Lizards On The Loose! Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Movie Review

Grade: A
Release Date: June 22, 2018
Running Time: 2 hours 8 minutes
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of science-fiction violence and peril
Genre: Action Adventure Sci-Fi
Produced by Steven Spielberg and Colin Trevorrow
Directed by J.A. Bayona
Screenplay by Colin Trevorrow & Derek Connolly
Based on characters created by Michael Crichton

If you enjoyed Jurassic World, then you will love Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.  The trailers promised an exhilarating film and Fallen Kingdom delivers.  This may be the first film since the Dark Knight Rises that I watched on the big screen two nights in a row.

Fallen Kingdom opens three years after the chaos created by the escape of Indominus Rex, a genetically modified dinosaur.  It is a rainy night on Isla Nubar.  A two-man submarine crew is salvaging the bones of the dreadful creature from her underwater grave. Back on the island, another member of the crew is signaling them to get out of Mosasaurus lagoon so he can close the gates so nothing can escape.  

The scene pivots to the future, where the island’s volcano has roared to life.  A pyroclastic eruption is imminent and the surviving dinosaurs are at risk. Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) is testifying to Congress and recommending no action to save the de-extinct creatures.  He says we altered a course of natural history and the dinosaurs don’t need our protection. They need our absence. Life teaches us some very hard lessons.

“You can’t put it back in the box. It’s too late!”

Meanwhile, the Dinosaur Protection Group led by Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) is attempting to gain support from members of the House and Senate for their ‘Save the Dino’ expedition. Claire receives a phone call from a representative of billionaire Benjamin Lockwood, the original partner of John Hammond who founded Jurassic Park 25 years ago. He invites Claire to his stunning mansion in northern California where he tells her he has a sanctuary for the dinosaurs, but needs her to convince Owen (Chris Pratt) to go back to Isla Nubar to track and rescue Blue, the beloved Velociraptor from the last film.  Without Owen, they have no hope of locating Blue in the jungles of the abandoned island.

Claire tracks down Owen and together they had back to Isla Nubar on a Lockwood plane with two newcomers – Franklin, a tech guy portrayed by Justice Smith and Zia, a paleo veterinarian portrayed by Daniella Pineda.  They are greeted on the island by Ken Wheatley who likes to collect something from the dinosaurs. What could go wrong? For starters, Claire and Owen are double-crossed by Wheatley, who is taking orders from Eli Mills who supposedly represents Mr. Lockwood’s best interests.  The conspiracy planned by Mills is such that if something goes wrong, the entire planet could be in jeopardy. Let’s just say they want Blue for something other than conservation and it has something to do with the latest genetically modified dinosaur called the Indoraptor.

Claire (BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD) and Franklin (JUSTICE SMITH) encounter the Baryonyx in “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.” When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen (CHRIS PRATT) and Claire mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. Welcome to “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.”

Look Out.  Look Alive. Stay Alive

Although Colin Trevorrow was not at the helm as director, his touch was all over the film as a writer and executive producer alongside the legendary Steven Spielberg. The epic action-adventure directed by J.A. Bayona (The Impossible) includes all the elements that make the series one of the most successful in the film industry.  In between all the intense, heartbreaking and terrifying moments, Trevorrow’s screenplay injects levity at just the right moments. Pratt’s wit is brilliant and balances the film.

The film is beautifully shot by award-winning cinematographer Oscar Faura (The Impossible and A Monster Calls). The film was shot in CinemaScope, and is the first entry in the Jurassic Park series that is presented in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The film crew used Arri Alexa 65 cameras throughout the duration of filming at Pinewood Studios UK and on location in Hawaii and the United Kingdom.  From the turquoise waters of Hawaii to the striking forests of Scotland and England, the film has an abundance of awe-inspiring landscapes. The sound editing and mixing on this film are amazing. The immensely talented special and visual effects team creates dinosaurs so realistic that you forget they are extinct.

The Park is Gone

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a thrilling and unforgettable must-see film.  However, the film contains some perilous scenes, including dinosaur attacks and underwater confinement.  It also has one of the most heart-breaking and emotionally charged scenes I have watched in recent times. (SPOILER ALERT).  It happens towards the end of the first act, when they are leaving the island as it is engulfed by the magma. The dinosaurs left on the island are at the edge of the dock and a brachiosaurus howls in despair as the smoke and flames reach the water’s edge.  I could not bear to watch it the first time I screened the film. I forced myself to watch it the second time and had tears in my eyes. I felt hopeless and extremely sad.

It begs the question – What would you do?  Would you save the dinosaurs if you could? What about the highly endangered animals that are on the verge of extinction today?

The thought-provoking question about morality and conservation should inspire us to go beyond just enjoying this summer blockbuster.  I hope it inspires you to think about today’s animals and get involved.

The Park is Gone, but the untitled sequel directed by Colin Trevorrow is set to be released on June 11, 2021. ~A.S. MacLeod

“We’ve Entered a New Era.  Welcome to Jurassic World”


Chris Pratt as Owen Grady
Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire Dearing
Rafe Spall as Eli Mills
Justice Smith as Franklin Webb
Daniella Pineda as Zia Rodriguez
James Cromwell as Benjamin Lockwood
Isabella Sermon as Maisie Lockwood
Toby Jones as Mr. Eversol
Ted Levin as Ken Wheatley
Geraldine Chaplin as Iris
BD Wong as Dr. Henry Wu
and Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm


About Leigh Ann Rassler