The park is gone
A volcanic eruption threatens the remaining dinosaurs on the island of Isla Nublar, where the creatures have freely roamed for several years after the demise of an animal theme park known as Jurassic World. Claire Dearing, the former park manager, has now founded the Dinosaur Protection Group, an organization dedicated to protecting the dinosaurs. To help with her cause, Claire has recruited Owen Grady, a former dinosaur trainer who worked at the park, to prevent the extinction of the dinosaurs once again.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is at a point where Hollywood is doing their own thing with this franchise. All the relevant material from the two books is used up and Michael Crichton is dead, so what are you going to do there anyway? This new trilogy seems to be doing something similar to what Disney is currently doing with Star Wars. They are stepping away from the source material to do their own thing. That is not a bad thing; a transition period is better than jumping into the deep end. A lot of people are going to complain about this movie because it is not Jurassic Park. They want Jurassic Park but that is not what Fallen Kingdom is trying to be. There are a lot of shout-outs to it, but Fallen Kingdom is its own film in an evolving franchise.
Some parts of Fallen Kingdom do fall flat. The villains are generic evil corporate bad guys who make bad decisions due to greed. Character development is actually pretty weak overall. Claire was an exception, having changed from a by-the-books corporate type to an animal rights activist. Plot-wise, the film shifts part way through to more of a horror film than action-adventure. The new bad dinosaur, the Indoraptor, is absolutely terrifying. It looks (and acts) like something out of a nightmare. A huge gaping maw of savage teeth, almost human shaped “hands” for claws, and a small enough body that it can fit anywhere you try to hide. And on top of also being intelligent, it comes off as malicious. Like the Indominus Rex, it seems to kill for the sake of killing and not just for food.
Is Fallen Kingdom groundbreaking? No; it is not on par with Jurassic Park and let’s be frank, no dinosaur film ever will be. This film is blunter than the original; as are most films today. It has been 25 years since Jurassic Park and Hollywood has changed over time. You would not expect modern music to be exactly the same as songs that topped the charts 25 years ago, so those same expectations should not be lain on cinematography either. That is not to say this film is disconnected from the originals. A big question in Jurassic Park is: What happens when we let this genie (genetic engineering) out of the bottle? Well, in Fallen Kingdom that bottle is opened. These actions both shape the story of Fallen Kingdom and set this world up for future movies. Overall, Fallen Kingdom is no Jurassic Park; but the franchise uh…finds a way.