Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ★★★★½

"Change is like death… you don't know what it looks like till you're standing at the gates…"

"You're a better man than you think you are."
"You should write fortune cookies."

"It's a sock drawer in there…"

The only problem with this for me was that it wasn't made by Guillermo Del Toro about 10 years ago ('cos let's face it recent Del Toro wouldn't do) because he would've somehow made it entirely about the little girl Maisie and we'd have only realised it was a Jurassic movie in the last 10-20 minutes. That being a tall order, I was still kind of shocked by how great and different this was: that is, I was shocked by how much I cried. From the second Maisie was shown watching the old videos of Blue I knew what was up so much it scares me, and I cried pretty much all through that storyline, but I cried at a lot of other stuff too. Like Jurassic World, if not even more so, this has a heart equivalent to the original movie that the other two sequels either never intended to have in the first place or just couldn't muster.

There's a moment where Maisie kind of turns into a silent animal in front of Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard and they have to deal with her, gain her trust etc, just like with the raptors (I think one of the bad guys entered this scene and tried to summon her with like, "Come, Maisie," or something)… in the same scene there's a shot that is so like Lex in the first movie shutting herself in the metal cabinet in the kitchen… that scene is as far as this movie goes in terms of referencing the original (there's a portrait of Attenborough at one point, and Goldblum's cameo is surprisingly minimal)… but in its own way it is so much closer than the "REMEMBER THIS?" nostalgia of the last movie (as much as I loved that too). I really loved Justice Smith and Daniella Pineda in this too and I'd have a lot more to say about them if it weren't for how hard I connected to the Maisie (Isabella Sermon - I guess I should look up her real name too since i'm using everyone else's - it's such an otherworldly and non-actor-ly performance, tho so extra haunting for it, like Carrie Henn's Newt in Aliens) story… but I'm sure other people will say plenty.