June 28, 2018 – As sequels go, this one is not bad, considering the fact that they have to try to make each of these sequels bigger, more flashy, more spectacular, and inevitably more absurd than the last one.
In this, the fifth film in the series, and second in a planned trilogy (given the success of this film, completion of the trilogy is a given) of Jurassic World films, intrepid velociraptor wrangler Owen Grady (Chris Pratt of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies) and love interest Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard, who along with Pratt, are reprising their roles from the first Jurassic World film) are persuaded to return to the island of lost dinosaurs to save the dinosaurs from extinction when a volcano erupts there.
The idea is that a rich benefactor promises to relocate all the dinosaurs to another island where they will live in peace, but the situation turns out to be a lot more complicated than that and they end up in a battle to save themselves and the dinosaurs. This involves a number of escapes from seeming certain death by drowning, hot lava, dinosaurs with big teeth, corporate greed, etc.
The story follows a predictable pattern and there aren't many surprises, but there are a few. The two main characters work well together, along with the welcome addition of a tough nerd, paleo-veterinarian Zia Rodriguez (played by Daniella Pineda) and a not so tough computer nerd, Franklin Webb (played by Justice Smith). The bad guys, however, are unimpressive and one-dimensional.
This is an action film and the action is pretty much non-stop, except for a few setup scenes, and a few brief scenes of old friend Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum reprising his chaos theory expert character introduced in the first film) giving testimony on the dangers of genetic manipulation.
The message of the film seems to be the same as the old Frankenstein story: Don't mess with the primal forces of nature. I suppose this is related to the well known liberal fear of genetically modified foods, despite the overwhelming evidence that such food is safe to eat. There have been some discussions about using cloning to bring back woolly mammoths, for instance, but that is not as scary as a T-Rex. This film does raise the issue, but not in any thoughtful way.
To me, this seems like an adequate action film with a lot of good action and some characters worth following through that action. It is not believable, but that should come as no surprise to anyone. If you've seen the previous films, you know what to expect from this one. This film rates a C+.
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