Discuss and rate the last movie you watched

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Chimpzy:

cathou:
that is still canon. They have plans for him, i'm pretty sure that they dont drop that bomb in the movies and then not use it. it will either be in a tv show or maybe in the boba fett movie i guess...

They already have. Maul played a major role in the Star Wars Rebels cgi series which starts about 5 years before A New Hope (So after Solo) and ends somewhere before Rogue One (but fairly close).

yes i know that, but since that story already exist, i'm pretty sure that they might come up with something between solo and Rebels. maybe he will be the boss of boba fett in the next story

Hawki:

Natemans:

I liked him. He wasn't that horrible. Jesus.

Solo was fine and I liked Last Jedi. Then again I've been told my opinion is shit anyway

I liked Rio and Val as well. It's a shame they weren't in the movie more, because while we don't see much of them, they do leave an impression, Rio especially.

But, yeah, I liked Solo, and I liked Last Jedi even more.

Look, to me these video sums up how I see Star Wars and want it to be and this one is through music with fitting images:

And just so you know that its not just the Old Republic, I wish the Original Trilogy was more like this:

Solo was ayt. I mean I've already forgotten most of it.

It was unintentionally funny as the movie checked items off its "elements of Han's origins" list one by one. His dice (which are supposed to be the dice he used to win the Falcon, but whatevs), check. His gun, check (why Woody would strip down a rifle instead of just giving it to Han...), check. The Millenium Falcon's junk heap look, check. The two prongs on the Falcon's prow, check.

Yet oddly the one thing I think they didn't show was Chewie's life debt to Han. I mean he did save Chewie's butt a few times but they never specifically mentioned it. I guess they thought people didn't like the idea of Chewie being essentially Han's slave?

The Maul cameo (since we don't seem to be keeping it non spoiler anymore) was cool, and also hilarious. Hey, lemme just light up my saber then put it out for no particular reason! But yeah, I was expecting Vader or Fett so it was a nice surprise. Makes sense too, considering how Maul controlled basically all of galactic organized crime at one point.

So in the end, a 7/10 (but then I'm the kind of guy who considers a 6 as a bad movie).

The epitome of "just a movie". Not annoyed that I watched it, wouldn't have minded if I didn't.

EDIT: I just realized that this is the first movie that doesn't have Threepio and R2.

Kill Bill Vol 1 -

Been a long time since I watched this so thought I'd give it a rewatch. Still really good.

9/10

Bob_McMillan:
Solo was ayt.

AYT?

Hawki:

Bob_McMillan:
Solo was ayt.

AYT?

Ayt. Aight. Aryt. Aightie. Arytie. Alright.

Get with the program, grandpa!

Natemans:
Kill Bill Vol 1 -

Been a long time since I watched this so thought I'd give it a rewatch. Still really good.

9/10

I think Vol. 2 was the best.

Samtemdo8:

Natemans:
Kill Bill Vol 1 -

Been a long time since I watched this so thought I'd give it a rewatch. Still really good.

9/10

I think Vol. 2 was the best.

I think both work great in contrast to one another.

The Circle (2017)

I was not a fan, to say the least. Granted, I was not terribly excited to watch it in the first place, but looking at it critically, I can't help but see it as a mess. At the start of the film, Watson's character says that she's most afraid of "unfulfilled potential", and I think that phrase sums up the film nicely. The film is thematically scattered and touches on a variety of issues that could have carried the film, ranging from our virtual interconnectedness actually disconnecting us from personal interaction (exemplified at the start where Watson told an old friend to his face that she'd text him to see about getting together, leading to him mumbling that they could do that right then), how striving for 100% in all things can make overall successes still feel like failures and/or lead to unreasonable impositions, how shallow mob mentality can lead to tragedy, the need to balance privacy and security, or how celebrity status can warp our perceptions.

Almost invariably, however, these ideas are only touched upon in the shallowest of manners. Even the idea of the eponymous Circle being abused to get dirt on political adversaries is dropped almost as soon as it is introduced. What we ended up with was a confused story that didn't seem to know whether it was trying to push the idea of 100% connectedness was a net gain or net benefit. And I don't mean that in a "make up your own mind" sense. I mean that near the end we see it used to locate and catch a fugitive in under 20 minutes, then 2 minutes later it's abused to harass an innocent, and then we get a speech that the problem wasn't that it was abused but that it didn't go far enough, followed by our protagonist smiling up at the drones tracking her every movement. It's difficult to say whether we're supposed to see this as Stockholm Syndrome or genuine appreciation.

