By Ryan Putney (Waukee, IA)

 

The original Jurassic Park film is now 25 years old and is a beloved classic that not only changed the world of film, but also holds up very well to this day. Ever since then they have tried to recapture the magic and have failed to do so since. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom not only fails to live up to those expectations but it even fails to live up the first Jurassic World film. There were many moments in the theater where I had to stop myself from going into a rage of frustration. There were characters in this film that didn’t really do much and were only in the movie to fill out certain roles in the story but add little substance to said story. One character being Franklin Webb, who drove me nuts, who was there to whine, complain, and being overly afraid that the T-Rex is going to kill him.

 I don’t think in any of the previous Jurassic films there was one character who I had hoped would get eaten by a dinosaur who wasn’t a villain. Not only does Franklin come off as an annoying character but he doesn’t add anything to the story other than to work with the computer system on the island and have one hero moment. Then of course we get a villain named Ken Wheatley, who is helping capture the dinosaurs whose only purpose is for the audience to hate him and hope he gets his comeuppance. Lastly, we have the character named Zia Rodriguez, who despite being a more likable character in my opinion, does only one important thing in the film and then is pretty much ignored for the rest of the film. It doesn’t stop there for this film, like its predecessors, repeats the message of man should not meddle with nature and should not playing God by creating life, which honestly feels you can’t have a Jurassic film without that message being in it somewhere.

The story feels like it is all over the place with its debate of saving the dinosaurs, letting the volcano kill the dinosaurs, selling dinosaurs for profit, and weaponizing dinosaurs. It even tries to state that animals have been used in wars and the examples it gives us is horses, elephants, and rats to carry a disease. All those animals we know can be tamed or understand how avoid from getting killed or seriously injured by them. Basically we know what we are getting into with those animals, but dinosaurs are completely different in that matter. Trying to say we can use dinosaurs as weapons is an idiotic idea that any person who thinks it is a good idea is just asking to be killed by one.

Now not all of the movie is bad and there is plenty there that is worth seeing the film in theaters once and a discounted price. Owen is once again a standout character in the film and one can’t help but smile when he is on screen. Claire was an actually more enjoyable character this time around and we got to see more of the side of her that explains why she was working at Jurassic World in the last film and it is because she truly cares about the dinosaurs. Which was one message I felt the movie did well with because I can connect with that. I consider myself a bit of an animal activist who wants nothing more than for the animals to be safe and preserved so they can live happy lives.

People like Claire who love dinosaurs believe that now with the park being done and now facing extinction once again that the dinosaurs need to be saved. There is one other villain character whose name I won’t say did very well, despite being a typical corporate villain who wants lots of money. His argument with Claire felt valid to me for he stated to her that he and she both exploited the dinosaurs and that the only difference between them is that he is willing to admit it. He adds on that with the box being open, the box being bringing dinosaurs back to life, that it can’t be closed and things can’t go back to the way they were was an argument I enjoyed and agreed with. In their world they have the power to bring these creatures back and once that became a reality there was no way that that box could ever be closed because like Dr. Ian Malcolm said in the first film, “Life finds a way.” Which means people will find a way to do it again no matter if it is right or wrong. The strongest and one of the most enjoyable parts of the film for me was watching Owen and the velociraptor Blue bonding back when Blue was a baby. The film does a tremendous job of getting you to care about the relationship between them that it brought a tear to my eye. Besides the T-Rex the raptors have been a key species in the Jurassic film universe and while they are not scientifically accurate to what they really looked like back in the day as scientists have stated, they are a definite favorite for me. Blue by far is the best raptor of the franchise especially now that we the audience know just how special she thanks to this film.

The last elements I wish to discuss are the special effects and the musical score/ sound effects. Overall the special effects were pretty well done, but there were a few moments in the film where they take you out of it because it is as fake as it appears to be. The design and effects for the dinosaur star called the Indoraptor were excellent and it had a terrifying presence. The fear on the actors faces were quite believable and understandable when try putting yourself in their fictional shoes. Now the piece that in my opinion saves the film from being really terrible, other than it playing into a few clichés, was the musical score. There were multiple times where the music got me tensed up and when it would calm down I would let out a sigh and could breathe again. The sounds of the dinosaurs and everything else going on shook my seat and I was only watching the film in standard digital which I found impressive. The music in this film was impressive in terms that it didn’t just heavily rely on John Williams masterpiece of a score in the first Jurassic Park to help it, they made their own and it was awesome.

In conclusion, while the film was not as good as the first Jurassic World and didn’t really add anything new to the franchise, it was different enough to be decently enjoyable film. Any fans of the franchise should go see this film at least once in a theater, but it is completely understandable if one wants to wait to rent it.

Rating: 3/5

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