Blu-ray Review: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

When it comes to my thoughts on Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, not much has changed since my original theatrical review of the film. While I know certain views were mixed on the direction the franchise has taken with Fallen Kingdom, I can’t help but think that it was the inevitable place to take the franchise after all these years to allow the story to branch off into uncharted territory for the upcoming final chapter in the World trilogy.

In Fallen Kingdom we see the total destruction of Isla Nubar in the first act, and this dynamic action sequence holds up incredibly well at home. While it was spectacular to see on the big screen it’s still incredibly intense and beautifully shot. The panic, fear and confusion that fills the dinosaurs as they try to run for some sort of safe haven that simply doesn’t exist is intense and sad all at once (leading to one of the most incredibly heartbreaking and well-shot throwback moments in film franchise history,) and gives the best on-screen idea of what things were probably like when these creatures were wiped out all those millions of years ago – without the Gyrosphere rolling alongside them, of course.

Now I loved the theme park dynamic of this franchise’s two best films, but it just makes sense to go the military route that’s been hinted at from the start. Ian Malcom (Jeff Goldblum) warned about this sort of technology getting into the wrong hands way back in the day, and that exact thing almost taking place is what caused the initial incident at the original park twenty-plus years prior. So in Fallen Kingdom, seeing these dinosaurs go up for auction on the black market to be used as weapons worldwide adds a new layer to the film that we haven’t seen before.

That’s not to say there isn’t plenty of running and screaming as dinosaurs run amuck – those things and the Jurassic Park franchise go hand-in-hand and it’d be disappointing if that didn’t happen. Some may not like the slower pacing of the second act, as bad guys are built up, plans are exposed and another new avenue for the series in human cloning is explored; but that’s just something that feels different for the Jurassic films, as usually the second act is where the non-stop, escape the park, get to safety stuff takes place, as the main story being told is “Get to safety and don’t get eaten while doing so!” Again, there’s still plenty of that, it just a slower burn to get there than fan’s of the franchise are used to.

Odds are if you wanted to see this film you already have, but to those who may be on the fence or were waiting until it hit Blu-ray or DVD I’d definitely recommend checking it out. Whether you like the new direction it takes or not, everything that takes place on Isla Nubar is cinematic gold, and I personally think the rest of it is loads of fun too. Owen (Chris Pratt,) Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) and the world’s smartest (and only) raptor Blue are all interesting characters that I want to see more of – especially between Owen and Blue, as the loyalty and love between the two has led to a number of ecstatic fist pumping moments for me while watching the last two films. It’ll be interesting to see the direction Colin Trevorrow takes with Jurassic World 3, (where he’ll be returning to the director’s chair after sitting this one out) as the gloves are off, the claws are out, and the Jurassic World is his oyster.

This movie looks fantastic! Everything about this Blu-ray transfer was done incredibly well, with the action sequences on Isla Nubar still being extremely satisfying on a screen at home. The darker scenes also balance perfectly with the daylight scenes early on, with the shadows and blacks being rich and never muddy. The sound transfer is also spectacular, with the beautiful score shining throughout, while the sound effects, dinosaurs and dialogue all come through crisp and clear at all times. Both transfers are top tier and some of the best that Blu-ray can deliver.

Special Features:

Fallen Kingdom: The Conversation – This feature comes in at just over 10-minutes in length and sees Bayona, Pratt, Trevorrow, Dallas Howard and Jeff Goldblum all talk Jurassic Park. A must watch if you only watch one thing on this disc – well, aside from the movie.

On Set with Chris & Bryce – This featurette comes in at just over three minutes in length and talks about the two leading characters, their relationship on screen and off.

The Kingdom Evolves – This one comes in at four and a half minutes and focuses on where the second film in the new trilogy starts to take the story. We also get to see director J.A. Bayona’s work and vision for the film, and what he added to things this time around.

Chris Pratt’s Jurassic Journals – Another really fun feature that is also the longest of the bunch at just over 12-minutes. This piece sees Pratt going around set showcasing all sorts of talent that helped make this movie possible. Also another can’t miss feature that’s lots of fun.

Return to Hawaii – Another quick featurette at just under three minutes that briefly touches on the parts of the film shot in Hawaii.

Island Action – This feature hits six minutes in length and showcases some of the major action scenes found within the film, especially the intense work on in Hawaii.

Aboard the Arcadia – This feature comes in at just under six minutes in length and takes us aboard the Arcadia that was built on a soundstage, amazingly fun dinosaur animatronics, as well as bringing to life a pivotal scene that Baynoa sees as the heart of the film.

Birth of the Indoraptor – This piece comes in at just over four minutes in length and gives a more in-depth look at the film’s big dino-antagonist.

Start the Bidding! – This featurette is just over three minutes in length and quickly showcases one of the action sequences in the movie.

Death by Dino – The shortest featurette on the disc comes in at just a minute and a half and focuses on one of the film’s evil villains getting their comeuppance din-style.

Monster in a Mansion – This three minute featurette sees Bayona talk about creating a scene that was influenced by both the original Jurassic Park and Dracula from the late ‘70s.

Rooftop Showdown – This piece comes in at just under four minutes and showcases the making of the showdown…on, well, the rooftop that takes place near the end of the film.

Malcom’s Return – Jeff Goldblum returns – albeit briefly – as Ian Malcom! So happy he wasn’t just brought on as dino-fodder, but also sad that he wasn’t around more.

VFX Evolved – This feature comes in at just over seven minutes in length and touches on making the dinosaurs come to life, the advancements since the original films, while also paying homage to them as well.

A Song for the Kingdom – The shortest featurette at just 86-seconds in length sees actor Justice Smith perform on set.

Jurassic Then and Now: Presented by Barbasol — This is a three minute montage of various moments throughout the franchise for your viewing pleasure!

Universal Pictures Presents Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Directed by: J.A. Bayona. Written by: Derek Connolly, Colin Trevorrow. Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, James Cromwell, Toby Jones, BD Wong, Isabella Sermon. Running time: 128 Minutes. Rating: PG. Released on Blu-ray: Sept. 18, 2018.

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