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|Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom|
dir JA Bayona
scr Colin Trevorrow, Derek Connolly
prd Frank Marshall, Belen Atienza, Patrick Crowley
with Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, Ted Levine, Toby Jones, James Cromwell, BD Wong, Geraldine Chaplin, Isabella Sermon, Jeff Goldblum
release UK 6.Jun.18, US 22.Jun.18
18/UK Universal 2h08
Remember me? Pratt with his old pal Blue
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E|
Following up the 2015 franchise revival, director JA Bayona steers this more into Indiana Jones territory with a freewheeling plot that accelerates through a series of offhanded but integral action sequences, while a dark conspiracy grows in the background. It's somewhat preposterous, but the characters have weight to them, which makes the interaction involving and the set-pieces properly thrilling.
A few years after the Jurassic World theme park disaster, people are once again interested in Isla Nublar off the coast of Costa Rica because a volcano is threatening to make dinosaurs extinct. Again. Philanthropist Lockwood (Cromwell) has his righthand man Eli (Spall) are working to rescue the creatures and place them in a sanctuary, so Eli hires experts Owen and Claire (Pratt and Howard) to help wrangle them, and Claire brings along a doctor (Pineda) and a techie (Smith). But of course, mercenary forces are secretly working to plunder the island and make millions.
A volcano is a simplistic excuse to shift the action from Nublar, a big enough island to sustain both animals and lava flows. But never mind, the eruptions arrive on cue, pushing the mayhem to Lockwood's isolated gothic mansion, where his housekeeper (Chaplin) and granddaughter (Sermon) get involved. There's also the requisite military meathead (Levine), a slimy money man (Jones) and the scientist (Wong) who first cloned the beasts, then started tinkering with genetics. And the spooky creepy-house chaos is enjoyably inventive.
Pratt and Howard have more developed camaraderie this time as exes who still like each other. Their banter is hilarious, and they bring their sparky personalities into the action as well. Smith has the comedy relief role as a perpetually reluctant, frightened nerd, but manages to make him likeable. Everyone else is fine, adding the required tone to their dialog and interaction. And it's nice to have Goldblum back, even if his role is basically a cameo.
Bayona is terrific at orchestrating big-scale carnage coherently, maintaining glimmers of slapstick and emotional resonance. It helps that he has the budget to make the dinosaur effects completely seamless. And the narrative drive from start to finish papers over the plot holes as well as the fact that a few characters appear and disappear at random. Indeed, the script only occasionally pauses for breath during this riotous ride, so we barely notice the quietly stirring moral, ethical and political issues. They'll be worth thinking about after the credits roll.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S|
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© 2018 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
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