Director: J. A. Bayona
Studio: Universal Pictures
Rated: PG-13 (For intense sequences of science-fiction violence and peril)
The newer movies, I find, are more about thrills and special effects than creating wonder. It's more about who's going to be eaten rather than the excitement of seeing who survives. With "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" the series takes a new direction, in which humans wants to save the dinosaur's from dying on the abandoned Jurassic World island, so that they may be repurposed as military weapons. Now, I will admit that there is a part of me that wonders why this hasn't been brought up sooner. Everyone is these movies are so concerned about selling popcorn to bystanders who want to see a Tyrannosaurus rex, that we may have overlooked the fact that dropping one in North Korea could certainly do some VERY serious damage!
Some, in fact, are so in love with this idea, that they have discovered a way to create their own raptor that can be controlled with a sound gun. It all makes for a good lead up to running and screaming when things inevitably go wrong...but, I have to admit that the movies recent habit of creating new dinosaurs seems to violate the spirit of the franchise, in which the wonder and excitement came from recreating dinosaurs in the first place. The more the series goes down the path of creating new dinosaurs with skills that could almost be seen as superpowers, the more silly the whole concept becomes. There may or may not even be hints that human cloning is coming into the picture, and boy, won't THAT be a weird concept to fully flesh out in the next film!
And the more I talk about the things that differentiate this movie from the previous ones, the more I realize that the concept probably was best used as a one shot. We are now watching B-movies that manage to get major stars like Chris Platt and Bryce Dallas Howard, and somewhere north of $300 million dollars budgets. Sure, there may be an audience for those movies, but that amounts to throwing money at a project that should probably cheaper and sillier if it wants to be more fun to watch. "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" is a step in a slightly new direction for the franchise. New story elements and concepts are surprising me after each new installment. My reaction has not been of wonder though, it's been of confusion, and while I don't like the new direction the series is taking, I am also at a loss for what I want from it anymore.
Parents, there is the usual amount of dinosaur action and violence. Personally, I would have found it traumatizing as a kid, but kids these days...I don't know, still heed with caution. Recommended for ages 14 and up.