HOLLYWOOD—It was the movie in 2015 that took the summer box-office by surprise. Yes, I’m referring to “Jurassic World” which earned over $200 million during its debut to become the largest opening at the box-office for a three-day weekend at the time. I think it shocked so many people because you never expected it. The film brought the world of dinosaurs back into the mix with new characters, visual effects galore and a plot that just hooked audiences from start to finish.
Well, Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are back again this time in “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” where the home of the dinosaurs is at risk, which leads to an interesting dynamic where I feel like we have hints of “Jurassic Park: The Lost World.” Yeah, that is the sequel to the original where the dinosaurs found themselves in American society causing a bit of havoc.
Returning for another round to battle or shall I say rescue the dinosaurs are Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire Dearing and Owen Grady. Pratt and Howard have impeccable chemistry that works so well for their characters on the big screen. At the end of the “Jurassic World” it seemed those two were definitely an item, its apparent this time around friction still remains between the two. It’s a bit of a love hate relationship between Claire and Owen, and the audience is rooting for them to succeed.
The narrative follows that tease audiences received in the last film where Dr. Henry Wu (B.D. Wong) was seen taking those dinosaur eggs via helicopter at the dinosaur park, Isla Nublar. The story takes place 3 years after those events, with the survival of the dinosaurs in question with an impending volcanic eruption near Isla Nublar. “Fallen Kingdom” has a fun opening sequence that sets the stage for the mayhem that is going to be unleashed on audiences.
Yes, mayhem may sound like something treacherous, but it’s not. Think of it more like a metaphor for all the stunning visuals and action sequences that unfold as the movie reaches its climax. The unexpected breakout of dinosaurs on Isla Nublar has left the country in turmoil as the government is concerned about the wellbeing of the dinosaurs and the safety of the American public. Claire has developed a program to protect the wellbeing of the dinosaurs, but the government thinks it’s better off to allow the extinction of the creatures to protect mankind.
We still have plenty of fun dinosaurs around this time like the Mosasaurus, Tyrannosaurus rex, Velociraptor, Baryonyx and the new enhanced dinosaur, the Indoraptor. Like when are scientists going to learn that genetically modifying animals is never a good thing. “Fallen Kingdom” warns of those dangers, but it’s not like we’re watching “Deep Blue Sea” where the fate of our main characters are at stake. We know who is going to live or die here, so its takes a bit of fun out of the movie’s plot as it moves along.
Pratt still brings perfect comedic timing with Owen who can be serious, charming and witty all at once. New additions to the cast this time around include Franklin Webb (Justice Smith), Dr. Zia Rodriguez (Daniella Pineda), Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell) and Eli Mills (Rafe Spalli). Yes, I know some of you are pointing out what about Jeff Goldblum? He’s here, but his role in the narrative isn’t what you expect, that’s all I’ll tease. Spalli is fun as the villain who has nefarious plans in store to enhance the dinosaurs and sell them to the highest bidder.
At its core, what I found fascinating and what will also tantalize viewers is the movie’s theme of animal preservation. It raises questions of morality, ethics, and genetics and when things should be messed with and when they shouldn’t. Of course dinosaurs no longer exist, but there was a time where they did and it raises the question of what the country would be like today if they still existed. Would it become a blood sport to take them out, or would society aim to protect and conserve those creatures, giving them the ample space to live in peace?
“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” is not better than its predecessor because it loses a bit of its spark that the previous flick had. However, it does enough to deliver an entertaining, fun and visually amazing film kids and adults will be talking about the rest of the summer.