'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' review roundup: The sequel polarizes and divides; fails to live up to its billing
The highly-anticipated sequel to 'Jurassic World' is out but seems to not have lived up to the lofty expectations held of it
'Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom,' the much-awaited sequel to Colin Trevorrow's 'Jurassic World', is out in theatres in numerous countries. Helmed by JA Bayona — who is best-known for films such as 'The Orphanage,' 'The Impossible,' and 'A Monster Calls' — the film will be the fifth installment of the Steven Speilberg-established 'Jurassic Park' franchise and the second in a planned 'Jurassic World' trilogy.
Featuring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, BD Wong, and Jeff Goldblum, who reprised their roles from the first movie, as well as new faces such as Rafe Spall, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, James Cromwell, Toby Jones, Ted Levine, Isabella Sermon, and Geraldine Chaplin, 'The Fallen Kingdom' has been received by mixed to positive reviews from both fans and critics.
Pratt's performance as Navy veteran Owen Grady, the former dinosaur trainer, and Howard's performance as Claire Dearing, the former operations manager, were praised and Bayona's direction and visuals similarly received plaudit while the script for the movie was deemed stale and criticized for adding nothing new to the franchise.
The Hollywood Reporter's John DeFore said that the sequel 'freed itself from the genre trappings of the previous four films':
"Bayona not only nods to the history of classic monster movies and the legacy of original Jurassic helmer Steven Spielberg, he brings his own experience to bear, treating monsters like actual characters and trapping us in a vast mansion that's as full of secrets as the site of his breakthrough 2007 film 'The Orphanage'."
The Telegraph's Robbie Collin led with 'Hollywood finds a way to make dinosaurs boring' and called 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' a 'barely coherent new entry in the Jurassic franchise,' giving it two stars out of five: "The script by Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly has the lumpy consistency of a first draft, with monologues that splutter out without pay-offs, some dismal comic repartee, and a flexible attitude to the laws of nature."
The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw similarly gave the movie two stars out of five and said that 'dino-flaws galore' in the series meant it was heading for extinction and wrote that 'the plot is contrived, the characters fatigued, the cliches abundant, and the beasties t-rexecrable.'
"The new Jurassic World is a messy menagerie of dino-related quirks and twists, a boisterous but muddled franchise-iteration which reshuffles all the old constituent plot points. But, infuriatingly, we don’t get much of that legendary Jurassic hero and style-guru of the moment – Jeff Goldblum."
The Independent's Geoffrey Macnab gave it five stars and wrote: "This is a summer popcorn movie with all the trimmings - action, cheesy in-jokes, startling visual effects and a storyline with a moralizing, eco-friendly subtext."
Metacritic, which aggregates reviews from leading critics, had the movie's metascore at a paltry 52, indicating mixed or average reviews:
IGN's Gav Murphy and Vanity Fair's Richard Lawson both gave the movie a thumbs up. Murphy wrote: "It’s a brave choice to literally blow up everything that’s come before but one that definitely pays off in Fallen Kingdom. While Jurassic World gave us a lovely self-contained story, Fallen Kingdom leaves us wondering just where the series will go for its third act," while Lawson called it 'a more thoughtful and interesting film than its immediate predecessor.'
However, Variety's Owen Gleiberman, while calling the film an improvement on its predecessor, says it's the first 'Jurassic' film to come close to 'pretending it isn't a ride at all, and ends up being just a passable ride,' and The Wrap's Dave White wrote that it was a 'very dull entry in the series' that made the idea of 'Jurassic World' a not-so-enticing prospect.
Rotten Tomatoes' Tomatometer similarly has 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' at 65% on its Tomatometer, with their critical consensus reading: "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom adds another set piece-packed entry to the blockbuster franchise, although genuinely thrilling moments are in increasingly short supply."
As it is with its predecessor, 'Fallen Kingdom' has polarized and divided, with critics seeming to disagree on numerous aspects of the movie. However, the overall consensus seems to be that 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' fails to live up to its billing and is not the panacea to the franchise that it was made out to be.