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Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom Review (2018) | Running Out Of Stories?

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom is an unserious take on dinosaurs, and more so interested in creating monsters and then lining up actors to play as baits. It has an impoverished storyline that will leave you unsatisfied with its dozens of plotholes having pointless motives that branch out ending up being daft. This part, in particular, is interested more in its horror bit than in telling a proper story. With that, it’s clear that we are not going to get a dinosaur movie we deserve. Unless, someone decides to reboot it completely, and paint it from scratch of course.

I don’t know what has happened to this franchise. Since when did dinosaurs become uninteresting? Nowadays dino movies have been reduced to mere cheap thrills. What about the magnificent vision, that mojo Steven Spielberg had so magnificently hit home when he had depicted a dinosaur on the big screen for the first time? Where did that gasp of being dumbstruck go? Where did that element of intrigue about a particular species disappear? Did we all, I don’t know, evolve? Is it really evolution when we are steering towards dumb?

The vision Michael Crichton held for the badass reptiles is gradually becoming extinct and you know it. People aren’t serious about it anymore. Hey! we are talking about our reptilian ancestors here. Don’t they deserve a calmer, dramatic and much powerful direction and storytelling? I think they do. Sadly Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom is missing out on everything.

The Theme of Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom (Spoilers)

In terms of storytelling, Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom is everything that The Lost World was. So are we once again revisiting the age-old tale? Really? Are we out of stories to tell?

jurassic world fallen kingdom volcano wallpaper

There is that recreation of that trio from the second part. The same plot where all the dinosaurs are locked up and then the trio sets them free. The dinosaurs make it to the city which was basically what The Lost World’s ending pressed on. Except we are simply carrying Blue – the velociraptor, as the protagonist of the story here keeping the badass T-Rex as the big daddy in the backdrop.

Then there are many events taken directly from Jurassic Park. Like the scene of Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) ending up paralyzed and then running alongside the herd of dinosaurs running from a herd here (calamity). Feels familiar Grant? The unoriginality of this movie compels you to shake your head.

Screenplay

Absurd as it might have appeared when we saw the trailers of Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom with dinosaurs being put in the backdrop of volcanoes, it was clear the movie wasn’t really serious about narrating a grim storyline. That we were not going to get a movie that deserved a standing ovation.

The character Ian Malcolm played by Jeff Goldblum is a sidelined orator which was clearly in the movie just to draw eyes.

“Life finds a way.”

The screenplay for most of its part simply catapults what we had been listening over the years. Sometimes it tries to be funny, sometimes it is just pointless.

To get such a colossal platform to perform on, I think the writers should feel privileged and write something out of the ordinary. But with the flick’s writing, I felt they were more concerned about keeping things trendy.  So there is nothing profound lurking in any of it. Somehow I feel the prequel had much better writing in dialogues revolving around Masrani. It had a solid build up at least all of which is simply missing in Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom.

Action and Drama

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom is all about fast-paced action. It does not stop to even breathe for a while. Things keep on happening one after the other. Volcanoes explode, dangerous dinosaurs show up within seconds, there is one bump after another and you just sit there watching people make close escapes. So for the most part of the flick, you are thinking:

“Phew! That was close!”

Baryonyx Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom

But if you put on your thinking brain, it baffles you. Like what are the odds of a certain catastrophic event happening any second? The number of times things go awry feels just impossible.

Then you talk about its drama and it feels like a deliberate and fabricated attempt to create pang. There is no emotional touchup given to the characters of Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen Grady. They are once again distant even though they are always running together.

The only good part in melodrama lies at the moment where we see a Brachiosaurus succumbing to a gradual death. It’s poignant and almost tries to paint a picture of what the dinosaurs might have encountered when struck by an asteroid. Its merciful crooning on being left behind will bring tears to your eyes. That bit is powerful!

The Antagonist

The latter part of the movie introduces its antagonist in the form of a hybrid creation of a hybrid we saw in the prequel – Indoraptor. With the creation of this new breed, you can’t help but wonder someone will come up with a hybrid of a hybrid of a hybrid, in the next part. Such lazy writing!

indoraptor in jurassic world fallen kingdom

The abomination is dangerous to look at as it combines features of both the Indominus Rex and a Raptor. Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom focuses more on how this newly created monster is smart as hell like a raptor and deadly at the same time when it comes to attacking someone.

