By Jason Mendoza
Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore, Vince Vaughn, Richard Attenborough
Director: Steven Spielberg
Synopsis: Four years have passed since the tragic incident on Isla Nublar. Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) is summoned by John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) to get video footage of dinosaurs that are on a hidden second site called Isla Sorna. However, Malcolm and company encounter Hammond’s financiers who plan on taking the dinosaurs to a park in San Diego. Ian then finds himself in a rather similar situation to last time.
Steven Spielberg has brought us a film that in some aspects is superior to the first one. Just as exciting, and even has better dinosaurs. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the rather dull and forgettable human characters, which is ultimately where the film falls flat. The first film had an irresistible charm which this one fails to replicate.
The CGI in this film I would argue is better than the first movie. For instance, take the T-Rex chase scene: The male T-Rex in this scene is the best-looking dinosaur in any of the Jurassic Park films. They managed to make the T-Rex in this film behave more like a modern-day predator. For instance, there is a scene where the T-Rex passing down a neighborhood. The T-Rex does not go around smashing civilians’ houses into pieces, it just behaves like most predators when they are not hungry. The smooth birdlike movements of the Raptors made them feel realistic, being ancestors of modern birds. The use of animatronics is also brilliantly done in this film. Not as balanced as the first film, but still great.
The weak point of this movie is in fact, the human characters. Jeff Goldblum in the first film played Ian Malcolm, who had an awkward yet unique personality that a large portion of the audience loved and found humorous. In this one, he is reduced to a monotonous stick in the mud. He is not very reminiscent of the character we know and love from the first film, often showing a negative attitude towards everything. There were rarely any instances where I found myself caring about most of the human characters. In addition, the dialogue in this movie is boring and uninspired. Whenever the humans had assembled and started rambling on about personal problems, I found myself wondering when the dinosaurs were going to show up. The main problem with it is that it’s all over the pace. In some scenes, there are multiple people are talking over each other which makes it very hard for the audience to identify with the characters or even with what they’re saying. The only saving grace when it comes to the humans is Roland, played by the late Pete Postlethwaite. His determination to hunt a buck T-Rex is intriguing to watch.
While it’s the humans that mainly tarnish this film’s quality, the plot isn’t necessarily great either. It’s another of the ‘humanity is evil towards animals’ clichés. It didn’t show anything different than what I have already seen when this cliché is used in films.
There are quite a few moments in the movie that break the viewer’s suspension of disbelief. For example, the scene in the film when the teenage daughter of Ian Malcolm uses her gymnastics skills to swing from a bar and kick a full-grown Velociraptor out of a window. Another scene that makes no sense is where the crew is eaten on the boat. Apparently, it was supposed to be the T-Rex that killed them because it had somehow locked itself in the metal crate again but it is never explained in the film. However, the scene in San Diego where the T-Rex is running wild is honestly not badly done. Of course, the idea sounds silly, since it reminds individuals of King Kong. However logically, if a T-Rex were to ever be running around a city, this exactly how I would imagine it.
This film is simply not as good as the first one. I think the CGI is slightly better and I also find the dinosaurs more fun to watch in this film. However, that is not enough to make a great movie. It requires charm, a plot that makes sense, and most importantly, memorable characters. This film is lacking in any of those, and because of that, it falls short. The film is still very enjoyable to watch and I feel it’s slightly underrated because of the fact that many critics have treated this movie like its the worst thing ever. I would say it’s an average popcorn movie. A really high-quality one at that. Unfortunately, that’s all it is: A fun popcorn movie. I give it a solid C+.