Three years after the events of ‘Jurassic World’, Owen (Chris Pratt) & Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) lead a deadly mission to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from extinction.
Visual effects have indeed come a long way since Steven Spielberg’s ‘Jurassic Park’ in 1993. The CGI-heavy series received a fresh shot in the arm with 2015’s ‘Jurassic World’, bringing new talent, and new dinosaurs into the mix. ‘Fallen Kingdom’ tries a different take by changing things up a bit for the series. A dormant volcano on the abandoned island of Isla Nublar threatens to bury the revived dinosaurs. This catastrophic natural disaster compels Owen & Claire to team up once more as they try to save these magnificent creatures.
Without revealing much else, this premise takes the majority of the action out its usual element, and for the most part, the film is better off for it. Director J. A. Bayona utilises these new rules to infuse some much-needed terror. What’s somewhat lacking, however, is the emotional connection to the story as a whole. Sure, Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are both great performers and familiarity with their characters allow a semblance of emotional investment. But it’s too few and far between set-pieces that tend to get tedious after a while, affecting the pacing along the way. It also doesn’t help that the new characters bring little to the story and some old ones, such as Jeff Goldblum’s highly anticipated return as Ian Malcolm, are a significant letdown.
Hidden in the midst of it all is an intriguing debate on whether it’s worth saving a species once extinct, now capable of returning the world to ancient times. A poignant moment where a Brachiosaurus is destroyed, further begs the question of this dilemma. Sadly, this whole angle is barely explored, although one suspects it might become the focal point of the next entry in the series. Keeping that aside, there’s a lot to savour in the devastation of expendable scenery, and extras. ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ excels when it allows the real stars – the CGI dinosaurs – to shine, and roar louder than most of their predecessors.