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  Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Reptile Rumpus
Year: 2018
Director: J.A. Bayona
Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, James Cromwell, Toby Jones, Ted Levine, Jeff Goldblum, BD Wong, Geraldine Chaplin, Isabella Sermon, Robert Emms, Peter Jason, Kevin Layne, John Schwab, Sam Redford
Genre: Horror, Action, Science Fiction, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: The Nublar island where a theme park designed around the presence of dinosaurs brought back from extinction some years before was abandoned when the creatures proved too difficult to tame, and indeed went on a rampage when the theme park authorities were overconfident in their ability to corral the beasts into some kind of order. But there have been elements salvaged from it, which a huge corporation in America, the one commissioning the park in the first place, plan to use for research purposes. However, what of the original dinosaurs? They cannot now be left to have the run of the island, since volcanic activity has resulted in the threat of the whole place being destroyed...

The fifth in the Jurassic Park series was really the second in the Jurassic World series, the comeback movie that did massive business a couple of years before this one. This did very well too, but if you thought there were grumbles about the previous entry, that was nothing compared to the complaints about Fallen Kingdom, which really did rub audiences up the wrong way. While it was true that in its tries at branching out the franchise into fresh territory it risked losing sight of what had gone before, in truth screenwriters Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly, creators of the other World, and director J.A. Bayona, keen to put his stamp on the franchise, made a logical progression.

That was, the took the "world" part literally, indicating if this was a hit there was more to come as mapped out by the final scenes of Fallen Kingdom. This did mean it was not a park story anymore, although the first half paid lip service to that format that had been so successful for Steven Spielberg and his Amblin company, yet there was a sense nobody making this was particularly engaged in going over old ground, essentially what happens when returning stars Chris Pratt (as Owen) and Bryce Dallas Howard (as Claire) are coaxed back to the island ostensibly to rescue as many of the reptiles as they can before the whole place is reduced to lava and ashes, and the hapless dinos along with it.

Fair enough, this was professionally staged, but you could tell they were all champing at the bit to reach the plotline which had been tentatively foretold in The Lost World back in 1997 where the climax had featured a tyrannosaurus rex on the loose in a city rather than its habitat of the park. That was closer to the giant monster movies of the nineteen-fifties, yet Bayona had other fish to fry as he looked to the horror fiction of the past, making the dinos as monstrous as he could and including a Frankenstein's Monster of a velociraptor created by mad science rather than evolution. The reason for that? An evil corporation, that aforementioned one, had contrived to weaponise and profit from the creatures, those it could salvage from the disintegrating source at any rate, and putting them on the mainland was the truly chilling consequence.

That was the idea anyway, though the question arose in many viewers' minds, "How could they be so stupid?" It didn't matter to some commentators how villainous the bad guys were meant to be, they were acting without any concept of safety and sense, and that was a deal breaker for them, conveniently ignoring the fact Fallen Kingdom was a pertinent commentary on the erosion of the globe's climate that was never out of the news in this era. That was mostly because the weather was showing serious effects of manmade pollution, and no matter how many warnings we were given that our lifestyles were extremely dangerous to the future of humanity, most of those humans carried on regardless, much as the billionaire businesses did when profit was in hand. No, it was never anything but a clumsy metaphor, but subtlety was pointless in these circumstances: to have Jeff Goldblum basically show up and tell us we had doomed ourselves was not such a laboured move, either, as people liked him and listened to what he said. More horror-themed public service announcement than sci-fi adventure. Music by Michael Giacchino.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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