As ridiculous as it is, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is more like a two-hour amusement park ride, fun and thrilling while it lasts, but rather forgettable once the ride is over.
The Production: 3/5
Rescue op. Save the dinosaurs from an island that is about to explode. What could go wrong? – Owen Grady (Chris Pratt)
That line pretty much sums up Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom the fifth film in the Jurassic Park and second in the Jurassic World franchises. Shortly after the Jurassic World theme park was forced to close down due to the dinosaurs pretty much taking over the park, a volcano on Isla Nublar has become active, threatening an extinction-level event on the island. Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell) and his assistant Eli Mills (Rafe Spall), who are now responsible for the financially strapped Masrani Global, already have a team of mercenaries on the island, lead by Ken Wheatley (Ted Levine), and dispatches Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to the island so that Claire can activate the location trackers in the dinosaurs and Owen can help trap Blue, his prized trained velociraptor. The plan is to evacuate the dinosaurs to a remote island as a nature preserve and allow them to flourish untouched by man. As one expects in the Jurassic movies, things do not go as planned, as someone has a hidden agenda to thwart that plan. That person, which comes to no surprise in the film, is Eli Mills, who plans to hold a secret auction to sell off the dinosaurs in order to finance the company’s research in weaponizing their genetically modified creations to earn even more money at a later auction.
The Jurassic series has always asked its audience to buy in to some sort of scientific theory, and Jurassic Park novelist Michael Crichton originally asked us to believe that cloning and genetic modification were possible, even with incomplete DNA. The screenplay for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom by Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly asks much more from its audience, such as creating new species (something touched upon in the previous film), but this time as potential weapons with trained cues genetically imprinted on the animals. That is one of many suspensions of disbelief asked upon the audience, but comes much later in the story that you just have to go with it. The movie also tries to ask some serious questions, such as global warming and whether genetically created and previously extinct creatures really animals and deserving of preservation, but the movie itself is so over the top that the preaching doesn’t feel all that serious. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is more akin to a two-hour amusement park ride, fun and thrilling wile it lasts, but ultimately forgettable shortly after it ends.
3D Rating: NA
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is the first in the series to be shot in the 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The movie was captured in 6.5k and 3.4k resolutions on Arri Alexa 65 and Mini cameras, then completed as a digital intermediate at an unspecified resolution (although with all of the visual effects work, I suspect it was finished at 2k), with Dolby Vision HDR added for some of its theatrical exhibitions. Universal’s 4K UHD Blu-ray features a h.265 encode at 2160p with both Dolby Vision and HDR10 high dynamic range. Viewing the movie on equipment only capable of HDR10, the result is very cinematic. Colors are vibrant and consistent with no visible banding whatsoever. Contrast is excellent, providing deep inky blacks that retain strong shadow detail and bright whites that never clip. When comparing to the included Blu-ray edition, the UHD can appear much darker, while blacks on the Blu-ray often appear as dark grey.
Both the 4K UHD Blu-ray and Blu-ray editions include the same excellent DTS-X track. This is a reference-quality track, offering strong LFE throughout, as well as taking full advantage of all capable speaker channels. I viewed the movie on a 5.1.2 configured speaker layout, and it truly rocked the room. Dino roars often pierced the room in sonic clarity, and their stampede nearly vibrated the floorboards loose. Heights are used to great effect, providing a fully immersive experience, while dialogue remained clear and understandable throughout.
Special Features: 3.5/5
This may be a first for Universal, but all of the extras have been included on the 4K UHD disc as well as the included Blu-ray edition.
On Set with Chris & Bryce (2160p; 3:05): A look at the chemistry between the two leads.
The Kingdom Evolves (2160p; 4:33): How Fallen Kingdom fits in to the entire Jurassic franchise.
Return to Hawaii (2160p; 2:41): Shooting on location in Hawaii.
Island Action (2160p; 6:01): More location shooting, focusing more on some of the action sequences.
Aboard the Arcadia (2160p; 5:53): Creating the ship on a soundstage.
Birth of the Indoraptor (2160p; 4:09): A look at the franchise’s newest creature.
Start the Bidding! (2160p; 3:18): A look at the auction sequences.
Death by Dino (2160p; 1:33): A look at one key character’s death.
Monster in a Mansion (2160p; 3:06): Director J.A Bayona discusses some of the influences he used in a key scene.
Rooftop Showdown (2160p; 3:48): Shooting the big climax to the film.
Malcolm’s Return (2160p; 3:07): Shooting Jeff Goldblum’s cameo.
VFX Evolved (2160p; 7:08): A look at the visual effects and how they have changed since the first film, Jurassic Park.
Fallen Kingdom: The Conversation (2160p; 10:16): A roundtable discussion with Colin Trevorrow, Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, J.A Bayona, and Jeff Goldblum.
A Song for the Kingdom (2160p; 1:26): Justice Smith, who plays computer whiz Franklin Webb, performs a song during some downtime on set.
Chris Pratt’s Jurassic Journals (2160p; 12:08): Pratt talks briefly to several cast and crew members – 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 Kreig, Assistant Script Supervisor; J.A. Bayona, Director; James Cox, Stunt Performer, Rachelle Beinart, Stunt Double; and Bryce Dallas Howard Chris Pratt, Actor.
Jurassic Then and Now – Presented by Barbasol (2160p; 3:06): A montage of clips from all five Jurassic films so far.
Interactive Baby Blue: Scan the insert using Facebook Messenger and the camera on your smart phone, and you can send and post pictures of yourself or your friends with Blue the velociraptor.
Digital Copy: An insert contains a code to redeem a digital copy on Movies Anywhere. When I redeemed my code, I received UHD versions on Vudu, Google Play Movies, and FandangoNow, HD on Amazon Prime Video. I do not own an Apple TV or an XBOX One so cannot confirm the resolutions on iTunes and Microsoft Movies, respectively.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a fun ride, but full of empty calories. The 4K UHD provides an excellent video and audio presentation, and it is really nice to see the studio include all of the special features on the UHD disc.
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