The Circle is a film that suffers from severe tonal inconsistency and an unwillingness to actually explore the issues it broaches. I give it 1.5 out of 5 stars.


Black Panther

I wanted so much to like this movie, and while I would still say that it was worth the price of admission, I can't help but feel that it also failed to live up to its potential.

Much like the Circle, Black Panther also suffers from broaching more issues than it is willing to explore, and it doesn't really focus on any of them to an appreciable degree. Yes, there are repeated references to oppression and bigotry, but the overwhelming majority of the film takes place in Wakanda where those issues are not present, and its greatest champion is the antagonist who simply comes off as driven by hatred rather than a sense of moral righteousness. Similarly, the film repeatedly touches on the dichotomies of progress and tradition, and the virtues and failings of isolationism vs interventionism, but these almost feel slapped on for how little emphasis they get. Duty to crown vs. duty to country? Touched on but never explored. Even the wonderful use of T'Challa and Killmonger as dramatic foils is squandered through lack of emphasis.

If I look at other Marvel films, I see a strong tendency for them to revolve around a theme. Iron Man revolved around accountability. That is what drove Stark to become Iron Man and separated him from the antagonist. Iron Man 2 revolved around legacy: His father's legacy, his own legacy in the face of his own mortality, Hammer's desperation to make his own mark on the world, Whiplash's desire to destroy the Stark legacy (and arguably being a result of it). Thor was about worthiness, Thor's worth as a warrior not making up for his personal deficiencies, Loki's sense of self-worth being greatly tarnished by the revelation of past and his comparison to his brother, to say nothing of his desire to prove his worth to his father. Doctor Strange was about failure. Failure to fix Strange's hands, failure to accept that fact and move on, failure in the teaching of Kalisius, failure to protect the sanctuaries, failure to stop the antagonists. This is summed up in the middle of the film when the Ancient One comments that Strange always excelled not because he craved success but feared failure, and how that was what kept him from greatness. The Incredible Hulk is about fear, specifically Banner's fear about his own uncontrolled power, and the antagonist's distinct lack of fear (eagerness, in fact) to acquire that same power.

However, if I look at Black Panther, I cannot identify a central theme. There are a good number of issues they touch on, and that are worth additional exploration, but none of them are really central to the story. It's all window dressing. Worse still, some of the issues they touched on felt like they would be a better fit for Static than Black Panther.

With that being said, Black Panther remains an entertaining film with good acting and characters, but it lacks a strong central narrative that would have changed it from a good film to a great film. It's worth watching, but if you're going in expecting it to set a new standard like Iron Man did, you will be disappointed.

Filth
A real intense performance from James McAvoy as a highly unpleasant, manipulative, selfish yet ambitious Scottish police officer with some personal troubles to say the least, descending into self-imposed madness. A pretty powerful exploration of a wee little issue that perhaps rhymes with "Rock-stick mass divinity." The supporting cast are all great too, but this is very much centred around his character as the worst human to grace the police force, while still portraying a deeply repressed sympathetic side. McAvoy respect continues to grow. Maybe I'll check the book out, but watching film before book is not my preferred order of intake

Capote
Have been wanting to see this for some while, mainly through a great appreciation of the underappreciated Philip Seymour Hoffman and hearing it's one of his best roles. I did clap when he appeared in The Hunger Games, sort of, mentally. Having not an ounce of knowledge on the real life story of Truman Capote going in, there were no expectations as this was all new to me. But it covers time during the research for his last novel on two killers in death row for murdering an entire family one night where he tries to connect with them to understand what occured and why it came to be. Considered the years that pushed him further toward alcoholism and addiction and eventually his death. Is quite good, nuanced with no clear morality or perhaps the answers some may seem to expect from any ordinary movie. Needless to say was impressed with performance as a sincere and empathetic human. In all, it's a drama that doesn't promise typical resolution most would want from their watching experience, so i would recommend to anybody who doesn't find anything mentioned here a deal-breaker.

