Saw the Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom premiere last night with my GF, kiddos, and one other "nerd" friend (including myself in that category! lol), and I give it an enthusiastic two thumbs up! We were completing a day of marathoning all the Jurassic Park movies, starting at 10:30 in the morning, and wrapping up with the new film, and it was a fun experience! Full confession: I am a HUGE JP franchise fan, and even enjoy the much maligned JP 3, feeling like it's gotten to the point where it's so hated on, it's almost underrated now!
I will say I found it worse today than I had thought previously, but still worth an occasional watch, especially for scenes like the one in the Aviary alone.
Back to JW:FK though... I felt like it was the "scariest" JP movie since the original, at least in terms of atmosphere, and the mood of dread that it builds in a number of scenes, and I attribute that to Director AJ Bayona's horror background. Knowing that they have already planned the JW films to be a Trilogy, this installment definitely fits the mold of the darker, story arc propelling middle movie, and without giving away any spoilers, it's definitely left WIDE open for a 3rd film. My GF isn't a huge JP fanboy like me, and only saw the original JW yesterday, and only then in bits and pieces, as she kept herself busy doing other things. However, after seeing JW:FK last night, she couldn't stop saying how much she wished the next film in the series could be seen RIGHT AWAY, and loved the movie, and plans to watch JW in its entirety ASAP. So I think that's a strong testament to the strength of the film!
My kids pointed out how there weren't any dull or low points in the entire film, and I'd agree with them, for the most part. It's engaging, and propels you forward all the way through, and definitely leaves you wanting more, even at a runtime of over 2 hours (contrasted with JP3, which at only an hour and a half, seems a little stretched). I'm debating whether I like this movie or the first JW movie more, and I would have that a strong 9-9.5 stars, so this would fall in that same range for me.
Is it a perfect film, or even the second coming of the original Jurassic Park? No, I wouldn't go that far. There were some acting, and scripting issues, that I noticed. However, I'm able to overlook little things like that if the overall effect and package of the film is effective for what it's intended (something most "professional" movie critics are lousy at, which I find renders their opinions inert), and that means this film is a great one in my opinion! If you're a big fan of the series, and enjoyed JW, I think you're going to really enjoy this one as well! My "nerd" friend had the lone dissenting view that the movie wasn't all that great, but honestly his reasons for that weren't very strong, and I think they come more from the place of "series fatigue" than anything. In my opinion, JW:FK is enough different from what has come before it, in terms of locations, and action scenes, that I don't get any fatigue from it, and brings plenty of new things to the table. I'm definitely stoked about the movie, the franchise, and its future, and can't wait to see what comes next!