Review: New Jurassic World film feels like trudge back in time

Chris Pratt as Owen Grady
Chris Pratt as Owen Grady

Matt Adcock reviews Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (12A)

The dinos are back – but this time they’re in danger. It’s four years after the events of Jurassic World which forced the theme park to close down due to humans finding themselves on the menu.

When the dormant volcano on the island goes active and threatens to wipe out all remaining dinosaurs Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) return to Isla Nublar to try and save the dinosaurs including the intelligent ‘Blue’, the raptor Owen trained. It seems that others want to nab the dinosaurs too in order to use their DNA to create bio weapon versions of the prehistoric beasts.

As per all of the Jurassic Park / World films it’s the dinosaurs who are the stars and the CGI is just staggering in rendering all manner of the beasties including a new Indo Raptor which is a real beauty of a killing machine.

Everything ticks along at a fair old pace with some well-executed action scenes, some bad guys get eaten fairly bloodlessly – then there’s mostly the usual running and screaming but alas it’s a bit patchy in terms of sheer excitement.

It’s never great when the pre-title sequence is one of the best scenes in the entire film but Jurassic World opens strong and then seems to spend a long time doing set up for what admittedly looks like a fascinating part 3 to this second trilogy.

If you’ve seen the trailer then you’ll have witnessed many of the best bits including the volcano eruption and the mayhem that brings to the dino-island. The most moving scene is a heart in mouth shot of one of the more loveable dinos who doesn’t make it – and it’s credit to the film makers that they can make you feel for a prehistoric scaly beast’s demise.

When the action moves to the US it revolves around a dubious plan by boo-hiss baddie Toby Jones to sell off the surviving creatures but maybe Maisie (Isabella Sermon) – the cute young granddaughter of one of the original park’s creators Lockwood (James Cromwell) - manage to not get eaten and help save the day?

Director JA ‘The Orphanage’ Bayona does his best but the two main leads don’t get to develop much and there are times when you get the ‘I’m sure we’ve seen stuff like this before’ feeling creeping over you after five dino films.

The franchise really needs something dramatic to make it more than a showcase for creature CGI effects and prevent it going extinct.