The movie steps into the horror genre to give kids nightmares about a monster who they have always dreamt about. Yes, it moves slowly to terrify its preys before attacking it. Like really? Does it have a sense of horror? Do they let them watch TV in their cells? Why it’s not nimble when it comes to killing its prey?

What makes matter worse is the presence of a dinosaur trophy hunter named Ken Wheatley (Ted Levine). His decisions will make you go,

Why would anyone do that? How can one be so profoundly stupid?

There’s no real connection as to why he is shown in a badass light first and then taken away just like that. That’s another example of poor writing.

The Good Bits

It goes without saying a lot of work goes into making a dinosaur movie. That the dinosaurs are created from scratch and brimmed alive using VFX in such a beautiful manner that they appear akin to reality. There’s an insane amount of work that goes into it and every drop of sweat should be appreciated.

The movie presents a lot of unseen dinosaurs in a light we had failed to notice:

  • Stygimoloch “Stiggy” presents its headbutt power bringing a heroic angle to a dinosaur we had never heard about. Remember it’s different from a pachycephalosaur that we had seen in The Lost World.
  • Similarly, we see a Baryonyx here trying to sneak up on Franklin Webb (Justice Smith) and Claire
  • A Carnotaurus tries to attack the volcanic eruption escaping peeps, which is then later killed by a T-Rex. Rest of the dinosaurs have been reprised from the prequels and they all look pretty fantastic too.

There are some shots that are really good. Like that one shot of the silhouette of Mosasaurus that instills fear right away. Of a T-Rex in the shadows in the beginning, and the one that rams in the end from nowhere. The victorious Blue who is the only real hero this franchise has.

The Decisive End

Everything boils down to one decision in the end to whether or not give dinosaurs a chance to survive in our world. It would be the survival of the fittest and there’s no contradicting Darwin here.

One of the characters Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon) is created out of scratch from Lockwood’s deceased daughter’s DNA just to press the button in order to justify the ending.

The movie leaves it at that leaving us speculating as to what is to come when dinosaurs and humans are compelled to co-exist. With that plenty of suspense has been left out before the curtain drops.

You can order Jurassic World Forbidden Kingdom here:

The Final Verdict

Acclaimed director J. A. Bayona has great movies like A Monster Calls and The Impossible under his belt. I don’t know what went wrong with him when trying to depict both monsters and a natural calamity. He somehow managed to screw both up.

Now that I think of it, it all used to be so good growing up. Now that we are all grown up we have become over-perceptive about things maybe. That could have made all the difference, I surmise. Or maybe these millennial movies genuinely suck. But we will never be tired of dinosaurs, will we be?

I hope the third installment rectifies all the mistakes, ropes in a more serious director to continue this badly presented tale.

Atomic Blonde Review (2017) | Outstanding Action with a Weird Plot

Atomic Blonde is atomic to a certain extent, not so much with the story it tries to build itself upon. The flick fills you up with extreme indifference for its character building part that runs till we almost reach the ‘half-time’. You wish for the real action to begin, as promised and sold in the trailers, but unfortunately, it is holed up in its later section. By the time you are there, you are already knackered by its punishing story-line, its unusual pace, and impoverished editing style that leaves you parched for some real thrill. But the good news is that the action bit finally arrives, and when it arrives, you realize it is outrageously dope!

David Leitch‘s latest is based on the graphic novel The Coldest City by Antony Johnston. Atomic Blonde is trying to sell itself as an action flick. Unfortunately, the number of times you see our lead protagonist Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) fighting the bad guys – Next to three or four times max! That’s it. The movie then runs nay rambles with Theron trying (no she doesn’t have to try) to look badass in her cool getup as she saunters on the roads of Berlin.

