Howard has a much stronger character arc than in the previous film, making for a great leading lady.
New recruits Justice Smith and Daniella Pineda are nice additions, but are side-lined for almost the entire second half, whilst Rafe Spall is a convincing if unmemorable villain. A story line involving a little girl named Maisie (played by first time actress Isabella Sermon) felt shoehorned in to make the movie more family friendly, even though this subplot has a dark twist all of its own.
The film creates some nicely crafted scares to go along with the action, with the first half playing out as an action adventure before things take a dark turn into claustrophobic horror as we reach its climax. It strikes a real nice balance between the two, never becoming too scary to frighten younger viewers but enough dread and thrills to satisfy the older.
The films problem lies with it seeming perfectly fine to settle for cliché, as the dialogue can be very basic and it’s continuously predictable. Whilst the payoff is always worth it, it very rarely packs a punch or surprise like the movie thinks it does. This could also be down to a turgid marketing campaign which showed far too much footage from its trailers.
Viewers may also find problems with some character choices. They can at times come across as clueless and make needless mistakes, so I can understand anyone who may have a problem with this. But if you are able to not take it overly serious, sitting back watching all the carnage unfold, then you will be seriously rewarded.
This is because the action is what you’ll be talking about when you leave the theatre. The film is jam packed with stupendous action, with the opening scene setting the tone perfectly for what’s in store. Throughout it’s brutal yet breath-taking and monster action like no other.
The franchise has always specialised in action, each film topping the last for scale and mayhem, and with Fallen Kingdom we reach all new heights. It’s at the film’s centrepiece aboard a volcanic island about to erupt, where we reach the pinnacle of Jurassic movies. It’s simply the action sequence of the year to beat.
It will also surprise you just how gorgeous this movie is. The dinosaurs have a considerable amount of screen time, and they are beautifully recognised and the visual effects are stunning. Leading raptor Blue is a crucial element to the plot and his relationship with Pratt was lovely to watch unfold, especially during flashbacks.
A lot of the film’s success is down to director J.A Bayona. The superb director behind the emotional The Impossible and touching A Monster Calls, Bayona has now hit the big leagues in a big way. From the opening frame, you know this is crafted with care and precision. This is a master working at the peak of his powers.
On the whole the new Jurassic World is an enthralling ride and fun of the highest order, one cinema experience you do not want to miss. The best entry since the first.
Verdict: At times it is silly and predictable but Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is the real deal, with a compelling story, genuine scares and enough dino action to leave your mind officially blown!
Best Moment: The island volcano finally erupts.
Review written by Lewis Pearce.