Jurassic Park was a big hit. Dinosaurs running around a futuristic amusement park, brought back due to genetic engineering, eating people. Basic story, not much to it. It made a mint and got sequels.
The most recent, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, is out now.
The previous movie, Jurassic World, wasn’t all that innovative in the grand scheme of things. It repeated the plot points of, for all practical purposes, all of the previous movies which never showed much originality. Heck, the first one was basically Jaws crossed with Westworld, so there may not have been much room to go anyway.
To its credit, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom does attempt to tell a different story. While there is the standard trip to a tropical island where dinosaurs improbably live, the real themes here seem to be about comparing genetic engineering to nuclear weapons, as well as some vague hints about invasive species. Chris Pratt’s Owen and Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire are tasked with going back to the now-closed park to retrieve a few species on the island before a volcano destroys it, particularly the last Velociraptor, Owen’s old pal Blue. Things aren’t really what they seem (they never are) and the whole thing turns into a mission to (maybe) save the dinosaurs that shouldn’t be there anyway.
While the previous movie’s director Colin Trevorrow has a story and producer credit on this one, the direction comes from J.A. Bayona, a man with a few horror films under his belt. While the story may not be any smarter than any of the series’ predecessors, at least this one went a step up in terms of direction. Bayona manages to create some tension and more than a few creative shots and camera motions that the previous film was lacking. For that, I am giving this a very generous 8 out of 10 doomed goats.