Summary: Here’s all you need to help you decide whether or not see Fallen Kingdom. Plus, for those of you who like spoilers, you will see the unmentioned hidden meaning to the film.
This is the fifth Jurassic film and the second installment in a trilogy. That’s great news for people who like thrilling films. The director (J.A. Bayona), cinematographer (Oscar Faura), editor (Bernat Vilaplana), and the visual effects team did a wonderful job at making this a spectacle. Also wonderful is music by Michael Giacchino, nicely melding with the imagery. The acting is excellent (especially Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire Dearing). Hollywood consistently does these well.
As usual these days, the plot is idiotic. I do not know why. Writers are the cheapest part of the production. (If you know why the writing is so often bad in Hollywood these days, please explain in the comments.)
As in most horror films, the characters ignore obvious clues and make inexplicable bad decisions. But this is a kids’ film about dinosaurs chasing and eating people. One might as well analyze the themes in a carnival’s haunted house or the lights on its roller coaster. These things are either fun or not, depending on your taste.
But critics are right to look deeply at these films. The b-grade sci fi and filmed adaptations of comic books are almost all that remains of adult drama today (other than minor works for small, often weird, niche audiences). They deserve attention. It has taken critics many years to take the measure of these products of the new Hollywood, but with Fallen Kingdom they have finally understood this new art. Here are some excerpts from reviews to help adults decide if they would enjoy watching it.
At the end you will find my big spoiler. It reveals the true theme of this film, oddly unseen by the critics.
Speaking of kids, I agree with Nahaar. The increased violence and gore in American children’s films cannot be good for them. Each generation gets exposed to more.
“But there’s shocking cruelty on display here, way too much, in my opinion, for a film that will be seen by children. Images of dinosaurs drowning, being engulfed by flames, shot at with guns and tortured with cattle prods, have no place in a kids’ movie.”
— Rohan Naahar in the Hindustan Times.
As for the film, adults who enjoy films as visual carnivals – empty but fun excitement – can skip the rest. Buy your tickets. You will love it. For the rest of you, these excerpts from review might help.
“Now we have an Indoraptor. It should be scary to think of a dinosaur that attacks on command and can track you easily, but barring a few cheap scares, it wasn’t. …What happens next at Lockwood’s estate is a massive pile of easy scares …All of this hinders any real character development. Claire’s ditched her heels and can run faster now …”
— Sharareh Drury at Fansider.
“All of us who have watched Downton Abbey, and wondered how it might have looked with the addition of a hungry theropod, finally have our question answered.”
— Tom Holland at The Spectator.
“This sequel to Jurassic World takes what goodwill we had, douses it in kerosene, lights a match, and laughs as the flames burn higher and higher. It gets off on the wrong foot and limps all the way to the finish line.”
— Courtney Howard at Fresh Fiction.
“This narrative chaos is presented entirely straight, with Act One representing a survivalist wilderness adventure with the volcano acting as a ticking clock, Act Two shifting into a screed against animal poaching and weaponization, and Act Three turning full monster-in-the-house horror movie with the new genetic cocktail of the Indoraptor, which gets out for… reasons. This causes the film’s tone to bounce all over the place, at times expecting us to fear the dinosaurs and their horrific majesty, while at other times treating them as a tortured allegory for animal rights and environmentalism that falls apart under the barest scrutiny.
“Any of these premises might not have made for a smart film, but they would have at least made for a more consistent one if explored for an entire feature runtime; instead Fallen Kingdom feels like a highlight reel of films that might have been, trading on minutiae of Jurassic Park iconography that has been milked so severely at this point that there’s no nostalgia left in the udder.”
— Leigh Monson at Birth-Movies-Death.
Here is the bottom line about Hollywood today. It has a rotten business model and is ripe for disruption.
“All I really took from Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is proof – again – that all the money, on-screen talent and CGI wizardry in Hollywood doesn’t add up to a hill of beans without a decent story to tell and a reason to exist.”
— Graeme Tuckett at Stuff.
The horror of high heels!
