It has been twenty-five years since the original Jurassic Park stomped into cinemas becoming the most successful film of all time, before Titanic took its spot in 1997. Since then there have been three sequels, two of them are solid blockbusters and the other is Jurassic Park III. This year the fifth film of the franchise was released and as a result the franchise is more popular than it has ever been.
Fallen Kingdom is a more direct sequel to 2015’s Jurassic World and brings back characters such as Chris Pratt’s Owen Grady and Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire Dearing after the horrific events of the previous film. More excitingly the film welcomes the return of Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), who in my opinion is the best character of the series, delivering the best lines such as,
‘Life finds a way,’ and,
‘Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could. They didn’t stop to think if they should.’
In this film he continues to warn the other characters of the dangers of tampering with nature, which has been a running theme throughout the series. If you want more of your Goldblum fix however, you can also see Isle of Dogs at the Royal William Yard this Thursday.
The mission this time round is for a team to go back to the original island, Isla Nublar, as there is a dangerous and destructive volcano on the verge of erupting. The dinosaurs that survived the first film are still there, and Claire Dearing decides that the dinosaurs need to be saved. Bryce Dallas Howard is given much more to do in this film and all the better for it. In the original, she is arguably responsible for the chaos that ensues and it was hard to root for her. In this film she is more David Attenborough than Richard Branson and she is the driving force of the story. There are also themes of equality running throughout and Claire’s campaigning to save the dinosaurs. Claire argues that despite their un-natural creation, they are still living beings and deserve a place on this Earth. Whether they should save or destroy the dinosaurs has been a compelling argument throughout the Jurassic-sequels and the argument is used very effectively here.
It is the old partner of original Park creator John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) who helps Claire to get back to the Island and find them a new home to escape the volcano. As part of her team she brings back her ex-boyfriend Owen who reluctantly returns to the island and then the fun begins.
Fallen Kingdom was never going to be better than the original Jurassic Park, which is one of the most perfect blockbusters ever made. It is however, everything you expect from a film that involves people being chased by dinosaurs. It is tonnes of fun and very exciting. The standout moment in the film however, is the volcano sequence where the characters (and dinosaurs) have to flee from the lava and the ultimate destruction of the island. It is one of the best sequences of the whole franchise and the special effects are second to none.
There is a lot of dino-action, some of which is actually pretty terrifying. The film earns its 12A certificate and there are scenes in the second half that are pretty scary. However the film is directed by J.A Bayona who is famous for the horror film The Orphanage and The Impossible, the true story of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami in Thailand, so it is perhaps not surprising that the action scenes are much more intense this time round.
There are plenty of crowd-pleasing moments and it is so far the first Jurassic Park film to reduce myself and apparently lots of other people around the world to tears. Without giving too much away it is an affecting moment and one of the most memorable scenes in the entire film. Bayona is an obvious fan of the franchise and the scene is one of many that prove that the film isn’t another soulless cash-in sequel.
The idyllic Royal William Yard setting suits this instalment perfectly due to Fallen Kingdom being the most beautiful-looking of all the Jurassic Park films. It is more than a worthy entry and is a film that should satisfy fans of the franchise and newcomers. The film has a game-changing conclusion and I for one cannot wait for the final film of the Jurassic World trilogy.