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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom takes Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard back to Isla Nublar and puts them right in the middle yet another dinosaur debacle. But this time, it’s director J.A. Bayona at the helm of a movie with a script coming from Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly. So what’s the result?

The first Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom reviews have hit the web, and it sounds like you’ll either love going along for the ride this movie takes you on or you’ll shake your head at its stupidity. There are reactions on both sides without much middle ground in between. Check out the first Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom reviews and reactions below.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Twitter Reactions

There will be more reactions after other critics have seen the sequel later tonight. But for now, there are still some full reviews that you can peruse, all with varying opinions on the sequel.

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Reviews

The full reviews have a good amount of praise for the sequel as well. John DeFore at The Hollywood Reporter writes:

“Finally making good on its name, J.A. Bayona’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom says goodbye to the park for good, not just carrying the de-extincted dinos off the island but freeing itself from the genre trappings of the previous four films.

Bayona not only nods to the histories of classic monster movies and the legacy of original Jurassic helmer Steven Spielberg; he brings his own experience to bear, treating monsters like actual characters and trapping us in a vast mansion that’s as full of secrets as the site of his breakthrough 2007 film The Orphanage.”

Meanwhile, Dan Callahan at The Wrap was far less impressed:

“The major problem with “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” — the fifth installment in this dinosaur series, and the second of a prospective trilogy — is that the makers treat the action and suspense sequences in the way most of us go to the dentist.

Director J. A. Bayona (“A Monster Calls”) goes through the motions of these scenes, even staging a “hiding from dinosaurs” set piece that was the most memorable section of Steven Spielberg’s original “Jurassic Park” movie from 1993. But what was exciting and scary then feels expected and very hackneyed now.”

Richard Lawson at Vanity Fair was fairly pleased by the proceedings:

“While the first half of the film is a petty perfunctory rehash of 1997’s The Lost World, with poachers rounding up dinosaurs for profit and a little bit of sport, the second half of Fallen Kingdom does something nifty. Bayona revisits some aesthetics and moods from his lauded 2007 horror film The Orphanage by turning Fallen Kingdom into something of a spooky mansion movie, rainy and atmospheric and full of creeping shadows. It’s an unexpected reduction in scale and commitment to specificity, not what we often see in follows-up to smash hits. But these are proportions that Bayona knows how to work in, and from them he crafts something clever and goofy and jumpy. Of course he’s mandated to enlarge the purview of the film—or, really, of the franchise—by the end, but for a while there he gets to play around on his own terms. It’s a surprising delight.”

But Eric Kohn at IndieWire doesn’t think J.A. Bayona’s touches are enough to save the movie:

“In the wake of the box-office lunacy that drove “Jurassic World” to become the fifth-highest grossing movie of all time, “The Fallen Kingdom” is a frustrating display of overconfidence. It’s occasionally elevated by director J.A. Bayona’s penchant for taut human-versus-dino showdowns, but fleeting moments of inspired filmmaking can’t overshadow the broader tendency of this material to sag into stupidity. Campy dialogue and ludicrous plot twists abound: The fate of these resurrected creatures remains uncertain, but the formula for their movies will never go extinct.”

Chris Nashawaty at EW says the movie delivers exactly what you’d expect, for better and worse:

“Needless to say, idealism butts heads with greed, children will be put in peril, doublecrosses will be doublecrossed, and a menagerie of various CG raptors and rexes pop up to serve well-timed scares for younger moviegoers, including a bit of run-amok mayhem off of the island. Howard, thankfully, gets more to do than the last go round (and in combat boots, no less!), Pratt busts out his Indiana Jones cocktail of can-do heroism and deadpan jokiness, and Bayona and his screenwriters (Trevorrow and Derek Connolly) test the laws of incredulity with varying degrees of success. At least, until the final half hour when forehead-slapping absurdity finally win out. Up until then, Fallen Kingdom is exactly the kind of escapist summer behemoth you want it to be.”

Matt Singer at ScreenCrush says the movie is full of stupid characters:

“All the Jurassic Park sequels have had an uncomfortable relationship with logic, but even by this franchise’s standards, Fallen Kingdom is particularly ridiculous. All of the characters  even the heroes we’re supposed to root for — make baffling, indefensible choices. They put their trust in obviously evil people; they suggest solutions to problems that are infinitely more dangerous than the problems themselves. They build underground laboratories for secret dinosaur experiments with laxer security than my daughter’s daycare. The only characters who behave rationally in Fallen Kingdom, in fact, are the dinosaurs. At one point, someone refers to Blue as the “second smartest animal” on Earth. Based on the evidence in this film, I think it’s time for a recount.”

Emma Stefansky at Uproxx wonders if the franchise even needs to continue, despite having some redeeming qualities:

“There is a little bit of the wonder and joy that made the original so special embedded deep within Fallen Kingdom, which I credit to Bayona, whose primary drive, even in genre fare like this, has always been to sprinkle just enough emotion into the stories he tells. The plot of this feels less forced, and overall less cynical, than Jurassic World, though I don’t think I could ever believe that in the reality of these movies dinosaurs are treated like a boring commodity, bought and sold and updated and improved upon in order to still be interesting — much like how Universal has treated this whole franchise, forcing it to evolve without considering whether or not it can, or should, survive.”

Finally, Bilge Ebiri at The Village Voice is not satisfied with the movie, even if it’s better than Jurassic World

“It looks and feels familiar, and in an era where studio filmmaking has increasingly become an extension of brand management, that should make a lot of people happy. But I can’t say it made me particularly happy.

Fallen Kingdom isn’t quite so awful as its previous iteration, Colin Trevorrow’s doltishly written, cacophonously acted, indifferently directed, and generally unpleasant Jurassic World, which played like a ‘roided-up remake of the original Jurassic Park but with everything that made Steven Spielberg’s film fun surgically removed. There are even a couple of imaginatively staged setpieces this time around, and the picture kicks off with the best of them, a storm-drenched night-time multi-dinosaur attack on a salvage crew amid the ruins of the previous films’ theme park island, lit with flashes of lightning and flickering spotlights.”

***

There’s actually more praise for the movie in the positive reactions than I was expecting. That appears to be thanks to the refreshing perspective and style that director J.A. Bayona brings to the table. However, the more negative reviews are full of the issues that I feared would plague this latest installment of the franchise. It seems like Jurassic World can’t escape the legacy of Jurassic Park and Universal is hellbent on continuing this franchise without thinking about whether they should.

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