Three years after the release of the first Jurassic World, Juan Antonio Bayona delivers a transitional episode with Fallen Kingdom. Entertainment worthy of Spielberg’s legacy?
Jurassic Park was released in 1993, and in a few years became a monument of cinema. Spielberg delivers a total spectacle, which touches all generations of the time. In just one film, the director brings to life a paleontologist’s dream… and a spectator’s nightmare. The dinosaur leaves the encyclopedia and fuels an unprecedented “dinomania”. On its own, it becomes a formidable cinema proposition: a natural predator who has the advantage of having truly existed. This fascination with reality will allow two very lucrative episodes to be chained together despite their uneven quality.
With Jurassic World , Colin Trevorow had to relaunch the license. And if his opus is presented more like a juvenile rehash of the original work, that of Juan Antonio Bayona really had to take off this new trilogy.
Since the destruction of the new park, the dinosaurs have been left to fend for themselves on Isla Nubar. But when the island’s volcano is about to erupt, Owen and Claire organize themselves to save them certain death. He therefore launches a major operation helped by the men of the wealthy Lockwood, but quickly realize that this rescue has a different purpose.
Such a synopsis leaves little room for surprise. Even more than the previous opus, Fallen Kingdom does not intend to cultivate a mystery around these majestic beasts. He throws them cheerfully in our faces. The tension surrounding the discovery of one of them has vanished to give way to frescoes that are certainly impressive, but less inspired.
If the use of animatronics necessarily leaves its place to digital (but not completely), it is clear that Industrial Light & Magic has done a dantesque job. It is certainly a pure post-production film, but the end result is impressive. It should also leave the youngest completely amazed.
The choice of the Catalan director is rather judicious. Visibly stuck in the desiderata of a blockbuster of this scale, the Spaniard nevertheless manages to extract strong moments and show that he still holds the reins of his roller-coaster. This is particularly the case during a drowning scene in the open sea, or a deadly hide-and-seek in the Lockwood mansion. Despite a few drops in pace, the film always falls back on its feet.
While Goldblum acted as a fun valve against the dangerous dinosaurs, the film clearly chooses humor here. The cast does not hide it. Chris Pratt is rather convincing in sympathetic mood, but it is more complicated for Bryce Dallas Howard, whose frozen face does not seem to have extricated itself from its score in Black Mirror .
However, he can not do much in the face of the weakness of Trevorow’s script, which never surprises. Much like the recent remake of The Planet of the Apes before it, this episode acts as a logical transition before a widespread battle. Locked in, the animals free themselves from their condition to turn against their executioner. A more credible postulate when it comes to one of our direct ancestors.
The dinosaurs are therefore the main actors in the film. A role that suits them rather well, but which ends up distorting their essence. “No one is impressed by a dinosaur today” proclaimed Howard’s character in the first Jurassic World . Proof of this is that the storyline constantly strives to create more frightening ones. After two hours of noise and fury, they no longer have much to envy of King Kong or Godzilla. It’s a shame, because it is indeed their veracity that made them fascinating.