I have seen the movie Waterloo, which is now on Yotube in 1080p with multiple langauges and subtitles:

But I watched 3 different videos of the movie in English, French, and German because 3 nations were at this battle. I watched the French Scenes in French, the British Scenes in English, and the Prussian Scenes in German all to give a much more authentic take on the history and battle here.

Now basically the movie is great, but I have one problem that puts this film from a 5 out of 5 to a 4 out of 5 and sadly, the battles shown here feels....dated in the sense that it was movie made in 1970 exactly, so the battles will not be as gruesome as something you seen in Saving Private Ryan, like despite all the dirt and explosions the fighting still feels reletively PG-13 and some of the melee combat feels rather cheap.

Like to use a better example, if the battles here looked as brutal as 1989s Glory, Waterloo would have been one of the best War movies ever. It has the scope and numbers of extras, but doesn't have the brutality (and sound effects) like this:

But the rest of the movie is great, and the Napoleon actor really sold him being this grizzled, veteran Napoleon that has already been through so much.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Is aight. Yeah, I'd say its praise is well deserved. Impressive cast and is sadly refreshing to have a lead female who isn't picked mainly for their youthful prettiness for once.

The Incredibles 2
It's the exact same movie as the original, only Bob and Helen switch seats. That 14 year wait goes completely unacknowledged: movie opens on the original's climax, immediately resets status quo so the Parr family is back in square one (laying low, forbidden from acting out their hero calling, etc) and then proceeds to copy the original beat for beat up to and including the "Here we go again!" ending. Now I liked the original a lot and I had a good time with the sequel but I'd be lying if a part of me was completely unimpressed with it as well. It's just the same movie all over again.

Mission Impossible (1996) -

Since Fallout is coming out, I decided to rewatch the films. Original is still pretty good. Only flaws are some of the CGI is a bit dated and the plot is a bit complicated at times, but overall still works. Good script, solid cast especially Tom Cruise, great direction by Brian De Palma and some really fun action.

Johnny Novgorod:
The Incredibles 2
It's the exact same movie as the original, only Bob and Helen switch seats. That 14 year wait goes completely unacknowledged: movie opens on the original's climax, immediately resets status quo so the Parr family is back in square one (laying low, forbidden from acting out their hero calling, etc) and then proceeds to copy the original beat for beat up to and including the "Here we go again!" ending. Now I liked the original a lot and I had a good time with the sequel but I'd be lying if a part of me was completely unimpressed with it as well. It's just the same movie all over again.

Did they gave Helen Parr more "Fanservices-y" scenes?

As in some scenes that will be used as fodder for "artists" in the internet?

Edge of Tomorrow

Overall a fun "sci-fi-groundhog day-alien war" watch

Samtemdo8:

Johnny Novgorod:
The Incredibles 2
It's the exact same movie as the original, only Bob and Helen switch seats. That 14 year wait goes completely unacknowledged: movie opens on the original's climax, immediately resets status quo so the Parr family is back in square one (laying low, forbidden from acting out their hero calling, etc) and then proceeds to copy the original beat for beat up to and including the "Here we go again!" ending. Now I liked the original a lot and I had a good time with the sequel but I'd be lying if a part of me was completely unimpressed with it as well. It's just the same movie all over again.

Did they gave Helen Parr more "Fanservices-y" scenes?

As in some scenes that will be used as fodder for "artists" in the internet?

Nope, and believe me I was waiting for them.

Ocean's 8 (6/10)

When a family member asked me about Ocean's 8, I told them that if they asked me a few years from now, I'd probably go "what?" A bit of an exaggeration, but I feel that sums up my feelings about this film - it's fine, it's average, it's reasonably enjoyable, but it's not the type of film that leaves any sort of lasting impression. Granted, I was never a big Ocean's X fan in the first place - I saw Ocean's 11 back in the day, found it reasonably enjoyable, and never thought about it again. While this does take place in the same continuity, you don't need to be familiar with said continuity to 'get' the film, even if some cameos are made, and some shots and dialogue are duplicated from the original (or technically the remake, since few think of the Sinatra O11 before the Clooney one). As for the characters...they're fine, I guess, but none of them really undergo an arc, and few are really fleshed out. That's a sin that the original shares as well, and you could argue that character isn't important in a heist film, but even so, it's a noticabale shortcoming. On the other hand, each character at least has their own personality, so there is that.

