Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom picks up three years after Jurassic World where we find Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) leading a campaign to save the dinosaurs from the imminent volcanic explosion on the now abandoned Isla Nublar. The government doesn't want anything to do with it, so someone in the private sector calls Claire to tell her they're willing to help get the dinosaurs to a sanctuary island... she just needs to get ex-boyfriend and raptor trainer, Owen (Chris Pratt) on board. You can probably guess what happens next: things don't go according to plan and absolute chaos ensues. Whoa!
The key motivation for the whole "save the dinosaur before the volcano erupts operation" turns out to be a lie and the dinosaurs are actually going to be sold at auction to the highest bidder. Yet, the amount they go for seems like a total steal considering the time and billions of dollars it has taken to create them in the first place... not to mention they are the last of their kind. Oh, except that at the beginning of the film they show you how the bad guys have dino-DNA in their possession as they're cooking up another insane, war machine cross breed a la Indominus Rex called the Indoraptor (who I found profoundly less scary than its predecessor.) I was left wondering throughout the movie why couldn't they just make more? It's maddening.
So the dinosaurs are being marketed as the next weapons of war... which is, at its core, a really terrible idea. Once they're transported off the island, all that was left was waiting for the bad guys to get their comeuppance, because we know they will somehow... and probably via dinosaur attack. The one thing this movie had that the other installments didn't was plenty of animal torture, and more than anyone really needs in their life. I found it difficult to watch at times.
What this movie did do well was make you feel for the dinosaurs. The audience has invested in them since Jurassic Park 25 years ago. After all, as the movies message screams- they are living creatures! Or is it that humans are careless? Maybe it's both, I can't be sure. Anyway, they capitalize on your attachment to these majestic creatures, but just in case you weren't feeling it, you get a couple of emotionally manipulative scenes with a brachiosaurus (you'll know the one) and some old video research videos with Owen training a baby Blue. I also really enjoyed addition to the hero team- systems analyst Franklin, played by Justice Smith.
This movie felt formulaic and lazily written. There were so many fundamental flaws that I'm honestly not sure where to begin. There were too many subplots, and one particularly silly reveal, that didn't really do anything to serve the main story line (oh hello Maisie.) Were there exciting moments and scenes that made you jump? Sure. All the elements that made this franchise successful were there, but that may have been the ultimate problem. It felt like we had done all this before, multiple times. Jurassic World did a fine job reinventing the original Jurassic Park in a larger scale without needing to take the story here... You'd be better served just watching those again and skipping this one.
TLDR: This sequel felt completely unnecessary. The script was truly clunky and despite their best efforts with the cast and action sequences, it couldn't be overcome. It quite obviously sets up for another installment I just have no interest in seeing. Seems to me like we should've just let things be on Isla Nublar and never dreamt up this Fallen Kingdom.
Brit's pro tip: If you want to really have fun at this movie, go out in the hall outside the theater and rip it apart with your friends. (By the way, there is an after credits scene if you want to wait... it's not much, but it's there.)