The Dinosaurs are back, and in our B movie land/pop culture, what a strangely comforting sight they are. That’s why “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” 25 years after the original “Jurassic Park,” knows exactly what its purpose is and performs it monstrously well. Directed by J.A. Bayona and co-written by Colin Trevorrow (who directed the previous installment) and Derek Connoll, the filmmakers are aware that keeping this franchise from becoming extinct requires wit and infusing as much originality as they can, coupled with the storied clichés.
The film thankfully hits all those marks and more. Helped by a luminous Bryce Dallas Howard (Claire) and a less cocky Owen (Chris Pratt) the film starts with the two reuniting and mounting a campaign to rescue the dinosaurs. They need to be saved because after the dinos destroyed the luxury resort Jurassic World which was located on the island Isla Nublar, the greedy humans fled and the dinosaurs happily habituated there until the island’s dormant volcano sprang to life. (Got that?) So hence the mission to save them.
Owen has a special place for ‘Blue,’ a raptor he helped raise and sincere Claire, well she wants to save them all. But of course there are always the bad guys, including Eli (Rafe Spall) the smarmy, sneaky controller of the bedridden benevolent billionaire Benjamin Lockwood played wonderfully by James Cromwell, who is paying to save the dinosaurs in a noble way. Scientist Zia (Daniella Pineda) and a very neurotic and funny Woody Allen like computer geek named Franklin (Justice Smith) are part of the good guy club. Jeff Goldblum makes a cameo as Dr. Ian Malcolm, high-minded and foretelling he is. So bottom line, it’s wildly entertaining to see Tyrannosaurus romp, Blue be sweet, meet Indoraptor, and see T-Rex rule. These aging dinosaurs never get old.
Universal’s “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” opens wide on Friday.