So, how does it fare as a heist film? Well, okay - it's telling that this is a 21st century film when the success of the heist depends on tech such as hacking and 3D printing. But there's a lot of moments where things seem to succeed "just because" - as in, something has to happen, they do the thing, and then it happens, regardless of how unlikely it is that it would happen. That's a trait endemic to a lot of movies, granted, but here, when so much time is spent on the logistics of the heist, leaps of faith become far more noticeable. But that aside, the movie is at least fun. Popcorn fun that doesn't leave too much of an impression (aside from the editing/directing - it's highly styalized at times), but still, fun.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (5/10)

It's so-so. I like that it says goodbye to the island park setting and it has a few fun ideas, but overall, it's predictable and genuine thrills are in short supply. It asks some ethical questions, but never engages those in a meaningful way. And they recycled the "train the dinos to be bioweapons" subplot from the previous one, except the villains in this movie suffer from even cartoonier Weyland-Yutani levels of stupid. A dumb movie, but overall pretty inoffensive. Jurassic Park still stands far above.

Watching the Motherfucking T-Rex wreck shit never gets old though.

Incredibles 2 -

8/10

I enjoyed it

Xsjadoblayde:
Filth
A real intense performance from James McAvoy as a highly unpleasant, manipulative, selfish yet ambitious Scottish police officer with some personal troubles to say the least, descending into self-imposed madness. A pretty powerful exploration of a wee little issue that perhaps rhymes with "Rock-stick mass divinity." The supporting cast are all great too, but this is very much centred around his character as the worst human to grace the police force, while still portraying a deeply repressed sympathetic side. McAvoy respect continues to grow. Maybe I'll check the book out, but watching film before book is not my preferred order of intake

Defo read the book. Somehow it is more *ahem* filthy (and depressing if you can believe it) than the film. It also gives you a lot more insight into how Bruce became such an evil misanthrope. And Irvine Welsh is generally a great author, IMHO.

Duck Soup

It mostly wasn't for me, but I'm sure many others will think differently. After all, I heard nothing but praise for the Marx Brothers before I ended up actually watching one of their movies.

It wasn't all bad for me. There were some moments that really amused me for playing around with common tropes. Things like having an over-elaborate "Here comes our fearless leader" song only for the leader to not show up at the end of the song. Or, having a scene showing a bed, some discarded women's shoes, and some discarded men's shoes, and then panning further to show some discarded horseshoes. I loved it when the movie messed with my trope-riddled expectations like that.

Honestly, for me, the biggest weakness of this Marx Brothers movie was the Marx Brothers themselves. They felt seriously out of place in this movie, and whenever they were on stage, their lines often felt like a bunch of dad jokes, awkwardly shoehorned into a scene. A comedy works for me when it feels like it fits in the context of the movie. Even super-absurd movies like Spaceballs, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, and Naked Gun had characters who were in-character and whose comedic behavior seemed to fit the wacky settings they were placed in. The Marx Brothers, on the other hand, just acted like the Marx Brothers, more interested in causing mischief and telling jokes, than in playing any sort of role in the movie. I felt more annoyed than amused.

Chewster:
Defo read the book. Somehow it is more *ahem* filthy (and depressing if you can believe it) than the film. It also gives you a lot more insight into how Bruce became such an evil misanthrope. And Irvine Welsh is generally a great author, IMHO.

Irvine Welsh is up there with Ben Elton for me for sure. One assumption best made for any book-to-film adaption is that there tends to be restrictions on content, so a reoccurring thought while watching happened to naturally be "what are they not showing here?"

Valerian and the City of 1000 planets.

I knew it wasn't going to be good walking into it and I was not disappointed in that regard. The movie has a lot of interesting ideas and clearly somebody really did care about it, but the execution is so badly done on so many things(except for the visuals. It looks really good) that....it just doesn't work.

Apparently the original comic book was quite amazing in the 1960's and 1970's, from what I've heard, but the fact it took 50 years for this film to get made did it no favors, even if it had been done better.

I also spent a lot of the film occasionally thinking "Remember Guardians of the Galaxy? That was a good movie. I kind of which I was watching that right now". It's never a good sign when a film keeps reminding you of a better film.

