Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (M)
In a word: Formulaic

Jurassic Park Fallen Kingdom

Chris Pratt returns as Owen Grady; here with 'Blue' the velociraptor.

 

"Yes, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is rigidly formulaic but, on the bright side, as Dr Hammond was so fond of saying, "No expense has been spared" to produce what's again a well constructed film."

The dinosaurs are back in the fifth instalment of what is essentially the same story in a (slighty) different location as the previous four films. Yes, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom doesn’t really bring anything to the screen that we haven’t seen before – apart from bigger, new dinosaur types – but it still makes for a fun couple of hours’ viewing if you're up for it.

Isla Nublar, the island off the coast of Costa Rica on which Jurassic World was built and then, after the events of the last film, abandoned, is about to suffer a cataclysmic volcanic eruption and dinosaur-wrangler Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) – introduced, along with his raptors, in the last movie - is convinced by the original Jurassic Park co-founder, Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell) to return as part of an altruistic attempt to transport as many of the dinosaurs as possible to a new home where they’ll be safe from human interference and natural disasters.

Joining him is the former park overseer, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), who is needed to access the computer system, and a thuggish mercenary, Ken Wheatley (Ted Levine), who is charged with overseeing the operation. Of course, all doesn’t go to plan – kudos Dr Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) who is again warning of the dangers of allowing the dinosaurs to live – and those who have returned to the island soon find themselves in a life and death struggle to evade not only the dinosaurs but the lava spewing from the volcano.

The action soon moves off the island but to say much more gives the game away, so suffice to say, not all those involved in the attempt to rescue the dinosaurs are working off the same game plan. You know the drill - the corporate guys are bad and those who really care for the animals are good. Let the battle commence.

Pratt and Dallas Howard both put in solid performances as does Cromwell and Isabella Sermon (who plays Lockwood's grand-daughter Maisie) – but, that said, a script that largely involves running away from dinosaurs doesn’t leave a lot of room for them to explore their range.

The CGI work, which includes the reconstructed dinosaurs, is again first rate and there’s enough heart-stopper moments (parents should exercise caution with young children) and plenty of levity. The fact that in this film we’re not geographically confined to Isla Nublar opens up new possibilities (and yes, it’s that fact which, according to the brief post credit scene, is clearly going to be at the heart of the next film, number six).

Yes, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is rigidly formulaic but, on the bright side, as Dr Hammond was so fond of saying, "No expense has been spared" to produce what's again a well constructed film. It doesn't have the emotional depth - the wonder, if you like - of the first film, but none of Jurassic Park's successors have managed to recapture that. If you like the idea of dinosaurs chasing people and that's enough, then Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom shouldn't disappoint.