Jurassic World violated feminist canon by having the leading lady wear heels in action scenes. Modern heroines always dress appropriately for the upcoming scene, swapping skirts and heels for pants and sneakers/boots before unexpected action (that’s the rule in modern films and TV shows). In a story of dinosaurs recreated for a theme part, a women wearing heels shatters these women’s enjoyment of the film, and sparks their always hot sense of outrage. The leading actress in Jurassic World, Bruce Dallas Howard, had to explain the obvious to her mad critics (women do wear heels; they don’t dress to be chased by dinos).
Yet Hollywood’s evil-doers did it again. See a photo of Howard at the right from the offensive 30 second scene in Fallen Kingdom. Feminists swung into action again to save women from heels, willing or unwilling. Taking options away from women is their core business.
First, they answer questions no sane person would ask – “Why the heels are back in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.” “Why Bryce Dallas Howard is still in heels for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.”
Then they subject this issue to deeper analysis – “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Is Still Using Bryce Dallas Howard’s Heels to Hide Lazy Filmmaking.” “Bryce Dallas Howard actually insisted on wearing heels for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – but don’t worry, her ankles are okay” (good to know she’s a multi-millionaire with OK ankles).
For those who want to learn more about the role of high heels in Fallen Kingdom, and their significance, Google will bring you hundreds of additional articles.
For those outlaws among our readers, here is this ideologically meaningful scene from Fallen Kingdom.
————- Spoiler ahead ————- Spoiler ahead ————- Spoiler ahead ————-
The big meaning of Fallen Kingdom
At the end, the bad guys are eaten and the dinosaurs released into America. We lack the will to recapture them, so they spread destruction across the world. Just as the X-Men films were a parable about gay rights, Fallen World is a parable about open borders (these are metaphors: gays are not mutants, poor migrants from third world nations are not dinosaurs).
This is worth some thought. It seems increasingly likely that in 2020 the Democrats will run a presidential candidate advocating open borders. The new president of Mexico has promised to send hordes of illegal migrants into America. This combination would mark an irreversible moment in American history. We will be committed to the latest of the Left’s experiments. If so, we can only hope that this one ends better than their previous one, communism.
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Trailer for Fallen Kingdom
19 thoughts on “See the secret theme of “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom””
Nowadays movie plots are idiotic because producers can make money a lousy product to the great anonymous mass audience watching their garbage on Netflix and other video channels. We are now in the fast movie era, the theatrical version of cheese weez and generic supermarket chips.
“We are now in the fast movie era, the theatrical version of cheese weez and generic supermarket chips.”
So we, the audiences, have changed from what we were? Sad but probably true.
The bad writing was most apparent to me during Dr. Malcolm’s testimony to Congress. I could barely understand it. It almost made me feel bad for Jeff Goldblum; he had so much better writing to work with in the first two films.
I can only conclude that the people at the top can no longer recognize good writing, so well-written films only happen by accident.
“the people at the top can no longer recognize good writing, so well-written films only happen by accident.”
Fallen Kingdom has sold $935 million in tickets (global) in its first ten days. It is a business. If we don’t require good writing, they won’t provide it.
It seems gore has been a staple in American films for years now. But especially, there has been an obsession with animal gore since Jaws came out. And the gore is getting more extreme, for instance in Piranha 3D, where it seems unnecessary and just cruel. Why is this I don’t know, but it seems Americans are becoming obsessed with self destruction and extreme violence, even among supposedly peaceful leftists.
I did watch the earlier Jurassic World. The one scene that got to me was where the assistant gets picked up by the pterodactyl and both get eaten by the giant aquatic dinosaur. The focus in this one scene is disturbing.
I agree. The violence in HK was pretty extreme.
Idiocracy. 2006. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0387808/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
“People wrote books and movies, movies that had stories so you cared whose ass it was and why it was farting, and I believe that time can come again!”
There’s also ‘God Bless America’ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1912398/?ref_=nv_sr_1 which is sharper, darker and very violent making a wider range of points about the US (and elsewhere).
Each to his own tastes in these things.
The story “The Little Black” bag gives a more sophisticated version of “Idiocracy.” See the Wikipedia summary. By Cyril M. Kornbluth, first published in the July 1950 issue of Astounding Science Fiction. Usually considered one of the best sci fi short stories.
