Who knew that you could genuinely feel emotionally-conflicted over CGI dinosaurs?
Despite its low ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” may just be the second-best movie in the franchise, right after the original “Jurassic Park.”
The movie picks up three years after “Jurassic World.” The dinosaurs of Isla Nublar are threatened with extinction when a formerly dormant volcano comes back to life. With the help of John Hammond’s former business partner Lockwood, Claire and Owen mount a successful rescue mission. Unfortunately for them, they run into a conspiracy from an underground organization and must ultimately make ethical decisions that could potentially change life on this planet for good.
Without going into too much detail, it’s these ethical issues that really set this film apart, but this film has enough other good points that make up for the flawed pacing and rushed editing that plagues the film’s first half and earned it its low review.
For one thing, the characters are more likable, particularly the women. Claire has put her determination and drive towards better causes instead of being only obsessed with profit. Owen is pretty much the same, but we’re given more background into his relationship with the raptors that fleshes him out as a character. The new characters are also more memorable and enjoyable, especially my personal favorite Maisie Lockwood, Lockwood’s smart, resourceful, and kind-hearted kid granddaughter.
In addition, the special effects are better. Unlike the last film, the crew isn’t afraid to use practical effects so that the dinosaurs look more realistic when they’re close-up. It is a great touch I deeply appreciate.
For another thing, once the movie reaches the island, the story picks up considerably. The characters and the interactions are fun to watch, the action is suspenseful, and to my surprise, the drama is heart-wrenching. Yeah, I didn’t know I could honestly feel sorry for the dinosaurs, but this movie makes you feel deeply for these CGI monsters, which adds to the ethical conflict surrounding them.
Without going into potential spoilers, the main conflict in “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” is whether it is better to let the dinosaurs go extinct and preserve nature as is or to let them live and potentially change the balance of nature for good. This conflict is undoubtedly the best part of this film, because unlike the other films, it is taken very seriously, and the answer is not obvious. Whichever path is chosen, it’s clear there will be bad consequences. For a movie franchise that has always been characterized as action-fueled summer blockbusters, that is a bold move, one that I deeply respect.
I won’t give away what the final decision is, but the choice that is made will have huge consequences for these characters in the next movie. I cannot wait to see it, and any film that makes me hungry for more is worth a positive review in my opinion. Check it out for yourself if you want to understand what I mean.