June 21, 2018

CINEMA | 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Haunts A House

Chris Pratt Bryce Dallas Howard J.A. Bayona | Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the fifth disjointed prehistoric entry, moves even further away from the original Jurassic Park's initial cinematic concept. Where author Michael Crichton and filmmaker Steven Spielberg (still a producer) originally explored the dangerous mixture between the wonders of scientific rediscovery and the horrors of human intervention, director J.A. Bayona (new to the franchise) focuses down using his well-honed monstrous visuals and a theatrical sense of filmmaking to construct a dinosaur themed gothic horror meets haunted house feature.

Our dubious Jurassic World leads Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard return for really little narrative reason. Howard, likely due to the backlash of her somewhat misogynistic depiction in the first, essentially portrays a totally different character with brand new (and unexplained) dinosaur conservationist motivations.

Their Owen and Claire characters inexplicably go back to the now volcanic island of Isla Nublar to the twice closed theme park to misguidedly rescue some of the remaining dinosaurs before their second extinction. Owen is basically a superhero in the vein of Pratt's Star-Lord without any of the charming qualities. His superhuman abilities to look cool and rescue virtually anyone from dire dinosaur attacks grows wearisome despite the thrills.

Scripted by JW director Colin Trevorrow (also a producer) and his co-writer Derek Connolly, the direct sequel wisely keeps it brisk and moves past the usual exposition and plot mechanics to set up an extended haunted house style sequence after a quick trip to the island for the film's latter two acts mirroring the end of the original Jurassic Park's tensely set up action trapped in a single location.

While the likes of James Cromwell, Ted Levine, Toby Jones, and a returning B.D. Wong make various appearances to feed the ridiculous mechanics of the preposterously ludicrous evil plan, it's a fairly lean movie with few characters of note. Their varying levels of willful stupidity or convenient dastardliness are increasingly frustrating in letting you enjoy the dinosaur destruction.

Bryce Dallas Howard Justice Smith Colin Trevorrow J.A. Bayona | Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Easily the most appealing new character is played by Daniella Pineda as a badass paleo-veterinarian in desperate need of more screen time while Justice Smith's overly nerdy analyst belongs nowhere near danger in a bit of awkward comic relief. Additionally, Isabella Sermon is a welcome and playful presence as a mysterious yet confused child with unclear connections to the original the park's sordid history.

An inconsistent Rafe Spall also appears up to basically serve a tiresome and predictable archetype with awful motivations teasing more of our twisted humanity. Finally, Jeff Goldblum's Ian Malcolm returns briefly to advocate for dinosaur extinction and build a greater context for the entire franchise while bookending the feature.

The leaps in logic jumping from one baffably stupid situation to another really drags the mostly well-choreographed dinosaur fun. In many ways, this film feels like a more unorthodox bridge between chapters. Trevorrow and Bayona clearly want to take the franchise into new territory and use contained horror film techniques to move various story ideas forward.

Fallen Kingdom is marginally better than its predecessor but its reliant on human characters continuing to do utterly idiotic things is even more unmanageable. However, Bayona's mostly sharp direction and sparser use of blockbuster tricks firmly ground the film in his genre filmmaking roots. At the very least, it's a decent amount of mind-numbing, feel-bad fun and not nearly as mean-spirited as its predecessor.

More | YVArcade / AV Club / Indiewire / ScreenCrush / The Playlist / Vox

0 reactions:

Post a Comment