From the Wikipedia summary, “God Bless America” looks like typical Hollywood agitprop about toxic masculinity in Redneck America: nihilism. Perhaps a more sophisticated version of that guy is the “Foolkiller” in Marvel’s “Man-thing” comics (1974). Most of us, guys at least, have had this impulse at least once in our lives.
I guess the reason the writing is so bad is that in those kind of movies it doesent matter to the audience that the writing is bad. If the audience cared about tight plotting and characters that you gave a shit about, Hollywood would make sure that the audience got that.
Lack of plot, & bad writing of what little plot remains, are both probably a consequence of the change in target audience.
Once upon a time, Hollywood made movies in America for an English-speaking American audience, and then later tried to pick up some pocket change by selling those movies overseas. As economic growth has spread around the world, the big money now comes from the overseas market. The target audience has become international. Hollywood now usually makes movies in Canada or Eastern Europe for a polyglot, mainly non-English speaking audience, and those movies are released simultaneously around the world. Hence the suppression of dialog and the focus on spectacular visual effects. This in turn creates an unfriendly environment for “plot”, which generally needs language to move it along.
The silver lining here is that when the Chinese buy up what remains of Hollywood and move the production of blockbuster visual spectaculars (with little dialog and less plot) to China, the American moviegoer will not notice the difference.
“This in turn creates an unfriendly environment for “plot”, which generally needs language to move it along.”
It means that plots have to be more simple, since they rely less on dialog. But that does not mean the plots have to be illogical or outright stupid. Nor does simple dialog have to be dumb.
With a hundred million dollar budget, they could spend a little to get smart people able to write decent plots and dialog.
My guess is that they found that audiences do not care, so they don’t either.
It’s the Spielberg recipe: “I don’t need you to believe in the plot, or the shark…. I just need you to believe it for an hour and a half”. But there is a major problem in that: not everybody is Spielberg (in his prime…. Because he’s gone downhill for quite a while). And even without that, it doesn’t mean that you can get away with anything, as so many big productions still realize every year.
Alexandre Dumas said this about historical fiction: “you can rape history, but you have to make beautiful children if you do”. Same thing can be said about hurting things like logic, coherence, characterization…. The result has to be mighty convincing for at least an hour and a half. And more if you want staying power and decent mouth-to-hear in this era of very fast transmission of opinions without “gatekeepers” (the “official” critics don’t weigh much nowadays).
Independence Day is a great example. Each scene was a bit absurd, but every scene was entertaining. But the plot was internally self-consistent and the writing excellent.
Larry K: “My guess is that they found that audiences do not care …”
We are saying the same thing, I think. The audience has changed — at least for Hollywood mega-productions — and is now predominantly non-English speaking. That has an impact on the design of a movie — especially on the part played by dialog. It is hard for an audience to care about dialog they have difficulty following.
And since nothing happens in isolation, tailoring these movies to an international audience tends to make them less interesting to part of the English-speaking potential audience — who then vote with their feet and stop going to movies. (Most adults in the US no longer go to movies — a huge potential market; but not every niche in the environment gets filled). That in turn reinforces the trend away from dialog and plot in Hollywood movies.
It is interesting to compare our situation with movies made in other languages for other audiences. For example, the recent excellent South Korean movie “The Handmaiden” has a cunning credible plot with unexpected twists and turns. (Warning: non-gratuitous lesbian scenes and some nasty violence). But an English speaker has to read subtitles fast to keep up with the dialog and follow the plot.
“and is now predominantly non-English speaking”
We are saying different things. You are, of course, correct about the shift of the audience. But the large domestic box office revenues of these bizarrely plotted films with poor dialogue shows that US audiences no longer care about such things.
“a huge potential market; but not every niche in the environment gets filled)”
That might be the explanation. But I am skeptical that there is a large audience for well-written films that Hollywood just doesn’t bother to address. It’s a highly competitive biz with multiple producers (albeit bottlenecks at several points in the process).
For example, indie films can easily find financing succificient at achieve high production values. They have multiple outlets, from subscription YouTube to the many streaming services (who are desperate for content). Yet their content is addressed either to weird niche audiences or young people (eg, Netflix).
