JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM
There is something truly majestic about a dinosaur.
Perhaps it’s because dinosaurs are so natural to our planet, walking around in modern days, as they did 65 million years ago.
It is that same sense of “connection” to our primeval past and the terror it strikes in all of us, a ghost of man’s prehistoric past come
to life in “Jurassic World: Fallen
Kingdom”—which for the most part —is a total rip-off of 1997’s “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” the second of the Jurassic Park/World movies.
In that second of now five-film series, a group of would be do-gooders, led by Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), return to Isla Sorna, the sister island of the original Jurassic Park’s Isla Nublar, to find the free-roaming dinosaurs that were initially created by John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) as part of a fantastical “theme park” concept run amok.
Eventually “greedy corporate thugs” descend on this island to remove the dinos with plans to bring them to a similar theme park under construction in San Diego, California.
Well, a Tyrannosaurus Rex broke free and it didn’t go so well 21 years ago.
Today in “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” a new group of would-be dino do-gooders are hard at work to screw up just as badly.
Here is the official synopsis: “It’s been three years since theme park and luxury resort Jurassic World was destroyed by dinosaurs out of containment.
Isla Nublar now sits abandoned by humans while the surviving dinosaurs fend for themselves in the jungles.
When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-
Owen is driven to find Blue, his lead raptor who’s still missing in the wild, and Claire has grown a respect for these creatures she now makes her mission.
Arriving on the unstable island as lava begins raining down, their expedition uncovers a conspiracy that could return our entire planet to a perilous order not seen since prehistoric times.
With all of the wonder, adventure and thrills synonymous with one of the most popular and successful series in cinema history, this all-new motion-picture event sees the return of favorite characters and dinosaurs—along with new breeds more awe-inspiring and terrifying than ever before.
Welcome to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.”
Of course, the producers are referring to the now ruined theme park off the coast of Costa Rica and not the planned one for San Diego.
When these dinosaur “missionaries” set foot on Isla Nublar—remember that hundreds of tourists were murdered when the dinosaurs ran amok in the last film—their good intensions get the best of them.
In “Jurassic World,” four-year-olds were riding on the back of cuddly little baby triceratops.
But here in this new “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” world, the dinosaurs are far more deadly.3
Grady and Dearing’s goody-goody missionary efforts to rescue these animals before the volcano this island rests upon is about to blow—and it does so in spectacular fashion.
Here in “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” when the island explodes, it barfs out a pyroclastic cloud of hot gas and volcanic matter that descends on our leading man and lady at speeds upwards of 700 km/h (430 mph) as our team of would-be saviors debate if they want to fall off a cliff into the ocean—or just take their chances being boiled alive?
Yes, it’s true. Even dino lovers are stupid.
Grady and Dearing survive the fall into the briny deep and the remaining dinos that aren’t broiled into large size “Happy Meals” are captured—exactly as in the “Lost World” movie from 1997—by “greedy corporate thugs” who sedate and transport them to parts hereunto unknown … and at this secret location are sold to the highest bidder.
Kualoa Ranch on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii—very close to where this film critic went to college—doubles nicely as Isla Nublar and the CGI special effects of a rampaging volcano is itself worth the price of admission.
However, the set piece where the island is being blasted apart happens within the first 40 minutes with the remaining 88 minutes taken up by the actions of really stupid people who think it would
be fun to have a dinosaur walking around in their backyard.
Or on display in a zoo.
The late Michael Crichton—author of Jurassic Park and The Lost World novels—gave a far greater level of respect to this prehistoric dinosaur world than in this latest film iteration.
Directed by J.A. Bayona and written for the screen by Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow (the director of last year’s controversial “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”), “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” has more dinos than all other Jurassic Park/World films; and like the exploding volcano, the CGI visuals and film production values are simply stunning.
Special kudos to Neal Scanlan, Creature Effects Supervisor and Glen McIntosh, Animations Supervisor for bringing these dinosaurs to “life.”
But when you take the dinos off their tropical island and into our modern world—just like the Goldblum-led “Lost World” of two decades ago, they become as visually meek as a Golden Retriever puppy—creatures you wouldn’t mind going surfing with.
Goldblum does make a brief return in “Fallen Kingdom” to give testimony before the US Senate and serves as the “connection” to the first Jurassic Park film from 1993 to this one here in 2018.
But in truth, no one—except for the “greedy corporate thugs”—are ever in any danger.
There is a touching scene with Dearing and Academy Award nominated James Cromwell (“Babe”) as Benjamin Lockwood, the wheelchair-bound, creative “genesis” of the original Jurassic Park and business partner to Hammond who brought these creatures to life.
We know that all of the lead actors in “Fallen Kingdom” will be back as yet another Jurassic World movie is in pre-production (slated for the screen in 2021), thus ensuring that our would-be lovers (Howard and Pratt) will return yet again to challenge another prehistoric concoction.
Heck, let’s just all meet Grady and Dearing at Jurassic Park in San Diego.
I’ll bring the sun tan lotion!
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