- Review by Kaya Savas - 7/10/18
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom sees Michael Giacchino returning back to the billion-dollar franchise, as these movies have now devolved into pure B-movie territory. However, for Fallen Kingdom, we are no longer in enjoyable territory as we are force-fed a corporately built movie that is meant to promote toy sales and appeal to a younger and more forgiving crowd. Giacchino throws everything he has at this movie to try and keep up with the bombastic over the top set pieces, but in the end it only amplifies the absurd lack of any real emotion to hook an audience.
The problem with Fallen Kingdom is that this movie feels like it was written by a 10 year old who was playing with a Jurassic World toy set at the time they came to get major plot points. There is no magic in the storytelling anymore, no characters to latch onto besides our boring 1-note leads, no tension or excitement, and zero craftsmanship behind the movie as a whole. The score inherits this mess and in the end has some fun moments, but is mostly loud and forgettable.
Giacchino’s last score for Jurassic World was a great chapter that followed in John Williams’ footsteps, while still doing a thing of its own. The score was no masterwork by any means, but it was extremely entertaining and held the movie together. This time around we seem to have some kind of disconnect. The score feels pasted in, and almost feels like it’s desperately trying to keep up with the insanity that unfolds onscreen. Instead of helping the action onscreen, it just makes it even more overbearing. Giacchino hardly has a narrative structure to work with, and instead has to jump from one chaotic set piece or pacing shift to another. This makes the score feel rushed and hurried, with no space to build arcs or structure. There just seems to be no inspiration here. On its own we can see some of Giacchino’s strength as a craftsman, but the score unfortunately is following a total mess of a narrative.
Just go back and re-watch Jurassic Park to remind yourself the brilliance of how to make a film that is both big-budget summer entertainment, but also so thrillingly made from start to finish. The entire T-Rex scene is scoreless and a brilliantly structured sequence. The raptors in the kitchen still make you hold your breath because of how John Williams showed restraint with the score without doing too much. Also the way Williams and Spielberg work together to make sure the score dictates the structure of a scene is brilliant. Then you fast forward to this train wreck of a movie and see all the missed potential of a smart raptor hybrid stalking people in a mansion. The final act of this movie should have been something truly suspenseful with a touch of Gothic horror. Instead we have some supposedly super-smart dinosaur that just charges its way through corridors accompanied by an orchestra on full blast.
If Jurassic Park was made with a needle and thread, then Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was made by a toddler banging spoons on pots and pans. The film is a mess of filmmaking, and Giacchino’s score can barely keep up with the insane structure of this movie. The score tries to match the bombastic nature of the film, but in the end that just amplifies the poor filmmaking and storytelling on display. If you ever need an example of what a studio picture looks like if it were made by studio executives looking at trends and focus group screening notes, then look no further than here. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is an uninspired mess and that trickles down to Giacchino’s score, which echoes the loud forgettable nature of the whole experience.