JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM
Director: J.A. Bayona
Screenwriters: Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow, based on characters created by Michael Crichton
Bryce Dallas Howard
Runtime: 128 mins.
Australian Release Date: 21 June 2018
Previewed at: Event Cinemas, George Street, Sydney on 13 June 2018.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, directed by the Spanish director J.A. Bayona, is the fifth adventure from the island of the dinosaurs to erupt on the big screen and it’s a lot of fun in the best tradition of the old Saturday afternoon matinee, not to be taken seriously for a moment. Just check your disbelief when you purchase your ticket, buy a big bucket of popcorn and let the show wash over you. Bayona is good with this sort of material, which involves many scenes shot against a green screen, having directed films like The Impossible and A Monster Calls.
Isla Nublar, the island that was home to the Jurassic World theme park has been abandoned and the creatures left to fend for themselves but when a volcano on the island erupts, threatening to kill all remaining life there, a rescue mission is discussed. The US Senate has other ideas though and rejects the plan, voting instead to let nature take its course. Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), the former operations manager of the park and now a dinosaur activist, is appalled by their decision so when she's approached by Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell), co-funder of the original dinosaur cloning scheme, and his assistant Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) with a plan to move the dinosaurs to another island, she immediately accepts. For the mission, she insists on employing Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), Jurassic World's velociraptor trainer, to assist her because she believes only one of the creatures still exists. Once on the exploding Isla Nublar, the pair team up with the group supposed to save the dinosaurs but they soon realise that there are other, more nefarious plans afoot and the rescue ship isn't heading to an island but to the mainland.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom looks terrific, of course, thanks to a great effects team and the Cinemascope cinematography of Oscar Faura, a fellow Catalan and frequent collaborator with Bayona. Once again the script is by Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow, co-writers of 2015's Jurassic World, which Trevorrow also directed. Indeed, there are quite a few people from both sides of the camera returning for this instalment of the franchise, apart from the aforementioned Pratt and Dallas Howard. Jeff Goldblum is back as mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm, in a small but important role, as is B. D. Wong as genius geneticist Dr. Henry Wu, who's messing with the DNA of the big beasties to catastrophic effect. Michael Giacchino returns to write the score, as he did for Jurassic World, and it's suitably pumped up and exciting for this fast-paced material.
Fans of the series will be pleased to learn that another film is planned and who knows where it could go, given that in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom the dinosaurs have left Isla Nublar? There's a great scene at the end of this superior ‘creature feature' that is very obviously a sign of things to come.