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MOVIE REVIEW: New Jurassic flick not exactly triceratops, but not pteroble either

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Vicky Sparks
T-Rexes, raptors and brachiosaurus’, oh my. The gang is back together for another installment of Jurassic Park in what should have been titled, “Dinosaurs – still not a good idea”.

This time around, we learn the dinosaurs abandoned four years ago are in danger of re-extinction due to the impending eruption of a volcano on Isla Nublar.

Animal activists are trying to save them while Congressional hearings debate the ethics of letting them die. Everyone’s favourite lover of chaos theory, Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), returns to testify the volcano is a great opportunity to reset the clock before man made the terrible mistake of reviving dinosaurs.

Five movies into the franchise I think we can all agree with him – dinosaur theme parks are fun in theory but there’s scientific movie proof dinosaurs just eat everyone.

The official decision: leave the dinosaurs to their fate.

But not so fast! A wealthy benefactor (James Cromwell playing a colleague of the original park’s inventor) steps in with his millions and an uninhabited island he just happens to own that would be perfect for dinosaurs to live out their lives in peace. What luck!

Claire Dearing (played by Bryce Dallas-Howard) who was in charge of the park in 2015’s Jurassic World, and now a staunch dinosaur rights activist, is called in to help convince ex beau and dino-whisperer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to join the rescue operation.

Just when it looks like all is saved, we find out the benefactor’s head honcho is secretly planning to sell the dinosaurs as weapons to very rich and nefarious-looking people around the world!

Obviously our team has to try and stop this madness. Throw in a subplot (and pretty good surprise revelation) about the benefactor’s young granddaughter, and there is A LOT going on in this movie.

Is the storyline of the latest installment ridiculous? Yes. Are there still good moments in the film? Also, yes.

But be warned – this Jurassic is different from previous installments. That’s probably good news for viewers desperate to switch it up, and heartbreaking for diehard theme-park lovers. Only about a quarter of the film takes place on Isla Nublar, with most of the 130 minutes putting the dinosaurs in our own backyards.

And it takes a more serious tone, with ethical debates about animal rights and the advancement of humans taking centre stage. We get intense dino vs. dino fights and the smoldering Chris Pratt stares that we’ve come to expect.

But it criminally underuses Pratt and Dallas-Howard. Somehow, their characters seem less complex with every film, and to write a movie for Pratt that doesn’t let him be funny is simply a waste.

Fallen Kingdom is equal parts awesome and cringe worthy, with a surprisingly large dollop of sad (one scene as they leave the island might make you cry).

If you love the Jurassic franchise for cranking out virtual clones year after year, this one may not be for you, but if you’re looking for change, Fallen Kingdom delivers.


Vicky Sparks is a Bright’s Grove native and movie critic for Global TV’s The Morning Show, which airs nationally on Fridays. Her Journal Reviews cover movies playing at Galaxy Cinemas Sarnia

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