Review Roundup: Critics Weigh In On JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM
It's been four years since theme park and luxury resort Jurassic World was destroyed by dinosaurs out of containment. Isla Nublar now sits abandoned by humans while the surviving dinosaurs fend for themselves in the jungles.
When the island's dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. Owen is driven to find Blue, his lead raptor who's still missing in the wild, and Claire has grown a respect for these creatures she now makes her mission. Arriving on the unstable island as lava begins raining down, their expedition uncovers a conspiracy that could return our entire planet to a perilous order not seen since prehistoric times.
With all of the wonder, adventure and thrills synonymous with one of the most popular and successful series in cinema history, this all-new motion-picture event sees the return of favorite characters and dinosaurs-along with new breeds more awe-inspiring and terrifying than ever before. Welcome to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
Stars Pratt and Howard return alongside executive producers Steven Spielberg and Colin Trevorrow for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. They are joined by co-stars James Cromwell, Ted Levine, Justice Smith, Geraldine Chaplin, Daniella Pineda, Toby Jones, Rafe Spall and Isabella Sermon, while BD Wong and Jeff Goldblum reprise their roles.
Directed by J.A. Bayona (The Impossible), the epic action-adventure is written by Jurassic World's director, Trevorrow, and its co-writer, Derek Connolly. Producers Frank Marshall and Pat Crowley once again partner with Spielberg and Trevorrow in leading the filmmakers for this stunning installment. Belén Atienza joins the team as a producer.
The film hits theaters on June 22, so lets see what the critics are saying below:
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: "It's not the cynical, cash-in cheesefest you feared. OK, Jurassic Worldis a little of that. But this state-of-the-art dino epic is also more than a blast of rumbling, roaring, "did you effing see that!" fun. It's got a wicked streak of subversive attitude that goes by the name of Colin Trevorrow. He's the director and co-writer whose only previous feature credit, a nifty 2012 indie called Safety Not Guaranteed, cost $750,000, chump change on a studio product like this, which cost - wait for it - $150 million."
Kyle Smith, New York Post: "None of this is ever quite as great as it is in Spielberg's work, but it's reasonably close; the worst you can say about the movie is that it sticks to a highly potent formula. The thrills are there, such as when a giant undersea-dwelling dinosaur gobbles up a great white shark (an unforced joke about Spielberg's "Jaws"), when the two boys find themselves playing the part of the ball in a game of dino soccer while inside a sphere-shaped vehicle with pterodactyls swooping over the food court (why doesn't everyone just run inside?) and when Pratt jumps on a motorcycle and gets his raptor-furies to follow."
Pete Hammond, Deadline: "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom's rainy nighttime opening sequence that finds some scientists on the deserted isle tinkering with nature (and, as it turns out, some very hungry dinos) is just a preview of what the next two hours will bring - even, as I say in my video review above, if it doesn't seem there is quite the level of mayhem we saw in previous sequels and reboots. The mayhem is there, but it is just spread out more intelligently by new director J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage, The Impossible) and returning writers Derek Connolly and Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow, who remains the master architect of the new Jurassic cinematic age, with of course the approval of executive producer Steven Spielberg among other creatives."
Sandy Schaefer, Screen Rant: "Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly, the director/writer team behind 2012 indie breakout film Safety Not Guaranteed, co-penned the Jurassic World script, while Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) are credited for their work on an earlier screenplay draft. The film often plays as a mix tape of the best elements from the previous Jurassic Park installments, be they variations on iconic sequences (as well as major action set pieces) or familiar plot developments. As a result, Jurassic World frequently walks the line between homage and knock-off, but solid pacing and tight execution allow the film to avoid feeling like reheated leftovers."
David Edelstein, Vulture: "Pratt, the former sitcom star, transformed himself into a goofy, wisecracking hunk in Guardians of the Galaxy and is here just a hunk. He's fine. Hunky. Hunky dory. But his character has no arc and you forget about him after a while except as a mate for Bryce Dallas, whose character he once dated and decided was too buttoned-up. The key symbolic moment is when she gazes into his eyes and defiantly unbuttons her top. The part is a sexist cliché but I'm bound to say I think Howard sure is purty and liked watching her, so sue me. (No, actually, don't sue me. Title IX does not apply to film critics.)"
Scott Foundas, Variety: "Pratt is effortlessly engaging here, doing a minor-key variation on the stoner-surfer Indiana Jones routine he deployed to fine effect in last summer's "Guardians of the Galaxy" (a more inventive, risk-taking studio movie than this one). He certainly gets more to do than Howard, whose part is like a third-generation xerox of the high-strung damsels-in-distress played by Kathleen Turner in "Romancing the Stone" and Kate Capshaw in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom." Then again, the "Jurassic" films have never exactly been rich on the human side - perhaps the key point that kept even the original film, for all its technical wizardry, from fulfilling Spielberg's stated desire to create a "land-based 'Jaws.'"
Kirsten Acuna, Insider: "If you were cheering over the T. rex and Indominus Rex fight in the 2015 movie, you'll be happy with another good dino fight in the sequel. "Fallen Kingdom" also has several stand-out moments with several dinosaurs, both big and small that will please fans. A new, sleek dinosaur named the Indoraptor (made from the Indominus Rex of the 2015 movie and a raptor) is a scene-stealer. Kids heading out to see the movie will definitely want action figures of the Indoraptor, of which there are plenty, and Owen's raptor, Blue."
Image courtesy of Jurassic World official Facebook