by Joseph Shelton
In these fraught times of fake news and other humbug, in which the truth seems to be losing its currency verisimilitude no longer equates verity, there are certain things that must be said. And, more than said, taken to heart. There are some balloons of falsehood that must be popped by the incisive pin of hard, gleaming truth.
So here goes: “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” sucks. It doesn’t just suck, it really, really sucks.
Just because it made over a billion dollars doesn’t make it a good film, although it might make it a wise investment for the studios. Like so many other franchises entries, “Fallen Kingdom” is an increasingly desperate rehash of material done much better decades ago. While the first “Jurassic World” was improbable enough, plot-wise, bringing a dull assortment of feckless dinosaur-bait to the island for the grand re-opening of the park, its sequel has even less plot. This time our crew of talented actors in thankless rolls is going back to the island to, sigh, rescue the dinosaurs.
Somehow, in the interim between the first and second entries of the “Jurassic World”, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) has become some sort of dinosaur rights activist. She’s started some sort of non-profit for their benefit, at which a variety of nattily-dressed twenty-somethings bustle around in the the important business of advocating for the thunder lizards. So when she finds out that a volcano is going to destroy the dinos (but why did they build the park on a volcano?), she quickly attempts to recruit her ex, not-quite-Indiana-Jones (Chris Pratt). Then they recruit some other forgettable types and they all head off to the island for about a half hour, rescue some dinosaurs, and then end up in the mansion of a sickly British billionaire who is, ostensibly, sensitive to the plight of the dinosaur.
Once all the characters and the dinosaurs converge in the mansion it all turns into something a gothic horror film where velociraptors haunt the corridors rather than ghosts, which sounds fun on paper but becomes tiresome quickly, especially when almost every character interaction is profoundly stupid. The script feels as if it was written by a deranged 12 year old on a sugar high, given a cursory glance by some cynical, cigar-chomping executive, and then rushed into production.
It smacks, more than vaguely, of contempt for the viewer: it seems to think we’ll watch anything. But prove them wrong! DON’T watch “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”.
Actually, scratch that, rent it early and often at your friendly local Movie Lovers. Just see that you don’t enjoy it.