Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall, Toby Jones, Ted Levine, BD Wong, James Cromwell, with Jeff Goldblum
Written by: Derek Connolly, Colin Trevorrow
Directed by: Juan Antonio Bayona
Studio: Universal Pictures
Run Time: 2 hours, 8 minutes
I did not see Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom in the theater. Why waste my time? The overabundance of larger-than-life digital cash-cow sequels dominating our current age of filmmaking makes me roll my eyes through each “new” trailer that beats to death each once great story.
So why review the Blu- Ray, then? Quite simply, I finally watched the movie and have something to say about it. Spoiler: it is not all hatred. Far from it.
First of all, I'm afraid I cannot properly compare “Fallen Kingdom” to “Jurassic World” (2015). To me, they are completely unrelated. Yes, we are continuing the storyline of Chris Pratt's Owen and Bryce Dallas Howard's Claire as their dinosaurs-in-the-modern-age troubles continue, but this film had a larger effect on me than the last one, or any of the previous sequels did. There is something different here and, as a critic, I'll try and put my finger on it for you.
The plot continues in real time with the aftermath of the fall of Jurassic World. The island has been all but destroyed of all human interference and the remaining dinosaurs are running wild. The problem is that the volcano on the island is about to irrupt and, consequently, exterminate all the creatures who are left. Where do humans come in to play? Well, mankind now has the moral dilemma of either letting nature take its course, or helping to save the doomed beasts on the island. Claire and Owen, being on the side of saving lives, are roped into the whole thing under the pretext of a privately funded expedition to save what dinosaurs they can and release them to a safe, new island. Of course, in these situations, there are ALWAYS people who see potential profit and set out to ruin everything. This is how we end up with those weird scenes in the trailer of raptors terrorizing a California mansion.
So, yes, the ingredients for mediocre, high effects blockbuster crap were all there right down to the shady military commander, guys in suits making bad decisions, and all the CGI you can feast your eyes on. So what is different? Both this and Jurassic World were written by Colin Trevorrow (who also directed the last film). However, I should have paid more attention to this installment's director, J.A. Bayona. In his filmography, you'll find such other directing credits as “The Impossible” and “A Monster Calls”. This explained a lot to me. Bayona has a gift of evoking an emotional response in his storytelling. Despite all the large and loud chaos in “Fallen Kingdom”, there were also an abundance of moments. It was through these moments that I believe the real story was being told. I was shocked and at the same time refreshed at the emotional response I was having to what was happening on screen.
I found myself invested in the fate of the dinosaurs in spite of myself. There were real issues being addressed in this movie and it was not mere typical popcorn chomping fare. Filmmakers have used cinema to make important statements for a hundred years and I found it surprising that “Fallen Kingdom” could carry such a weight. To add further gravitas was the music of Michael Giacchino, who blew this assignment out of the park with a musical score that made me WISH I had seen the darn thing in the theater! It gave me chills on even the small screen.
This particular combination of director/composer made it obvious to me that there were people working on this sequel/blockbuster who actually wanted to make a good movie. Sure, there were actors that I liked and all, but as the end credits rolled, I realized I should not have enjoyed “Fallen Kingdom” as much as I honestly did. If you are on the fence, I would advise going for it. You may not be able to pin down exactly what it is, but something about this movie will make you glad you did.
BONUS FEATURES EXCLUSIVE TO 4K ULTRA HD, BLU-RAYTM & DIGITAL:
- The KINGDOM Evolves – Filmmakers discuss how the second chapter in the Jurassic World trilogy pushes the franchise in a new direction.
- Return to Hawaii – Cast and crew discuss shooting the film in Hawaii.
- Island Action – A behind-the-scenes look at the bunker scene and runaway gyrosphere sequence.
- Aboard the Arcadia – Cast and crew discuss working with the animatronic dinosaurs.
- Start the Bidding! – A behind-the-scenes look at the auction scene.
BONUS FEATURES ON DVD, 4K ULTRA HD, BLU-RAYTM & DIGITAL:
- On Set with Chris & Bryce – Go behind the scenes with Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard.
- Birth of the Indoraptor – An inside look at the genetically designed monstrosity known as the Indoraptor.
- Death by Dino – Go behind the scenes as the Indoraptor faces off with a key character.
- Monster in a Mansion – Director J.A. Bayona discusses how Jurassic Park and Dracula (1979) influenced his approach to directing the monster in a mansion scene.
- Rooftop Showdown – A look at the terrifying showdown on the rooftop of the Lockwood Mansion.
- Malcolm's Return – Behind the scenes with the one & only Jeff Goldblum.
- VFX Evolved – The team at ILM discuss their cutting-edge approach to creating dinosaurs.
- FALLEN KINGDOM: The Conversation – Filmmakers and cast sit down for a candid and casual conversation about Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
- A Song for the KINGDOM – Justice Smith sings for the cast and crew of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
- Chris Pratt's Jurassic Journals
- Vivian Baker, Makeup Artist
- Mary Mastro, Hair Stylist
- Chris Murphy, 1st Assistant Sound
- Dean Bailey, Stunt Edge Car Driver
- Peter Harcourt, Diver
- Daniella Pineda and Justice Smith, Actors
- Jody Wiltshire, Set PA
- Kelly Krieg, Assistant Script Supervisor
- J.A. Bayona, Director
- James Cox, Stunt Performer
- Rachelle Beinart, Stunt Double
- Bryce Dallas Howard interviews Chris Pratt, Actor
- JURASSIC Then and Now - Presented by Barbasol® – Key moments from the Jurassic saga that tie into Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
The film will be available on 4K Ultra HD in a combo pack which includes 4K Ultra HD Blu-rayTM, Blu-rayTM and Digital. The 4K Ultra HD disc will include the same bonus features as the Blu-rayTM version, all in stunning 4K resolution.
- 4K Ultra HD is the ultimate movie watching experience. 4K Ultra HD features the combination of 4K resolution for four times sharper picture than HD, the color brilliance of High Dynamic Range (HDR) with immersive audio delivering a multidimensional sound experience.
- Blu-rayTM unleashes the power of your HDTV and is the best way to watch movies at home, featuring 6X the picture resolution of DVD, exclusive extras and theater-quality surround sound.
- Digital lets fans watch movies anywhere on their favorite devices. Users can instantly stream or download.
- MOVIES ANYWHERE is the digital app that simplifies and enhances the digital movie collection and viewing experience by allowing consumers to access their favorite digital movies in one place when purchased or redeemed through participating digital retailers. Consumers can also redeem digital copy codes found in eligible Blu-rayTM and DVD disc packages from participating studios and stream or download them through Movies Anywhere. MOVIES ANYWHERE is only available in the United States. For more information, visit https://moviesanywhere.com. #FallenKingdom