Gauche:
Edge of Tomorrow

Overall a fun "sci-fi-groundhog day-alien war" watch

Also, getting to see Tom Cruise die over and over again. Which for me was worth it since I find Cruise kind of annoying.

Dalisclock:

Gauche:
Edge of Tomorrow

Overall a fun "sci-fi-groundhog day-alien war" watch

Also, getting to see Tom Cruise die over and over again. Which for me was worth it since I find Cruise kind of annoying.

I think that's why I often recommend that movie to people who don't like Cruise. And this is coming from a guy who actually likes Tom Cruise lol

Upgrade (2018) -

Really dug it. Its not the most original concept in the world, but I thought it was well done. Interesting social commentary, the characters were sorta compelling, the direction and action were solid and I really liked the ending.

Jurassic Park World: Fallen World Park 2 (4/10)

It's Resident Evil.

Ready Player One

Fucking awful. A dystopian, late capitalist nightmare trying to pass as an excapist adventure movie. Nothing but a pile of cynical, regurgitated vomit from the Reagan era, packed into a generic action movie to make fat Gen Xers point at the screen and go "I recognize this". Zero substance, a laughably phony anticapitalist message in a movie that has the most product placement this side of the fucking Emoji Movie and visuals that reminded me of the Star Wars prequels, and not in a good way. Don't watch it.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Didn't care to see this when it came out in cinemas, and after finally catching up with it find my opinion hasn't really changed. It feels...half-hearted. Like it has some ideas but doesn't really want to go all out with them. The whole film is about suppression, so an America thats still going through Prohibition and segregation is a great choice but they never explore that at all. We never see enough of the muggle community (btw, why do they say no-maj instead of muggle but use the British terminology for everything else?) to get an impression of the real world issues, with generic religious fervour replacing anything that might have had real bite, and the magical community with their black President seems to have no such hang ups.
I thought Kowalski was a superfluous character overall. Somebody clearly thought an everyman character was needed to be an audience surrogate for Newt to explain things to...but why couldn't that be Tina? She clearly knows nothing about the beasts he's been collecting so everything new to us is new to her too. Likewise, she can explain how the American magical community works to Newt, an improvement over Kowalski just knowing muggle geography. They work as each other's audience surrogate and a greater connection between them would work towards the hints of a love interest they were setting up at the end there (a definite improvement over the love at first sight thing they were going for with Kowalski and Queenie).
It felt like things were happening because thats what the plot demanded rather than because thats what would really happen, and I was left wishing they'd have made a film about Newt fighting in WWI with his dragons like a badass remake of War Horse

PsychedelicDiamond:
Ready Player One

Fucking awful. A dystopian, late capitalist nightmare trying to pass as an excapist adventure movie. Nothing but a pile of cynical, regurgitated vomit from the Reagan era, packed into a generic action movie to make fat Gen Xers point at the screen and go "I recognize this". Zero substance, a laughably phony anticapitalist message in a movie that has the most product placement this side of the fucking Emoji Movie and visuals that reminded me of the Star Wars prequels, and not in a good way. Don't watch it.

Too late, I did before you did.

I walked away with a meh unimpressed.

Should have done something funner like a Smash Bros. Subspace Emissary kind of thing.

I gave a more detailed review of Ready Player One in this thread, but I liked it myself. Which is odd, because I really wasn't fond of the book.

I guess the thing is that the film removes the worst elements of the book. However, it also removes its best ones.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (5/10)

...is it just me, or is the Jurassic World trilogy going the same way as the Star Wars sequel trilogy?

Bear with me here. Both Jurassic World and The Force Awakens both come out after a long absence, and are designed to invoke nostalgia of A New Hope and Jurassic Park respectively. Regardless of what one thinks of them, both release to massive financial success. Then, later, we have The Last Jedi and Fallen Kingdom, both of which (attempt to) subvert the tropes of their franchises. In both cases, there's a divided response, only in the case of TLJ, critics loved it, but audiences were split. For Fallen Kingdom, critics are split, but audiences seem to like it.

