Let me tell you something. For a 90’s girl that grew up with the original Jurassic Park movie (the Steven Spielberg one), I wasn’t too happy with Jurassic World spin-offs. To be fair, I wasn’t all that happy with any of the movies that followed the Spielberg movie, but hey. I gave them a shot as well.
However, the Jurassic World as fine as it was, didn’t really make an impression on me. It was meh (at best) in my opinion, and I think I mentioned that in my previous post. Sure I came for the dinosaurs but I stayed for Chris Pratt, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Maaaan! The charisma on that man! He can sell pretty much every mediocre movie out there. And to be perfectly honest, after the perfectly mediocre Jurassic World I expected another perfectly mediocre sequel. Oh, and just to be clear, the production of the third installment (Jurassic World: Dominion) is currently underway. So, strap in for more dinosaurs ladies and gents. There’s more to come from the franchise.
Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom Is A Pleasant Surprise?
But I’m here to discuss the Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and of course defend it. As in defending it for being a far more interesting, more scary and nail-biting movie. Well, compared to the predecessor anyway. But I’ll get to that in a second. First and foremost, there’s a video game in question that inspired this post. We do have plenty of Jurassic World Evolution content here at IndieGala, and the good news is that they’re all currently on sale. The bad news is that the sale ends very soon.
Jurassic World Evolution: What’s The Game All About?
Developed and published by Frontier Developments, Jurassic World Evolution is a fun simulation and strategy game. And in it, you get to bio-engineer dinosaurs that think, feel and react intelligently to the world around them. Also, you get to play with life itself to give your dinosaurs unique behaviors, traits and appearances. Not to mention, contain and profit from them to fund your global search for lost dinosaur DNA. Sounds familiar?
Indeed. But as I previously mentioned, I would gladly pick The Fallen Kingdom over the first Jurassic World movie anyway. However, at this particular point in the post, I should probably mention that I first saw The Fallen Kingdom last year. It was on one of the Greek TV channels in our apartment, and I was basically slowly dying from food poisoning. Oh, and did I mentioned that it was on my honeymoon? Yup. I love you Greece, but I’m never touching your sea-food again. Where was I? Oh, yeah. I was watching The Fallen Kingdom while I was in a state of food poisoning induced delirium. Severely dehydrated, exhausted, sun-burned and miserable as well, but I digress. But I remember liking it even in that miserable state. Also, I watched it again yesterday. And it was as good as I remember it, considering well… you know…
Nail-biting and even scary (er)
What’s the movie you might ask? In essence. Profit. I know… How meta right? Eli Mills (played by Rafe Spall) is trying to sell the dinosaurs (from the first movie) to the highest bidder. Under the pretense of saving them from a volcanic eruption of course, but he’s not after sympathy and care for these predators. He’s after money, and Claire and Owen are trying to stop his evil ways. OK, I’ll be the first to admit that the movie has (at times) unnecessary jam-packed plot (and sub-plots) filled with rather annoying characters. The paleo-veterinarian Zia Rodriguez first comes to mind here, and don’t even get me started on Franklin Webb. However, the screenwriters made a solid conscious decision to polish some stuff and shake things up. And I applaud that.
Chris and Bryce Are Back!
Case in point, the two main characters. Yes, there’s not a decent villain here, but I suppose that’s due to the poor casting as well as to the poor writing of the planned villains. Moreover, Rafe Spall and Toby Jones are not pulling their punches (acting-wise) either. However, if you take a moment you’ll notice the subtle difference in the development of the two main characters. Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard). She’s more engaging and empathetic (hey she’s an activist for Pete’s sake), while he’s more polished and less brash. Oh and less arrogant as well. Sadly the chemistry between these two is still not there, but the script is not attempting to do anything about it. I don’t mind really. I’m here about the dinosaurs and only the dinosaurs. Let’s just say this is not Pride and Prejudice, and the writers knew it.
Visually Stunning Movie
And speaking of the dinosaurs… The movie really made you care about them, didn’t it? From being the vicious predators that you’re scared of, to being the endangered animals that you want to protect from harm. It’s a nice transition, don’t you think? And you know what else is nice here? Well, two things come to mind.
The first is the visual ease in which the director J. A. Bayona is scaring us through different types of set pieces. I mean there are breathtaking open-air set pieces and closed set pieces that are both scary and grandiose. And they all deliver the goods I might add. But, if you’re having doubts in Bayona’s ability to scare the pants out of you,… Don’t! He’s one of the masters of the genre, and he perfectly blends the horror, with suspense, claustrophobia and lots if dark, creepy, Gothic atmosphere. Things that don’t normally go with dinosaurs on a rampage but hey… They work here like a charm.
Don’t Dismiss Bayona’s Talents
And secondly, I almost forgot to mention the biggest compliment that this movie was given. The biggest shift in structure I’ve seen in a long time. You know what I’m talking about. The first half of the movie is open-world mayhem, but the second half is a Gothic mansion horror that really showcases Boyona’s talent. Which talent you might ask? His uncanny ability to make atmospheric, yet stunning movies with his camera alone. Sure, there’s dialogue and lines here and there, but do you remember any of them? No! You remember the clinging of the dinosaur’s claws and nails when he comes into the bedroom. It’s visual excellence in small enclosed spaces, and it’s unnerving. Old school scary stuff, which is always welcomed.
I mean, the auction scene is riveting all by itself, but what follows is next to perfection in a visual sense. And I don’t know about you, but I loved the concept. Two opposing structures clashing mid-way of the movie and each finding its way to grab you by your throat. Hey, at least the sequel has the decency to mix and match things. And not give in to complacency of what’s expected from the franchise. I liked that as well.
I don’t Get The Hate Towards Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Finally, I never understood the hate that Fallen Kingdom got. Sure, it has its flaws but it dared to be different. To defect from the usual formula and to try something new. It doesn’t always succeed, but damn, the final product is one hella scary, dark movie. Not bad right?