Jurassic World Review: The Extinct Franchise

Illustration by Elijah Greiner (C’22).

By Dillon Sheehan
Contributing Writer

This week at the SUT, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) made its way to Sewanee’s silver screen. The sequel to 2015’s Jurassic World, attempts to evoke that sense of wonder experienced from viewing the 1993 original, albeit to no avail.

Fallen Kingdom’s story picks up a few years after its predecessor. The island of Isla Nublar is about to become covered in lava, and our heroes must venture back to save the dinosaurs that Congress refuses to help.

The theme of the film follows its predecessors: humanity cannot coexist with dinosaurs. That idea is interesting, but when handled poorly and simplistically, the audience is left with little to ponder. Our cast of characters run around in the jungle for an hour, only to wind up at a mansion in Northern California halfway through. That is the point where the movie goes into a nosedive it cannot recover from.

We have seen this story told in The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), except that movie was exciting and had some charm. Even with reputable actors like Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum (a mere cameo appearance), James Cromwell, and Rafe Spall, the movie feels shallow.

I will say that the movie does have a tense opening scene, and the actors do a nice job, but the script bogs down character development to the point of triviality. All these issues make the movie feel like a confused hodgepodge of ideas. The action scenes are good on paper, but have poor execution. There are several twists that come out of nowhere and leave you asking, “What just happened?”

There are some enjoyable scenes of dinosaurs wreaking havoc on a mansion and characters escaping from volcanic eruptions, but there are also sequences that are unintentionally comical despite how ‘dramatic’ the film tries to be.

The whole time I was watching, I thought about how I would rather be watching the first Jurassic Park. The film goes all in at the beginning, but runs out of steam at the thirty-minute mark. If you catch this movie in the theater, then you can enjoy killing time for two hours, but otherwise stay away.

Two out of five stars.