Jurassic World: 5 Ways Fallen Kingdom Was A Huge Disappointment (& 5 Dominion Can Improve On It)
Fans of the Jurassic Park/World franchise hated Fallen Kingdom, and for good reason. But Dominion might give moviegoers a few reasons to be hopeful.
The hiring of The Orphanage’s J.A. Bayona and the promise of expanding on the franchise’s universe made Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom one of the most anticipated movies of 2018. Unfortunately, when it hit theaters, excited moviegoers were dismayed when it failed to live up to the franchise's movie magic.
It wasn’t a mixed bag like its predecessor, which had its shortcomings but still delivered the goods as an action-packed dino-infested blockbuster; it was an abject failure. It just might be the worst movie in the Jurassic Park franchise, which is saying a lot. But that doesn’t mean the next movie, Jurassic World: Dominion, can’t redeem it.
10 - Fallen Kingdom Was A Huge Disappointment: The Nonsense Was Distracting
Since the cloning of dinosaurs was made up for Michael Crichton’s original Jurassic Park novel, there’s not a lot of science to support these movies and the audience is required to suspend their disbelief to a certain extent. But Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom took that extent and went way too far with it.
The audience is expected to believe that the island the park was built on has been an active volcano waiting to erupt this entire time, and that live dinosaurs would go for $4 million per species on the black market. This nonsense becomes distracting.
9 - Dominion Can Improve On It: Make Sure The Script Makes Sense
When a movie like Jurassic World: Dominion is getting made and $200 million is at stake, the script is heavily scrutinized by studio executives. They missed all the plot holes and ridiculous leaps in logic in Fallen Kingdom, but they need to spot them in Dominion.
If there are scenes in Dominion like the one in Fallen Kingdom in which Chris Pratt avoids molten lava following the-floor-is-made-of-lava rules instead of actual science, audiences won’t let it fly a second time.
8 - Fallen Kingdom Was A Huge Disappointment: The Characters Remained One-Note
The first Jurassic World movie didn’t bother to round out Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard’s respective characters, Owen Grady and Claire Dearing, beyond identifying their job titles and giving them one-note personalities to suit their actors.
The sequel did nothing to build on that. Owen is still a wisecracking smart-aleck, but now, he’s building a cabin. Claire is still high-maintenance, but now, she’s working with a charity instead of creating bloodthirsty predators.
7 - Dominion Can Improve On It: Build On The Characters
Owen and Claire’s adoption of Maisie at the end of Fallen Kingdom is a good jumping-off point to finally turn them into characters worth caring about, as they move beyond themselves and try to become parents.
If Dominion takes a little time to develop them in between set pieces, then it could redeem their one-note characterization in the previous movies.
6 - Fallen Kingdom Was A Huge Disappointment: Disjointed Story Structure
The first half of Fallen Kingdom is a carbon copy of The Lost World, as mercenaries are sent to the island with a secret malicious mission, while in the second half, it becomes a haunted house movie.
The structure of the plot is completely disjointed, like the producers had two ideas and neither of them were quite there, so they decided to just use both undercooked concepts to pad it out.
5 - Dominion Can Improve On It: Focused Narrative
Rather than taking two lukewarm story ideas and saying, “Let’s just do the first idea in the first half and the second idea in the second half,” the writers of Jurassic World: Dominion need to come up with a more focused narrative.
Organic progression from scene to scene with increasingly raised stakes and earnest character development worked like a charm in the first Jurassic Park movie.
4 - Fallen Kingdom Was A Huge Disappointment: Jeff Goldblum’s Role Was A Glorified Cameo
One of the most exciting things about Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was Jeff Goldblum’s much-hyped return to the role of Ian Malcolm. However, in the movie, his role was that of a glorified cameo.
He bookends the movie with the same rhetoric we’ve heard over and over again throughout the franchise, all shot in the same room and wardrobe, suggesting Goldblum got it out of the way in one day.
3 - Dominion Can Improve On It: Give Substantial Roles To Legacy Characters
It’s already been confirmed that Sam Neill and Laura Dern will be joining Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic World: Dominion and they’ll all have substantial roles, so that had better not be exaggerated.
The last thing fans need is to get all excited to see the original trio back together again, only for them each to appear in one scene and never share the screen.
2 - Fallen Kingdom Was A Huge Disappointment: The Best Clips From The Trailers Were Just In The Epilogue
The most exciting clips from the trailers for Fallen Kingdom saw dinosaurs roaming around North America, like a T. rex roaring at a lion in a zoo and a Mosasaurus lurking beneath some surfers on a wave, but they weren’t really in the movie.
These clips only appeared in montage form in a brief epilogue set after Maisie lets the dinosaurs out into civilized society. Fallen Kingdom only served to set up the most exciting clips for the next movie.
1 - Dominion Can Improve On It: Deliver On The Epilogue’s Promise
If one of the most disappointing things about Fallen Kingdom is that it saved all the most exciting stuff for the next movie, then all the next movie has to do is deliver on that promise.
The recently released short film Battle at Big Rock gave fans a lot of hope for a feature-length movie set in an America populated with dinosaurs, so there’s still hope.