Course there's other differences though, namely that Fallen Kingdom's trailers manage to more or less show you the whole movie, while Last Jedi's trailers keep a lot of the plot under wraps. And of course, there's the personal difference. I quite like Last Jedi, and it manages to end up in the top half of the Star Wars films for me (takes the #5 spot). Fallen Kingdom though is easily the second-worst Jurassic Park film I've seen, and I could honestly see it slipping below Jurassic Park III. Which is a shame, because Fallen Kingdom does try to bring something new to the franchise, and in some cases it succeeds, but there's just so much baggage to get through any impact feels minimal. In a sense, this is perhaps the most unique JP sequel, but that doesn't stop it from being among my least favorite in the franchise.

So, here's the thing. This film does have a three act structure, but the pacing is by no means equal, nor the length of time. First act covers (yes, there's going to be massive spoilers here) everything up to the destruction of Isla Nublar. Not before we get the "stand in awe shot" (which certainly works better than JP3's at least, and likely even JP2's), but this entire segment feels rushed. It also kind of descends into cartoon villany where Owen and co. are betrayed and left for dead. Um, why? While rescuing the dinosaurs is an action done for less than pure motives, Mills and co. could get away with it without turning on the people they brought with them. And it isn't just humans being stupid, it's dinosaurs being stupid. Because when the volcano does erupt, and dinosaurs are running for their lives, a Carnotaurus decided to attack a Triceratops (and fails), then attack the protagonists, only for the T-Rex to kill it, roar, then head off. Um, guys? I know you're carnivores, and you need to eat, but THE ISLAND IS EXPLODING. You might have more pressing priorities.

So, cut to the next two acts, the second of which deals with the buildup to the shit hitting the fan, and the third dealing with said fan hitting. These acts are a bit better than the first, in that they don't feel as rushed. However, they still have their flaws. I don't have the time or inclination to do a full blown plot summary, so I'll start by addressing a few points. First of all, Maise - Benjamin Lockwood's granddaughter...supposedly. I'll deal with the plot revelation concerning her later on, but I'm mixed on her character. She's set up as a strong willed intelligent child in act 2, but spends most of act 3 as a quivering wreck. And granted, I'd be a quivering wreck too in the face of the Indoraptor, but this feels like character regression, setting up a character as brave, strong, and intelligent, and then removing all those traits later on. Think of it as the opposite of Tim and Lex from the first film, where they start off cowering in fear from the T-Rex, but rise to the occasion by the end of the film. As for the Indoraptor itself...sorry, I'm not feeling it. I mean, I get why it's here from an in-universe point of view, how it's basically a scaled down model of the I-Rex, and is shown to be capable of following basic orders via laser targeting (something the protagonists use to its detriment). But at this point, I'm just not feeling it. Jurassic World actually brought this up as a plot point, that dinosaurs aren't new anymore (in-universe at least). It could be that the Indoraptor just doesn't have the same presence as the I-Rex, and its basis is "combine I-Rex DNA with raptor DNA, and create an 'uber raptor.' Which it is. A raptor more intelligent, more strong, more fast...heck, Blue even gets to fight it alongside Owen and co., because of course she does. While the directing of the Indoraptor stalking its prey is well done (more on directing later), at this point, it feels rote. Maybe it's because I'm older, but I was never under the impression that the protagonists were in danger. The film isn't going to kill a child, and Owen and Claire are the leads, so of course they'll survive. Will it kill off Blue? Nup. She's still alive. Still out there. Oh, and as for Claire and Owen, they're still likable. Claire has the benefit of a second character arc, and Owen, while he's mostly the same, does have some neat flashback sequences to him raising Blue and co. (who are adorable baby future killers...no, really). So there is that. And they do get a quiet moment or two to discuss and reflect. But while the first Jurassic Park took its time, to allow for discussion (e.g. the lunch scene), and waited a full hour before we even saw the T-Rex, Fallen Kingdom

This is the paradox of Fallen Kingdom. The setting is new, but the feeling isn't. The feeling, for the most part, is a feeling of roteness (is that even a word)? For all its ideas, it just feels formulaic, and not a film I enjoyed.

And yet...this isn't a bad film. Not really. Because while I wasn't wowed by its content, the film does have two claims to fame, namely its themes and its directing.

