Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (MA15+)
Rating: 4.5 / 5
The tagline for the Jurassic Park movies reads, “Life finds a way”, which seems quite affirming on the surface. But, like the original movie that launched the franchise—scary to think that it was almost a quarter of century ago!—at its heart, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a modern-day retelling of the Frankenstein story.
A laconic Jeff Goldblum is only reinforcing what we already know when he lectures baffled politicians—there are some things we shouldn’t meddle with, and once the genie is out of the bottle there is no going back.
While the movie touches briefly on ethical questions such as what obligations we might have to an animal that had been brought back from extinction, whether they would simply be commodities or something more, or even what moral dilemmas cloning may present, it does so lightly for the most part. After all, the film-makers know exactly what it is we go to cinemas wanting to see, and they sure deliver.
Despite some charismatic performances from the two main leads, it's the dinosaurs that are the stars of the movie and we are treated to plenty of glorious dino action. Alongside favourites from the original film are some newer toys to collect, and it gives the film-makers a chance to show off in
glorious detail the advances both in special effects and in our knowledge of how dinosaurs moved and looked.
The original film still holds up well,
but the latest instalment truly does make you forget you aren’t watching real animals. It has its own ‘sense of wonder’ moments, too, but perhaps its most remarkable achievement is making you actually care about the dinosaurs—there was one moment in particular where the whole cinema held its breath over the fate of one specific dinosaur.
If you are after a movie that wrestles with deep issues and moral conundrums you may be disappointed. But I suspect most of us will go just wanting to see lots of dinosaurs stomping their way across the screen, allowing us to rediscover our childlike sense of wonder, even for a few hours.
In that case you will likely leave imagining what it would be like to share a world with these spectacular creatures and marvelling at the infinite variety of creation. It’s the same feeling the original movie evoked all those years ago, and worth far more than the price of admission.
Highlights: Special effects that make you believe the dinosaurs are real; the bond between Chris Pratt and ‘Blue’
Red flags: Dinosaurs that are just as scary now as the originals were to teenage me; some graphic munching