Plot of Atomic Blonde (Spoilers Ahead)

There is nothing out of the extraordinary that the plot of Atomic Blonde offers. In fact, what makes it really confusing is the whole setup, the way its stories oscillate back and forth in two different timelines. Events of the actual plot is narrated by Lorraine herself and we often come back to her every now and then for doubts and confusion raised in by an MI6 guy Eric Gray (Toby Jones) and CIA agent Emmett Kurzfeld (John Goodman). What might vex some is ‘their’ placement in the story. It is not intelligently crafted or edited as it might sound from the sound of it, and ropes in the first sign of bewilderment.

movie scene from atomic blonde

For those who might have accidentally dozed off while watching, I have decided to sum up the plot of Atomic Blonde for you. The story begins with the prologue of MI6 agent James Gasciogne (Sam Hargrave) being shot by a KGB agent Yuri Bakhtin (Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson) for a list that’s on a watch. The list is the name of all active agents in the Soviet Union. So whoever has that list clearly has an upper hand in the entire Spy Industry, not to mention any moron could sell that list for an insanely huge price to whoever he thinks should stay ahead of the curve.

Lorraine Broughton, another MI6 agent is ‘brought in’ by the authorities for questioning about her Berlin mission. Her mission was to recover the list and slay a double agent Satchel who has been a constant itch in the crotch selling their secrets to the Soviets.

Lorraine’s Story

The story that’s been narrated is Lorraine’s story reaffirmed by Eric and Emmett as the events unfold. According to her story (the story we witness), Lorraine is set up to meet David Percival (James McAvoy) another agent already in action in Berlin. She is ambushed there by the KGB associates of hooligan Aleksander Bremovych (Roland Moller). Percival swoops in to aid her after. After visiting the dead man Gasciogne’s house, she begins to suspect Percival to be Satchel, when she is made by West German police, since he was the only guy who knew about her whereabouts. Meanwhile, she encounters Delphine Lasalle (Sofia Boutella) a French agent who is like the Jon Snow of the movie. She knows nothing!

There is this really busy Watchmaker (Til Schweiger) who sets up meetings with agents and stuff. Bakhtin approaches him with his intentions to sell the list, but as he is making his way back he is killed by Percival who retrieves the list. Percival meets Bremovych with intentions to sell the list but is photographed in the process by Delphine. There is this Percival’s contact code-name Spyglass (Eddie Marsan) who has memorized the list and he is to be transferred along with his family across the border. Percival kills him and sends Bremovych’s man after him which Lorraine theatrically fights off in one of the most amazing fights of the entire flick. She is unable to save him though. Percival kills Delphine but ends up hunted down by Lorraine. She kills him and retrieves the list from him, although doesn’t admit so in front of authorities she was narrating the tale to.

The Ending Explained

Percival is painted as Satchel with the help of Delphine’s photographs by Lorraine and the case is closed. However, after a few days, we see a meeting being set up with Bremovych revealing Lorraine as Satchel. She doesn’t give him the real list though and before killing him admits that she had been manipulating everything right from the beginning. So right when you feel that Lorraine was always ending up getting the short end of the stick, we realize that she was, in fact, duping everybody. Okay!

On a private jet with Kurzfeld where we find him holding the watch with the list, it is revealed that she wasn’t just a double agent but, in fact, a triple agent! Whoa! That escalated pretty quickly.

The Amazing Fighting Scene in Atomic Blonde

Let’s talk about that peerless mind-boggling fighting scene in Atomic Blonde. The real talent of David Leitch as a great stuntman cum action director is revealed in that relentless breathtaking fighting sequence where Lorraine tries her level best to save Spyglass from Bremovych’s men. It is one continuous shot of an epic showdown that stops you from actually regretting to watch the movie. The sequence will make you jump on your seat. It is so good!

atomic blonde movie still

There is a certain rawness in that scene, where you feel the real exhilarating adrenaline rush. Walls get painted, Gore gets reworded, as Leitch moves alongside the demolished actors, shooting them nevertheless, as they literally rip each other apart piece by piece. It is hard not to applaud him for letting us achieve a theatrical action orgasm.

Watch out for that bit!

You can order Atomic Blonde from here:

The Fuming Questions

If you have watched Atomic Blonde, I know the first fuming question you must be having secretively at all times in the back of your head – “Who really cares about the list?” I know coz I didn’t really care at one point. And I often said, “Oh Cmon!” when the story didn’t ever come across a subtlety meter. While the creators decided to rotate an entire story around a watch that has the list, you can’t help but wonder why it is such an ingenious thing to do.

