1 1/2 out of 4 stars
Somewhere, Blue the velociraptor is smiling, ready to turn the next person she sees into her next meal before chowing down on another unsuspecting victim. She’s not alone, either, as a species from many of the dinosaurs who called Jurassic Park home, including a Tyrannosaurus Rex, are now running amok in our great nation, having truly turned Jurassic Park into Jurassic World.
And make no mistake, in “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” the dinosaurs have taken over – and that’s not a good thing.
For humans or this movie, which is director J.A. Bayona’s monstrosity of a follow-up to 2015’s Jurassic World, which grossed more than $1.6 billion worldwide – so of course, the series was going to birth a fifth chapter.
It turned out to be a terrible decision, one trumped only by the choices made by the people when dealing with dinosaurs in “Fallen Kingdom.”
Three years after dinosaurs turned Jurassic Park into it’s personal playground and feasted on the crowd, the park has been vacated and the dinosaurs of Isla Nublar have been left to fend for themselves. But here’s the problem: the island’s volcanoes have become active and if the dinosaurs aren’t rescued, they’ll be killed by lava.
So what’s the problem? Dinosaurs have already been extinct once, so why not again? Call it Mother Nature being Mother Nature.
But the dinosaurs have become a hot topic: one side wants nature to run its course, while another side – led by Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), a former Jurassic Park executive — leads the campaign to save them.
Of course, her and Owen (Chris Pratt) reconnect and lead a mission to save as many as they can before the beasts are engulfed in lava.
What could possibly go wrong by bringing a T-Rex and a bunch of carnivores to the U.S. where they become part of a nefarious plot that is downright ridiculous? Plenty.
The shortcomings of this film, which include weak secondary characters and a plot that is more unbelievable than the movie’s premise that dinosaur DNA can be pulled from mosquitoes to create the living, breathing monsters, are inexplicable.
It begs the question: is this the kind of film author Michael Crichton envisioned and how in the world did Steven Spielberg – the film’s executive producer – think this film was good enough for theaters when it’s a step up from Sharknado?
Jurassic Park has never been really believable as a concept. But its greatness has been it has pushed the boundaries without being ridiculous. Twenty-five years ago, the park opened and moviegoers fell in love with it. Dinosaurs weren’t just monsters but cash cows, as the film generated more than a $1 billion, which was even more impressive in 1993 than it is today.
The next two films, which were released in 1997 and 2001, combined to make a little more than a billion at the worldwide box office. Fourteen years later, the franchise was brought back to life and a film that introduced us to the genetically modified Indominous Rex and a military program that trained velociraptors to become the new wave of soldiers made it almost a certainty that Hollywood would find a way for dinosaurs to live forever.
Now, after “Fallen Kingdom,” the franchise is at a crossroad. The franchise could – and should – end. But with dinosaurs now roaming the earth and living alongside humans like we’re all one big happy family, there are just too many questions.
Then again, maybe it’s time for the franchise to become extinct.
Jon Gallo is an award-winning journalist and editor with 18 years experience, including stints as a staff writer at The Washington Post and sports editor at The Baltimore Examiner. He’s also an editor for CBSSports.com. He’s crossing his fingers the only baseball team in Baltimore that will contend for a title this summer won’t be his fantasy squad, the Catonsville Cartel. He also believes the government should declare federal holidays in honor of the following: the Round of 64 of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament; the Friday of the Sweet 16; the Monday after the Super Bowl; and of course, the day after the release of the latest Madden NFL video game.