It’s not my biz, but this seems quite odd imo. I don’t understand and don’t have anything like an explanation. Certainly nothing better than yours.
There are many things happening simultaneously in a very short timeframe these days, and everybody is trying to find a formula and adapt; at this point, there seems to be a lot of trial and errors going on, more than in past decades:
– theater audiences are shrinking in the developed world. Maybe disposable incomes flatlining play a part, but it is far more because of the rapid and significant price increase of tickets. 3D and IMAX theaters cost a bundle, as well a luxury multiplexes with state of the art screens, AC, seats… And exhibitors willing to make a bigger margin. The price of food and beverages in theaters has also skyrocketed. At the end of the day, we’re facing a market where an evening at the movies for a family of four mays cost over a 100$ (I’ve seen many averages on that topic), which defacto puts it in another categories of goods/services than the one it used to be in until quite a recent period. That, in turn, changes the demographic composition of the overall public as well as the global numbers, actual and potential. And it will more and more limit that market to big movies.
– on the other side, home access to good visual entertainment has been greatly democratized, in the hardware department (big screens, home cinemas and whatnots) as well as in the service providing department (streaming, video on demand, BluRay…), in quality as well as in price. That also impacts movie-going numbers and change the frontiers between markets and sub-markets, by changing the way visual fiction is consumed, and what may go on the big screen and what may not. This “home market” will/should be the place for small and median movies, but it hasn’t found a stable formula yet, and still needs to find a way to make itself as readable as the theater market, in order to create a real place for such movies, one capable of attracting big enough audiences on a production costing still far more than most series, but less than a big summer movie (soon that expression will be obsolete: all year will be summer for theaters).
– global audiences matter more than before for American studios, but not that much either: they still behave, on the whole, as if America sets the tone, and other have to abide by it. And it still works quite often. Other than maybe a certain provincialist/self centered/close-minded tendencies (under the pretenses of being “worldly” or “open minded” by Hollywood producers), it still comes from the fact that the domestic market (USA + Canada) is the biggest one, and the one where the distributor gets to keep its biggest share of the sales, aka the most profitable market, dollar for dollar. So, yes, abroad matters more than before, but not to the point of profoundly changing scripts. It may give you more co-productions with China, and quota-characters (like the now infamous and unpopular Rose Tycho in Star Wars Episode IX), which doesn’t work very well, but it won’t change most movies that much: what is bad in them is bad for purely industry/state of the culture related reasons.
– the ideological push for “social justice” is a reality, coming more from inside, via recent generations of graduates who think they know what works and is good for everybody, and are extremely militant. This is aided by (overall) small but hyperactive groups in the media and on social media (activist mobs and such) that now seem to have a disproportionate amount of influence inside the self sustained bubble thus created. Including on the corporate world, at the highest levels. Such trends also have an impact on what is perceived, inside the Hollywood professional bubble, as the “zeitgeist”, and on how errors can be made, and doubled down on even in the face of failure, and a hostile audience.
– the movie industry is more concentrated than ever (Disney may well represent more than half the market before the end of the year), enhancing the already deplorable habit of big studios to micromanage productions and projects, direct movies via committees with conflicting agendas, preconceived notions, antagonist ambitions, red tape and myriads of sub-organizations and work teams.
– in the “post avengers world”, the importance of the first 2-3 weeks has been emphasized beyond the point of absurdity, impacting heavily the way things are made, and the sums invested in marketing/promotion. Such an insistence on that short a period of impact, in big flashy productions, has lead to many mistakes, and quite often even more diminished the importance of the writing, many studios seeming to think that the initial hit will be enough to get the thing going for 2-3 weeks (or even just until the second WE)…. Recent experiences have shown that the audiences have adapted, and react quicker than that.
Those are the conflicting factors at play that I can think of. All do have an impact on what is a movie for theaters nowadays, how it is seen by producers and distributors, for whom it is made….
Thank you for that excellent — informative and concise — summary. My reaction to it (from the amateur’s cheap seats in the bleachers) is that the film industry is ripe for disruption. Probably it is in the early stages of disruption, with the concentration of profits on a few (closely related) genre of tentpole productions.