Why is there such a childish climax?

Just when you thought there was a good climax at the end revealing Lorraine as Satchel, in comes another one – she is a triple agent too. Paul Goodman, the good man he pretended to be, turns out he was just feigning it all, just like Lorraine trying to be super dumb in her tale, playing too dumb for a spy.

Then there is the question about being the smart one.

There is Lorraine’s unconvincing story you know. For the better part of the movie, we see Lorraine moving about the city of Berlin in shades, literally beating about the bush for her mission, falling in love with Delphine and doing really nothing to get closer to the truth. She is waiting for the truth to be delivered to her. She was failing her mission at all junctures. It makes her character really implausible to watch.

The Final Verdict

Atomic Blonde bores you in the beginning but when it tries to delve into action it becomes really exciting to watch. By the time you reach one of the most rad action scenes of all times, you realize you are thoroughly enjoying it. If it were not for its weird storyline and the indifference that it fills you up with owing to its yawning start, this movie could actually be called a good action flick.

With David Leitch’s involvement here, comparisons to John Wick are only quite natural. The good thing here is that at least Leitch worked on the story here, clearly, he didn’t do enough or maybe overdid himself au contraire to the first John Wick part. While a lot of people argued on the lines that you don’t need a story when you are trying to show just action, when the first part was shown, I would love to hear what they have to say about this movie where the action is quite frankly limited and the story building is just too much of building.

Check out the trailer of Atomic Blonde movie:

The Man Who Knew Infinity Review (2015)

The Man Who Knew Infinity is a good biopic, not the greatest of ones, but does ample justice to the prodigy.

A BRIEF GLIMPSE INTO THE PAST

I remember reading an extraordinary account of Ramanujan from Hardy’s pages back in school, where he subtly described the genius he was and the valuable contribution he made to the Mathematical society. I distinctly remember G.H. Hardy’s thoughts what Ramanujan meant to him, and how impactful was the polymath to his life. Their friendship could be read through those pages I had the good hap of reading.

With that memory stick I went ambling to the theatres to see The Man Who Knew Infinity. To begin with the direction I must say, Matt Brown has a lot of ground to cover. You could see his inexperience through the way he chops off a frame. It leaves you almost baffled. He doesn’t concentrate much on the crucial elements that needs depicting but rather fleets from one cloud to another with a skittish head. There is no subtlety to his frames.

QUESTIONABLE STORYTELLING STYLE

The music in the movie doesn’t complement his work either. It is not at all powerful, and doesn’t ever reach a theatrical level at any juncture. Speaking of theatrics, there is none in the movie. So you can expect a very bland and insipid way of storytelling that will make you averse to the Ramanujan way of living almost instantly.

WHAT STILL WORKS FOR THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY

Despite all of the above, what tries to uplift The Man Who Knew Infinity? Who works the best? Jeremy Irons and Dev Patel hands down. Their acting prowess is a joy to watch. Au contraire, some actors we meet in the beginning are really pathetic in the acting department, exacerbated further by Brown’s direction. But then gradually the biopic picks up its pace and we see Jeremy Irons on a roll. His speeches are intelligently carved, and his reckless yet powerful voice does justice to all of them. Toby Jones as Littlewood was a pleasant genial companion. Jeremy Northam does a great Bertrand Russell as well.

AFFAIR WITH ORIGINALITY

The story doesn’t digress from the original which was a good thing. The number 1729 isn’t missed either. The setup however gets a little bit morphed there, but we can understand that was done for emphasis. The drama isn’t the touching kind.

THE RAMANUJAN FATE

It is unfortunate what happens to great men. S. Ramanujan couldn’t escape life’s unpredictable warps either, and ended up disappearing in a dire mist.

At the end I feel his life needs to be glorified a bit more. There was little we saw of his origins, and his progression towards his virtuoso which is a key factor into moulding a prodigy-biopic.

What Matt did with The Man Who Knew Infinity was good but what Ramanujan deserves is the best.