This reviewer watched the original “Jurassic Park” at Universal Studios on a first trip to the United States, leaving the cinema to view props and vehicles from the movie, an awe inspiring experience for a cinema lover.
We have come a long way since, two further “Park” movies, a reinvention as Jurassic World, Jurassic World Fallen and this, the third film in the series. As with many sequels, the law of diminishing returns must be applied.
This time round photo real dinosaurs are no big deal, arguably for both the movie characters and the audience. In this movie, kids play with tiny dinosaurs, yet monsters jump out of the sea to catch a fisherman’s haul, dragging the trawler to the depths.
“Owen Grady” (Chris Pratt) and “Claire Dearing” (Bryce Dallas Howard) are now an item, living off grid protecting their adopted daughter “Maisie Lockwood” (Isabella Sermon). As a cloned human, Maisie is someone everyone would like to find and experiment upon.
Meanwhile “Biosyn” headed by “Lewis Dodgson” (Campbell Scott) is busy secretly controlling the world’s food chain by unleashing bio-engineered locusts, leaving Biosys genetically engineered crops well alone.
When Maisie goes missing, Grady and Dearing set out on a globe-trotting quest to rescue her, encountering various dangerous characters and old friends along the way.
Unless people have been living in a cave, the fact the “old gang” are back from the original film will be no surprise. With Sam Neill, Laura Dern & Jeff Goldblum reprising their original roles 29 years later. It’s great to see them back together, it’s shame they’re not in a better film, despite the welcome increase in actor diversity on show.
Unfortunately, Pratt seems to have lost some of his earlier screen charisma coming across rather bland. Bryce-Howard is adequate and at least has lost the high heels plaguing her earlier Jurassic role. The pair interact with various dubious characters in Malta, get marked for “death by raptor” and are saved via a motorbike race through Maltese streets, chased by hungry dinosaurs, as you do.
Any pretence of reality has been jettisoned long before arriving at a Bond type lair in Italy’s Dolomite mountains. This facility is run by Biosys, with Dodgson exhibiting a passing resemblance to Apple’s Tim Cook in appearance and mannerisms, a coincidence perhaps?
Acting wise, arguably only Dern manages to create believability, everyone else appears to be taking the pay check. The action and technical special effects are as impressive as you would expect, but audiences response might be, “meh”, it’s a CGI seamless dinosaur, even TV adverts have that now.
There is little sense of wonder or any real danger to any of the sequences however well staged, with a screenplay seemingly written on the back of a matchbox. The denouement seems to indicate humans and dinosaurs can live in harmony, despite everything that occurs in the previous 140 minutes.
We come to Jurassic movies wanting to have fun and be entertained, but this outing represents a real disappointment despite the acting talent and nostalgia on offer. An extra 1/2 star allocated for the technical work on display, for what in reality is a 2.5 star film.
A disappointing end to a ground-breaking movie franchise, the dinosaurs will be hoping for another asteroid to put them out of their misery.
No more please.