The first “Jurassic World” was a worldwide hit and re-energized the franchise, so no surprises a sequel would be forthcoming.
Isla Neblar the location of the park destroyed in the previous movie is a shadow of it’s former self, the Chernobyl of theme parks if you will, all decaying overgrown buildings but with added dinosaurs running amok.
When seasoned dinosaur rights campaigner “Claire Dearing” (Bryce Dallas Howard) get’s wind of an impending volcano which may destroy the island and send the dinosaurs extinct (again), there is a push to save the animals.
With no government help, a kindly billionaire backer “Benjamin Lockwood” (James Cromwell) is sought to provide a safe haven. Once in place all they require is a Velociraptor handler, enter “Owen Grady” (Chris Pratt). Both Grady and Dearing continue their love hate relationship (URST) and they rope in a young medic “Zia Rodriguez” (Daniella Pineda) and nervous young IT guy “Franklin Webb” (Justice Smith) to help in their quest.
Of course nothing is as it seems, plans will fall apart and all hell will break loose but that’s half the fun.
Turning the dinosaurs into something to be saved, as well as feared, is a neat touch and better reflects the general world view of preserving rather than killing the creatures.
Of course Jurassic park movies are all about people in peril, especially children. This film introduces this in spades, with several stand out sequences to get your pulse racing, albeit with scenarios recycled from previous movies.
Pratt & Howard reprise their roles and are as adequate as they need to be, neither getting much non special effects time to develop their characters, but this is not Tolstoy so no matter. Jeff Goldblum also pops up to bookend the movie, adding little to the story but showing again what a charismatic actor can bring to a movie.
The script and story is very much by the numbers, with character beats and plot developments entirely predictable. However, the ugly wants and needs of the pantomime bad guys are all too real-world. Arguably a plot-line which might have been unbelievable a few years ago, is all too relevant now.
Is there enough to sustain another film? Clearly box office suggest yes and director J.A. Bayona believes so, with an open ended approach to what comes next in the series.
The film has some violence, kids in peril and dinosaur attacks but the film has clearly been edited to hit a certain certificate and should not unduly scare children of the right viewing age.
The premise and story of the original Jurassic Park is diluted further but, with state of the art effects and plenty of excitement, this will do well enough for mainstream tastes.
Fun, exciting, albeit entirely predictable and by the numbers.
You know what you are going to get with Jurassic Park movies and largely this does not disappoint. However, the film could have benefited from a few more surprises and story twists.