As always, predicting what will initiate the steep part of the disruption “s” curve can’t be predicted. Perhaps an alternative center for the industry – in the US, or (imo, more likely) elsewhere. Or a tech explosion — such as cheap delivery of video to big screens at home. At what size is a high res screen (4k?) with good sound almost as good as going to a theater? Four feet? Six feet?
“My reaction to it (from the amateur’s cheap seats in the bleachers) is that the film industry is ripe for disruption. Probably it is in the early stages of disruption, with the concentration of profits on a few (closely related) genre of tentpole productions.”
It sure is ripe for it, and the new Disney acquisition which will make Mickey Mouse more than a primus inter pares, but a juggernaut on the market, seems to call for such a disruption. But what will be the time frame for it is a question that bothers me. As well as…. How? The theater market has such costs of entry nowadays, and so many big actors (Universal is the only one in a position to hit back a little…. Or the Chinese, if they start being able to export their stuff), that disruption seems impossible on that front. Streaming seems to be the place where it will happen, where storytelling will be able to express itself, find ways, profit from many advances that make movie-making and movie distribution cheaper, more accessible to smaller/new actors. Monetizing it is still very much a problem: Netflix is for now on a dangerous road of fleeing forward via debt, to gain market shares. Is it sustainable? Will they be able to find a balance? Survive a coming economic crash that will make credit, and a solvent demand, harder to come by? That remains to be seen.
On the ideological front of this market, it seems that streaming will also be the only way non-SJW writers will be able to prosper, if they can find relevant economic formulas; lucky for them, SJWs are intolerant, unstable, ready to pounce on you the minute you say one word that can be construed as wrongthink. And the more SJW/PC writing teams in studios become, the heavier this trend is, thus broadening the ideological spectrum that is considered wrongthink. Creators tend, on the whole, to not like ideological shackles. But then again, that leaves open the questions about the time frame, and the outlets where those new and more numerous “blacklisted” people will be able (or not) to change things. Good, ambitious and appealing fiction, even if many things get every day cheaper, remain a market with significant costs of entry: if no corporate entity of a certain size decides to be the first disruptor (cowed by the supposed zeitgeist and its enforcers), it will take time.
“Or a tech explosion — such as cheap delivery of video to big screens at home. At what size is a high res screen (4k?) with good sound almost as good as going to a theater? Four feet? Six feet?”
It will take other approaches to analyzing audiences: why do people want to go see a new movie in a theater (whether they can or not)? What proportion like or dislike sitting with strangers to watch a movie? What movie/type of movie justifies this or that level of discomfort/inconveniences? What do people look for in this or that type of movie, and what does satisfy them? For example for the last one: Black Panther. It seems that most of its audience didn’t give a damn about a “cultural shift”, or that the cast was black, or whatever. Most have gone to see a Marvel Movie announced as particularly big, to see an action movie…. Nothing like what has been chosen as the editorial line of the marketing campaign. Most people get what they want or not from a movie, rarely what the production is trying to say (especially if it’s political): we appropriate and personalize what we consume. And since this consumption does have a price and an expense in time (far more than the length of the movie), something we decide to go see in a theater, with plenty of strangers (noisy, sometimes smelly, who move, use their phones….) better be damn spectacular and impossible to match on a TV screen. So I’d say that all things considered, the size of the screen necessary to not regret aborting the theater experience for most movies…. Has dramatically diminished over the last 20 years. Even if she hadn’t embarked on an extremely ideological and self glorifying tour, and even if I could stand her acting (never a big fan), I would certainly not go see a Merryl Streep movie in a theater nowadays. A small computer screen with many pauses for various things will be more than enough for that. The thing is that there are now so much more options to adapt movie watching to what any given movie seems to require for us, at the moment we want to see it. Theater is now just the last resort on that spectrum: it better be a gigantic AND exciting movie for a gigantic screen. For other stuff, what is even the point?
Jurassic world fallen kingdom is quite frightening when compared to its previous version and will have a sequel to this version as well. Watching this movie will definitely shoot your adrenaline.