Jurassic World: The World After, A Lost World [critique]

The new Jurassic World is weighed down by its mechanical fan service and its weak writing, despite its very beautiful dinos.

In 2015, Jurassic World could be considered more like a remake of Jurassic Park than as a sequel to the trilogy – that was actually the main (only?) way to appreciate it: to see it as a 10s version of Spielberg, with more cynicism and less wonder, where the the only one really having fun seemed to be the soundtrack composer, Michael Giacchino. It’s a bit like seeing the King Kong from 1976 trying very hard not to think too much about the original: his poster also carried the tagline “the most exciting original motion picture event of all time”. This is to say that cynicism in the blockbuster does not date from yesterday or today, but does The world after should be placed in the same category? It would indeed be much more convenient to think that The world after is crafted by a bunch of absolute cynics, or an algorithm trying to tick off as many bankable boxes as possible, but it sure seems like the film was born out of a real desire to summon thrilling, awe-inspiring cinema. The problem is that he does it by recycling the same effects as Spielberg: in the first act, the public is supposed to share the wonder of a gang of workers and a teenager facing a placid brontosaurus (we apologies in advance for dinomenclature errors) in digital; and this wonder does not work, because this wonder has already been provoked by the cinema in 1993. This attempt at wonder by a supposedly free imagination (in reality tamed by Hollywood, and made harmless) was defused in a funny way in the first Jurassic World, dinos being dumb, exploited creatures in a crowded Disney World (great forgotten scene where kids do baby triceratops tricks). It wasn’t going to look far, but it was already something. After the gifted -and direct heir to Spielbergian tricks and ways- Juan Bayona failed to make Fallen Kingdom the Aliens frankness, despite an undeniable sense of the camera, here is The world after – funny choice of French translation, rather oriented, because we associate these words with political analyzes concerning our post-Covid world.

There is a disaster in The world after : dinos have spread across the world, threatening the end of man’s dominance on Earth (hence the title VO: Dominion), and collateral quirks occur like an invasion of giant insects. In reality, a pharmaceutical corporation is behind the announced disaster; while the old heroes of the first Jurassic Park investigate the corporation, their path will cross that of Owen and Claire, who have gone in search of both Maisie, their adopted daughter (the clone of Hammond’s daughter who appeared in Fallen Kingdom), and a baby raptor kidnapped by the corporation… The film is intended to be the conclusion of a saga of which not many people remember the story linesand who nevertheless wants to deploy them as if they had the mythical scale of those of Star Wars. Spoiler alert : This is not the case. The mythological thrill supposed to be provoked by the return of the old heroes (undercut as in 93) never happens: Jeff Goldblum is content to do his crazy dandy number (definitely frozen by Disney through his series The World According to Jeff Goldblum); the characters of Sam Neil and Laura Dern got stuck thirty years ago. And the story of Claire, Owen, Maisie and the baby raptor only causes polite annoyance as they struggle to define themselves by their actions. The other interest of the film would be to show us an Earth invaded by dinosaurs, in particular with a huge action scene in the form of a Jason Bourne-style chase in the streets of Malta. Even if it remains in the end completely absurd (big up at the return of Omar Sy, ex-raptor breeder who reappears reconverted into an international super-spy), it is clearly the best moment of the film, the only one that is exciting in terms of cinema. The rest very often recycles scenes from the first Jurassic Park -including a character who shares exactly the same fate as another in the 93 film. The world after also redid scenes from Fallen Kingdom, the two films sharing the same epilogue in the form of an open ending. Nothing has moved. The sometimes superbly animated dinosaurs, mixing the best of both worlds, the mechanical and the digital, can’t save the show. Sometimes in the world before, a sequel managed either to reshuffle the cards or to conclude a saga by embracing its mythology. This world is gone. Lost. The world aftersequel/reboot/remake with no other horizon than its own emptiness, only has to cannibalize itself.

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