Summer is official here when the high grossing action flicks start hitting the theater. This weekend it was Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
If you’re somehow not familiar with this film franchise, go ahead and just check out my recipes or parenting posts -this here is not for you.
If you are, then you know that this is the fifth movie in the epic dinosaur franchise that started in 1993 with Jurassic Park, a movie you probably easily recall for being kind of a big deal when it hit theaters.
In this version, we are launched into the future three years after the destruction of the Jurassic World theme park that went down in the previous film, Jurassic World. Owen Grady and Claire Dearing, no longer a thing reluctantly reunite to return to the island of Isla Nublar to save the remaining dinosaurs from a volcano that’s about to erupt. They soon encounter terrifying new breeds of gigantic dinosaurs, while uncovering a conspiracy that threatens the entire planet.
Here’s a trailer in case you haven’t seen it…
As is to be expected when carnivorous creatures come into contact with slow moving meat, horror ensues and people die at the mouths and talons of out of control dinosaurs hopped up on enhanced intellectual ability and fearlessness born from lack of socialization.
It’s this perfect storm of fantasy and thrill coupled with the built-in fan base of adults who grew up with the genetically designed dinos who are all too eager to share the flicks with their children that explains how the domestic release brought in over $150 million opening weekend.
Naturally, as a movie enthusiast who has been following this Jurassic journey since I was about 13, I have some thoughts on this version of the film.
First, lemme just say that I love Chris Pratt, love, love, love. He’s funny in every movie I’ve ever seen him in and he’s kinda hot in that cool dad even before he was actually a dad kind of way.
That said, this movie was insane!
**Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom SPOILER ALERT **
And by insane, I mean absurd. Now, you’re probably sitting at home thinking, well, duh, DudeMom, it’s a movie about test tube dinosaurs and didn’t you see the first four versions of this thing?
I know, and yes, totally. And I dug them so much.
I think the first Jurassic World was even my favorite.
This one just seemed to jump the Sharknado for me though. And it happened so quickly!
It just jumped right into holy-crap-we’re-all-gonna-die within probably first 20 minutes of the film. Which is cool, but I kinda found myself feeling rushed into it.
Then, something happened with this iteration of the dinosaurs that made them basically super strength killing machines with a Ph.d. Just way over the top with its smart dinosaur behaviors. Like the dinosaur was using it’s four fingered claw thing like an actual man hand. And, it was hunting down people with such accuracy it was like he was using Find My iPhone to track their location.
Conversely, most of the people in the film seemed to have lost their intelligence almost entirely. Clearly no one learned from the last like 4 times this happened that dinosaurs will kill the actual crap out of you. And, they seemed so caught off guard by the attacks most of the time. I could see the dinosaurs coming from a mile away and they couldn’t see them (despite knowing they were there) until they were literally hanging from their jowls being chomped to death.
As for the characters, I thought the clone kid was a little bratty, the bad guy was totally predictable and not as much scary as he was down right ignorant, weak, and mean, the grandpa and the granny nanny were useless and so easily disposed of, and the relationship between Claire and Owen seemed forced because the movie producer people needed at least one good kiss to make people swoon. Humanity as a whole seemed to fall into two categories, neither of which were working for me: totally heartless, greedy devil spawn, or entirely idealistic, what-in-life-would-make-you-think-we-can-share-the-neighborhood-with-actual-dinosaurs, unrealisitc.
On the bright side, the action sequences were as amazing and entertaining as expected, Chris Pratt dropped plenty of laughable one liners, and some elements of the story line from previous films were explained. Oh, and Jeff Goldblum was there telling everyone why they were all going to die along with the dinosaurs, the Earth, and the entire universe as we know it -like he do.
Want to take your kids?
Sounds good, but here’s what happened with Dude 3: he cried, several times.Real tears. Head in my lap sorrow.
He’s super sensitive about animal death and there was a ton of it in this film. He felt angry and inconsolably sad at points over the senseless death of the dinosaurs and the selfish behavior of the humans. There is one scene, on the island, where everyone silently watches a harmless herbivore perish in the volcanic flames that literally just ruined him. It was a sad scene for sure and if this sort of thing bothers your kids, expect them to have a reaction.
Additionally, like previous iterations of this dino franchise, there are a ton of jump scares, so expect your little ones to be reacting accordingly. Dude 3 commented that he thought this movie had more than any of the others.
Finally, people get torn to bits. Like ripped in half, eviscerated, trampled. Not a lot of blood and gore, but all of the death. In fact, at the end of the thing, expect only a handful of characters with speaking parts to remain standing and almost every other human who crossed the screen to not be. The dinosaurs get theirs in this one, that’s for sure.
At the end of the day, I’m glad I went to see it because I feel like after watching the other four over the course of my adolescence and adulthood, life wouldn’t be right if I didn’t. It’s just one of those things you have to finish because you started, like enjoying the heck out of a hot dog you waited 44 minutes in line for at the stadium.
For those who feel similarly, I do have a pro tip for you though: save a few bucks and go to a matinee. Will take the sting off the parts you’re undoubtedly going to be eye rolling over.