The Jurassic Park franchise has had a good run, but by the looks of its latest incarnation, that might be over. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is undoubtedly better in 4D (this reviewer saw it in 2D) but, still, it’s lost its ability to inspire awe in the audience, and it is hard to see how it will ever claw its way back from meh. However, if you like shots of terrified people and dinosaurs eating them, you won’t be disappointed, we’re not going to get all judgy. It’s trashing the box offices like a T-Rex tackles a Humvee.
Isla Nublar, the island on which Jurassic World was built, is about to be torn apart by its active volcano, and all its dinosaurs are under threat. Everyone wonders what should be done with the animals. Should nature finally be allowed to kill them all off – again – or should they be saved for “the children”.
Bryce Dallas Howard reprises her role as Claire Dearing (fortunately sans stilettos), who is now a dinosaur conservationist and determined to save the dinosaurs. Chris Pratt picks up his character Owen Grady, the velociraptor researcher who worked with Blue, his velociraptor BFF from the previous film, and who is now building a home and wants nothing to do with dinos.
It so happens that Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell), a super-wealthy friend of the original dinosaur maker, has an ideal place where the dinosaurs can live happily ever after. Claire convinces Owen to join the mission and we’re off on the adventure. Cue military bad guys led by Silence of the Lamb’s Ted Levine, and soon we realise that greedy people will stop at nothing to get what they want so they can make lots of money. Surprise!
There are too many holes in the plot, and too many leaps of logic, and basic biology, to get the audience on board. In some places, it’s downright cringeworthy.
The action moves from Isla Nubla to a mansion on the US mainland where it gets caught up in one too many shots of people scrambling up ladders to escape a dino that seems sure to get them.
Newcomer Isabella Sermon gives a standout performance as Maisie, Lockwood’s granddaughter. Justice Smith earns creds for his terrified nerd performance, and the main characters do the best they can.