Film Review: ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ is Classic Jurassic

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CHICAGO – For a franchise celebrating its 25th Anniversary, with three original films and on its second reboot, the dinosaurs-living-on-modern-earth dynamic would pretty much be played out. But after a shallow first reboot, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” takes on a more classical approach, and returns to form. Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

By classical I mean the series returns to the roots of the first film, where humans paid for the hubris of playing creator in reformulating the extinct dinosaurs. As directed by J.A. Bayona (“A Monster Calls”), this Jurassic has well tuned tributes to “King Kong,” “Citizen Kane” and Steven Spielberg, revealing a compelling story that brings the dinosaurs off the theme park island and back to a civilization that never needed them in the first place. The theme of ravaging the delicate balance of nature is exposed, and mixes the strengths of characters from the first film – portrayed by Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard – with cameos from Jeff Goldblum and B.D. Wong of the original 1993 film. It all works, it’s damned entertaining and the story (by first reboot director Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly) is multi-layered and luxuriously textured.

Three years after “Jurassic World” has taken its toll, the number of lawsuits and congressional hearings bemoan the fate of the former theme park, which featured hyper-genetic recreations of dinosaurs, and ultimately never should have reopened. Meanwhile, on the abandoned island that hosted the park, the dinosaurs are contained and threatened with a new extinction… a volcano that is about to erupt.

A dinosaur advocacy group is led by Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), Jurassic World’s former Operations Manager. They get involved when a billionaire named Lockwood (James Cromwell) – who originally helped develop the dinosaur gene replication – and is willing to bankroll a return to the island to retrieve a rare Velociraptor, the key to a new realm of species. Claire recruits former dino trainer Owen (Chris Pratt), paleo-veterinarian Zia (Daniella Pineda) and computer hacker Franklin (Justice Smith) to infiltrate the old park, but they soon realize that they are pawns in a bigger game.

”Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” opens everywhere in 3D, IMAX and regular screenings on June 22nd. See local listings for 3D/IMAX theaters and show times. Featuring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall, Justice Smith, Danielle Pineda, James Cromwell, Isabella Sermon, B.D. Wong, Jeff Goldblum, Toby Jones and Geraldine Chaplin. Written by Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly. Directed by J.A Bayona. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”

Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen (Chris Pratt) in ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’
Photo credit: Universal Studios

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”

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