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  1. Published on: 08/07/2018 01:06 PMReported by: Film Critic
    Plot: When a dormant volcano wakes up on Isla Nublar, Owen and Claire must return to the island and mount a rescue mission to save as many dinosaurs as they can.

    As much as Jurassic Park is important to me from my childhood, my expectations for this latest installment was pretty low.

    Now while I thought Jurassic World was pretty decent, the stuff I was hearing about its sequels in terms of the choice of story just sounded like it could very well be a disaster.

    So surely, with my hype being almost non-existent, this was going to be better than expected?

    Well, it kind of was in the end. The first two-thirds pretty much moves along as I expected it to be. The set-pieces were either fine or ordinary, there was little or no character development whatsoever and there was no minor character that was really annoying me.

    Thankfully, the final act actually felt like solid entertainment and I was surprised to see them making it scary for the most part. So fair play to director J.A Bayona and his team for giving us that, as I think most of that final act will scare many younger viewers. But not in a bad way.

    There is not that much to be said about the performances. Chris Pratt had enough charm to keep the film moving as the B-grade Indiana Jones-type. Bryce Dallas Howard was probably the best part. She continues to show good strength in her character from the previous one.

    Rafe Spall did an ok job as the villain, as most of his career has involved playing creepy or slimy characters. It was nice to see Ted Levine be involved, as the last time I saw him was probably Shutter Island back in 2010.

    For nostalgia, it was nice seeing Jeff Goldblum back. However, as for involvement, it was very little.

    As for the newbies. Daniella Pineda showed a lot of promise as this strong-willed character and I felt confidence in her coping with tense situations. As for Justice Smith, I was aware he was the comedic relief. However, his character just came off as either annoying or incompetent and never funny. He seems like a talented actor. But it just did not work in this one.

    I don't often mention this aspect, but I was impressed with some of the choices in lighting, as it intensified and elevated some of the scarier moments. The visual effects were slightly better, as I noticed they weren't to go in close on some of the dinosaurs and I therefore noticed the strong detail.

    Michael Giacchino is back with another score, and there was a nice mix of original pieces mixing in with some classic pieces from the 1993 original.

    As for the negatives, I have plenty. But thankfully a lot of them are small ones. The biggest problem I had was the very little character development. Having that just can't get you invested in the people involved and lose a lot of your enjoyment level for the film as a whole. It is a common problem that most mainstream blockbusters have.

    The other problems I had with it was that the story as expected was not that interesting, and for something involving dinosaurs, there was very little spectacle, awe and wonder. It did have some magic towards the end which was thankfully its saving grace. But most of the film just gave me little content to care for, and it just made me want to watch Jurassic Park again. I know it might be a bit unfair to say that. But the evidence is there of how great of a film you can make with this concept. Every one of it sequels has not come anywhere close to matching that level of enjoyment. But at least The Lost World and even Jurassic Park III has some parts that are worth watching again. Speaking of The Lost World, I could summarise Fallen Kingdom as an elongated version of the first two acts of The Lost World. So that for me is just lazy story-telling.

    This Jurassic World phase for me has had a constant sub-standard summer blockbuster feel to it. It doesn't always make it a terrible film. It just gives little reason for me to want to either own a copy, or even watch it again.

    Those previous sentences pretty describes why I went in with very low expectations. If it wasn't for its final act, they would have been met. But thankfully, its strength was its pay-off and therefore Fallen Kingdom ended up being solid viewing. But only just.

    The action is solid, I admired the desire to make this scary and it did manged to intrigue me as to how the next one would pan out. But the poor development in the characters left very little to get drawn into.

    If I had to rank this within the rest of the franchise. I would place it fourth. Ahead of Jurassic Park III and behind Jurassic World.

    Rating: 7/10
     

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