LIFE may find a way, according to Jurassic Park character Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), but this franchise has certainly lost its way.
The fifth in the series since the 1993 classic roared onto the screens and into blockbuster history, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom certainly keeps up the dino quotient, but its teeth are not as sharp as it once was.
Three years after the dinosaurs ran amok on popular theme park island Jurassic World, the volcano the park sits at the base of is about to erupt, raising all sorts of ethical issues about the cloned creatures’ survival.
Should we allow the natural extinction of this species to occur once again or are we obligated the save as many as possible?
Former park employee Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) wants them saved but the government disagrees, refusing to put up the cash.
Enter multi-billionaire Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell) who, from his death bed, funds the expedition and hires Claire and dino whisperer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to go along.
Lockwood leaves his shady right hand man Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) to manage the trip, but he has plans to auction the surviving dinos off for a hefty profit.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is keen to raise some thought-provoking ethical situations (as did the original), but is completely uninterested in exploring them.
Discussions last all of about 90 seconds before characters are running around again, avoiding the T-Rex and out-running lava.
A bomb-shell twist is dropped about one of the key characters 20 minutes from the end which opens up whole can of worms that leaves us hanging and its existence seems merely to set us up for a clunky one-liner.
The dino action is passable, there are a couple of jolts that are a nice reminder of how scary the original was, but this is the silliest entry of the franchise so far.
There is so much frustratingly left abandoned and underdeveloped, this ends with more of a whimper than a roar.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (M)
Directed by: J.A. Bayona
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard,
Two and a half stars
Review by Julian Wright
In cinemas now