Belfast Telegraph

Review: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom - monster romp just a molten rehash

Another world: Chris Pratt and pal
Another world: Chris Pratt and pal
Lavish designs: McQueen’s models on the catwalk

By Damon Smith

If you follow the lead of Jurassic Park's hubristic scientists and splice the creative DNA of Steven Spielberg's 1993 behemoth with the rumbustious 2015 reboot Jurassic World, the resultant hybrid would roar, rampage and ultimately stumble like this muscular fifth instalment.

Directed at a gallop by JA Bayona, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a slick yet soulless greatest hits of monster-munching mayhem, bolted together with overblown set pieces that hark back to earlier episodes.

There are undeniable thrills and entrails spills, and Bayona choreographs the carnage with flashes of directorial brio, but the jump scares and blood-curdling screams are largely second-hand.

Mount Sibo, which towers over Isla Nublar, growls with molten fury and Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell), former business associate of John Hammond, implores Jurassic World's manager Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) to oversee a daring rescue mission.

She persuades old flame Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to return to paradise to transplant the stricken wildlife to a new home, aided by some of her Dinosaur Protection Group colleagues.

Gun-toting expedition facilitator Ken Wheatley (Ted Levine) chaperones Claire and Owen at the behest of Lockwood's right-hand man Eli Mills (Rafe Spall). However, there are dark forces working against the rescuers, including duplicitous Dr Henry Wu (BD Wong).

Fallen Kingdom confidently accomplishes everything you'd expect from a rollicking romp in the series - and therein lies the problem.

We have been here before and Bayona seems content to rest on mouldering laurels and neatly tee up a sequel.

Welcome to Jurassic World and bid farewell to originality.

Four stars

McQueen: Finely tailored look at troubled man

Born and raised in the London borough of Stratford, Lee Alexander McQueen was a tortured genius of working class origins, who challenged the fashion establishment with his catwalk shows influenced by death, depravity and violence.

He was a defiantly original yet heart-breakingly fragile voice in a rarefied world that didn't always understand or appreciate his bold ambitions.

Ian Bonhote and Peter Ettedgui's lavishly designed documentary charts the rise of the openly gay trailblazer from his awkward teenage years, through an enduring friendship with mentor Isabella Blow (she persuaded him to trade under his middle name) and a controversial appointment as lead designer of Parisian fashion house Givenchy.

Archive footage and recollections from mentors are intermingled with the designer's personal testimony about his craft and a penchant for shocking his audience.

"I want you to be repulsed or exhilarated," he confirms to the camera.

Key collections and catwalk shows are meticulously dissected including the 1999 ready-to-wear collection which culminated in model Shalom Harlow posing on a revolving wooden platform as two robot arms sprayed her white dress with streaks of yellow, green and black paint.

"You don't move forward if you play safe," McQueen professes.

His drug-fuelled battles with personal demons are illustrated in tearful confessions from close collaborators although there is a curious absence on-screen of ex-husband George Forsyth.

A lush orchestral score composed by Michael Nyman, who provided the soundtrack to some of McQueen's shows, elegantly plucks heartstrings as the film glides towards its tragic conclusion and his 2010 suicide before his mother Joyce's funeral.

"If I've had a bad day, I've only got myself to talk to," laments the designer.

Bonhote and Ettedgui's artfully staged biography is a beautifully tailored tribute to a man who irrevocably changed the trajectory of British fashion. "If you want to know me, just look at my work," says McQueen late in the film.

Their documentary respectfully and reverentially honours his wish.

Four stars

Belfast Telegraph


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