A date with dinos? Why not
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Director: JA Bayona
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum, and others
Rating: 3 stars
Michael Crichton’s 1990 bestseller Jurassic Park was turned into a trend-setting film by Steven Spielberg in 1993, which brought dinosaurs out from textbooks into the world of sci-fi. Anyone who saw the film once would remember the rampaging dinosaurs and get nightmares about huge, gnashing, tearing teeth. It was too good an opportunity to pass up for a franchise.
The Jurassic series had a resurgence in with Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World (2015), which was all action, not much brain, but dino-fans made it a hit. So along comes J A Bayona’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which gives its box-office magnet critters much more respect.
The film takes audiences back to Isla Nublar, where the dinos of the earlier film roamed in a theme park. This time, the island’s volcano is about to blow up and the debate is about whether to rescue the remaining prehistoric creatures (that were meant to have been extinct) or let them die, and here Jeff Goldblum from the original film turns up to give his solemn opinion.
Claire, the former park operations manager (Bryce Dallas Howard), wants to save them and gets hired by the shady Eli Mills (Rafe Spall), working with ailing billionaire (James Cromwell), who was partly responsible for the dinosaurs. So, off she goes with the none-too-enthusiastic Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to capture the dinos, and take them to another safe sanctuary. Along with a paleo-veterinarian (Daniella Pineda), a computer nerd (Justice Smith), and a bunch of mercenaries led by Jame Gumb (Ted Levine) with their own agenda, they try to accomplish their mission, but of course, it can’t be easy.
The star attractions are of course the CGI-generated dinosaurs in all shapes and sizes, who have to deal with humans — both greedy and heroic, cruel and caring.
There are exciting chases, spectacular action sequences, and some scenes of startling beauty, which is the least the audience can expect from a plot-deficient film. Bayona delivers on the thrills and chills and hands over a film that can easily engender a third part, or more, depending on the willingness of audiences worldwide to splurge on tickets and popcorn.