Concerning the first point, I've said it before, that every Jurassic Park film has explored a different theme (yes, even JP3). Fallen Kingdom keeps up the trend, in that the main theme/idea here is the concept of proliferation of technology (in this case, genetic). The idea that once a technology is unleashed, that technology must never go away. Ian Malcolm talks about this at the start, and by the end, we see this concept in action. Maisie herself is an example of this, in that spoiler, she's a human clone. She isn't Lockwood's granddaughter, she's the clone of his long-dead daughter. It's a plot twist I saw coming a mile away (the buildup is good, the reveal is awkward), but while some people have complained, saying that human cloning doesn't belong in the Jurassic Park series, I actually really like this idea. It's certainly thematically relevant at least - this technology now exists, so of course people are going to use it on creatures other than dinosaurs (heck, it would actually be easier to use it on extant creatures than extinct ones). And as a clone, let's just say that the villain of the piece doesn't think too highly of her per her clone status. And likewise, her moment at the end (the "big red button moment") works, because while we, the audience, understand the need to keep the dinosaurs contained, even if this means they'll die in the lower mansion levels (hydrogen cyanide is flooding it), her decision to release them, with the statement that "they're alive, just like me," hits home, and hits hard. And while the dinos at Lockwood's mansion being released is containable, the ending sequence shows that the technology InGen pioneered has now spread globally. The genie's out of the bottle, and humanity's paying the price. Rexy coming face to face with a lion and Blue surveying a desert town are just the tips of the iceberg.

There's also the directing, or rather, key moments of visual language. There's a lot of visual callbacks to past films - Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, even Jurassic Park 3 (not The Lost World, unless I missed something, though the plot point of taking dinosaurs to mainland American and the villain arguably being similar to Ludlow could account for this). Sometimes these callbacks work, sometimes they don't. When they don't, they don't work because it feels forced. Lex slamming the kitchen door against the raptor? Maisie uses the dumb weighter. The raptors opening doors and clicking their toe claws? The Indoraptor does that. It doesn't slow down the film, but it feels pandering. However, there are some moments where the visual parallels do work, such as the brachisaurus on its hind legs as the ash covers it (fitting that a brachiasaurus is the first dinosaur we see on Isla Nublar, and also the last). The pteradactyls at the end against the setting sun, mimicking the imagery of JP3 if not its tone (rightfully)? Well done. The point where Rexy devours Mills, mimicking her saving Grant and co. from the raptors? Well done, because while a similar theme plays, it's in a minor key rather than a major key. This isn't some triumphant music, it's survival of the fittest at the hands of a brutal predator. The very last scene mimics that of Jurassic World, only while that is triumphant (Rexy roaring over Isla Nublar), this one has Blue standing over a desert town. The shot is framed the same, but its meaning is completely different. The film does this a lot, showing similar imagery to previous films, but reversing the meaning/feeling behind them. So in that sense, it does well. And even then, there's great use of lighting (or the lack of it) at times. This is arguably the darkest JP film, in terms of lighting as well as theme/content, and at least in the case of the former, such as the start of the film at night, and in the dark of the mansion, the use of light/lack of it is excellent.

So that's Fallen Kingdom for you. I can't fault the film for its ambition, its directing, or its themes. But it just didn't deliver for me. There's a more intelligent film waiting to get out here, but it feels weighed down by the expectations of a Jurassic Park film - running, screaming, and whatnot. Only there's little in the way of "oohs" and "aahs" beforehand.

Chimpzy:
they recycled the "train the dinos to be bioweapons" subplot from the previous one.

Which makes zero sense anyway, there's very little the dinosaurs do better than soldiers, soldiers with dogs or soldiers riding the far cheaper trained elephant.

EscapistAccount:

Chimpzy:
they recycled the "train the dinos to be bioweapons" subplot from the previous one.

Which makes zero sense anyway, there's very little the dinosaurs do better than soldiers, soldiers with dogs or soldiers riding the far cheaper trained elephant.

Yup, Chris Pratt's character actually pointed out how bad of an idea weaponizing Raptors is in Jurassic World, saying "a drone doesn't try to eat you when it gets hungry". The guy he says that to then goes "then we'll promote only loyal bloodlines", like it would be as quick and easy as training a dog. Except dogs have been around humans for some 15,000 to perhaps 36,000 years, so that's likely thousands of generations of selective breeding for desirable traits. The Raptors at that point have had 0. Bad guy tries anyway. He gets munched.

At least it's not as bad the Alien franchise, where the xenomorphs have shown themselves to apparently be nothing but entirely antithetical to humans (until Alien Covenant made that by design).

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