Although crushed by his green script, the director offers some visual prowess and pays tribute to the filmmaker.
In 2015, Jurassic World demonstrated that 22 years after the success of Jurassic Park, the spectators’ fascination with dinosaurs was still intact. Amassing $ 1.6 billion in revenue, Colin Trevorrow’s blockbuster, half sequel half remake of Steven Spielberg’s original, was a hit despite mixed reviews. Unsurprisingly, Universal quickly launched a new opus. The studio even directly announced a trilogy, and Fallen Kingdomwhich will be broadcast this Sunday on TF1, is therefore the middle episode, which should consolidate what was inaugurated with Jurassic World while introducing the stakes of the last film and respecting the original work. A challenge partly taken up by Juan Antonio Bayona, who takes over from Trevorrow as director, even if Trevorrow is still in the script (and is returning to direct the third opus, The world after, which will be released in cinemas on Wednesday). Is this second film worth watching? Here is our review.
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The plot of Fallen Kingdom is generally its weak point. Propose ecological reflections at the heart of a blockbuster of such magnitude, it was daring on paper, but the implementation of the issues is laborious. Believing they should be protected like any endangered species, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) wants to free the dinosaurs from Isla Nublar before the island disappears in a predicted natural disaster. She then calls on Owen (Chris Pratt), the trainer of the raptor Blue, to recover as many of them as possible and transfer them to a safe place, where they can live in freedom far from men. Obviously, the rescue of the creatures will not go as planned. The story then switches to other issues treated without finesse: the dangers of genetic manipulation and the amorality of men. Then, she opens the doors wide to the final episode…
If the duo of actors is less cliché than in the first opus – the same cannot be said of their new acolytes, Zia and Franklin – their relationship remains in the background as the ecological issues are supported. They are regularly repeated throughout the plot, notably by Dr. Ian Malcolm, who returns, still played by Jeff Goldblum, to warn humanity of the danger incurred if the dinos remain alive. Utterly overwhelming, these moral musings cut short any attempt at humor, giving the film a surprisingly serious tone for entertainment of this type. It is all the more striking that the previous opus played the card of irony thoroughly by mocking its concept in an uninhibited way.
There remain a few pretty nods to the first trilogy of Jurassic Park. Especially at lost world (1997), since the critters end up spreading terror in society, like the T-Rex at the end of Spielberg’s second film, and the heroes have to stand up to soldiers who have nothing to do with the animal cause. The canopy sequence is also constructed like the one with Julianne Moore and Jeff Goldblum in the trailer falling off the cliff, the tension rising crescendo as the glass cracks.
Jurassic World 2 – Juan Antonio Bayona: “It’s very difficult to make a sequel”
Obviously very influenced by the work of Steven Spielberg (especially in The Impossible, his family drama on the 2004 tsunami), Juan Antonio Bayona manages to pay homage to him, while infusing his own style within this blockbuster with the specifications yet well filled. If it is overwhelmed by scriptwriting pressures, its staging is sometimes grandiose: the escape of men and dinosaurs during the volcanic eruption and the nocturnal attacks in the mansion/museum are visually stunning. The best example? When the director returns for a few moments to the horrific-poetic atmosphere of his masterpiece, The orphanage, by filming a new creature entering a little girl’s room through a play of shadows that is both beautiful and terrifying. A true childhood nightmare retransmitted to the screen! Thanks to Maisie, his little heroine played by Isabella Sermon, he can also offer beautiful passages of emotion and sweetness between two breathless pursuits. It’s unfortunately too fleeting to be as moving as in his previous films (A few minutes after midnight on your mind).
Even though the world of Jurassic Park has lost its effect “wow” over the sequels, Juan Antonio Bayona walks in the footsteps of his model Steven Spielberg with respect. Too bad it’s during a feature film more thought of as a transitional episode than as a flagship film in the saga.
Steven Spielberg was for the weird twist of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom