RATING: 3 out of 5
“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” brings us back to Isla Nublar three years after the theme park was destroyed by dinosaurs who escaped containment. When the island’s once dormant volcano threatens to swallow Isla Nublar and all its dinosaur inhabitants, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) mount a campaign to save them from going extinct once again. But their expedition uncovers a conspiracy that could return our entire planet to a perilous order not seen since prehistoric times.
The most exciting thing about the movie is what it implies for future films. Dinosaurs have infiltrated the cities and there are no more natural and man-made cages that separates us from them. Imagine mo parang “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” pero dinosaurs. Ang wild di ba?! But in terms of its tone, it might be time for the “Jurassic Park” franchise to take on a different approach because while these dinosaurs roar, they don’t really bite. (Figuratively speaking lang siyempre nangangagat pa rin sila.)
Now I understand how the movie industry works. At the end of the day, the most important thing is the profit you turn in. And the best way to do that for a franchise like “Jurassic World” is to cater to a wider and younger audience. Siyempre kailangan mong magbenta ng lunchbox at laruan e. Kaya nga nanganak ng nanganak yung Transformers kahit puro nag uumpugang bakal lang ang nakikita natin kasi malaki kumita e.
But for these “Jurassic” movies to really be great artistically, it just makes sense for them to cater to a more mature audience. The first movie works because of Spielberg’s genius. Sure, “Jurassic Park” was mostly for kids but it was also a pretty good horror movie that adults can enjoy. There wasn’t too much gore, but there were moments that were legitimately scary. Spielberg being the great storyteller that he is, was able to find that balance of wonder and terror. A big part of that was because it was the first time we were seeing these dinosaurs so aside from being awestruck, we didn’t have any idea what these things are capable of. May gulat factor e. When we first realized that Velociraptors are smart enough to turn the handle of the door, we were terrified.
Fast forward to 15 years and 4 installments later, we already know what to expect from these creatures. Even if the mad scientists in the story continue to churn out these crazy hybrid dinosaurs, they don’t scare us as much as when we first saw the T-Rex on celluloid. And I guess the fact that the first one used a mix of CGI and animatronics made these dinosaurs seem like real creatures. Nowadays, we’ve gotten so used to CGI na hindi na tayo madaling mapaniwala sa CGI na dinosaur e. Medyo hindi rin kapani-paniwala na sa lahat ng taong nakain ng dinosaurs wala ka man lang nakitang dugo. I’m not saying that they should turn the next installment into an R film, but it might be better to make it scarier. At this point fleshed out na siya masyado at ang dami nang monster movies na lumabas after “Jurassic Park” e so we don’t get impressed that easily anymore.
Chris Pratt delivers a performance in a manner that you’d expect from him which is to be equal parts charming and funny. Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire has changed after the events of the first film so she’s more sympathetic to these dinosaurs which makes her ultimately more likable. Two new characters are introduced in the forms of Franklin and Zia but they’re mostly just for comic relief. (Although ako personally naiirita ako kay Franklin at medyo pinagdasal kong makain siya ng T-Rex or maapakan ng Brontosaurus.) Rafe Spall as the villain seems like a placeholder for someone more formidable. He doesn’t seem like he’s smart enough to actually hatch a diabolical plan and make it work.
You might be surprised to find out that 2015’s “Jurassic World” raked in a whopping $1.2B at the box-office placing it at 3rd all-time. Isipin mo sa lahat ng Marvel movies na lumabas tanging “Infinity War” lang ang tumalo sa kanya. When it came out, I don’t think anyone was expecting the movie to be that big. Siguro dahil ang tagal kasing walang “Jurassic Park” so sabik yung mga tao sa kanya kahit di masyadong maganda yung reviews.
And I expect the same kind of success for “Fallen Kingdom” because it’s in no way a bad movie. It sits there on that “okay naman” chair somewhat comfortably. It has quite a few exciting moments and the first 10 minutes of the film were perhaps one of the best scenes we’ve seen from the franchise. The best reactions that the movie got from the audience during the screening I went to was when it actually tries to be scary. You could really hear audible gasps!
But it’s a shame how superior the first “Jurassic Park” film is and was compared to the movies that followed it. The succeeding films tried to capture the same kind of magic but couldn’t really replicate it. Luckily for fans that grew up watching “Jurassic Park” like myself, I don’t think we’ve seen the end of the franchise. And now that we’re out of the park, it opens up the story to a lot of new and exciting possibilities in the future.
Now give us that Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum reunion we’ve been waiting for, damn it!
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is now out in cinemas.
All photos courtesy of Universal Pictures.