The Thrills In This Kingdom Haven't Fallen


Dinosaurs walking the Earth. The original dream of John Hammond has been featured in four films to date. From "Jurassic Park" in 1993 to "Jurassic World" in 2015, moviegoers have experienced the rise and fall of a couple of parks, witnessed dinosaurs running amok and been introduced to multiple individuals who shared Hammond's vision.

In the new film "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," the dinosaurs are facing a threat posed by a series of volcanic eruptions on the abandoned island of Isla Nublar. And if those eruptions continue, they just might eliminate all life that remains on the island.

While Congress debates whether to rescue the remaining dinos or let natural selection take over, Hammond's former friend and business partner Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell) wants to act. He instructs his foundation, under the direction of Eli Mills (Rafe Spall), to get the best in the world to rescue as many of the remaining species living on the island.

Enter the woman who cares most about the safety of the dinosaurs: Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard). She is leading the campaign to rescue those who remain, and she is also the one who will need to bring Owen (Chris Pratt) back onboard if the raptor Blue is going to be saved. As they head back to the island, the pair quickly realizes that this mission may not be exactly what they were anticipating.

Mills, it seems, has a different plan, one that involves enriching his own pocketbook, regardless of what his boss wants. It will be up to Owen, Claire and a host of others to keep the dinosaurs alive and well as they are taken to the United States.

"Fallen Kingdom" is not what we've come to expect from the better films in the franchise, but for the most part it is acceptable. Visually, it is another fairly amazing spectacle. But many of the plot points and dialogue step into the realm of the wacky and detract from the beauty that exists.

The aggressive and violent nature of some sequences makes for a more disturbing film, so I recommend previewing the film before unleashing it on younger viewers. And yes, there is a scene after the credits that just might lead you to guess the probable setting for the next installment.

I didn't hate "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" by any means. I just have come to expect more from the films in the franchise. This film has some flaws that are very distracting, but the new dinosaur is really cool, and I love a number of these characters. I can't wait to see how they finish this part of the franchise.

Strap in and get ready for a violent and thrilling film that will explode the senses. "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" overcomes its lack of depth in storytelling with another amazing thrill ride of adventure, and that's just fine with me.

Paul's Grade: B-