Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Directed by J.A. Bayona
A volcano threatens dinosaur island.
Until it’s overwhelmed by the absurdity of its plotting, the fifth Jurassic Park movie is “exactly the kind of escapist summer behemoth you want it to be,” said Chris Nashawaty in Entertainment Weekly. Unlike 2015’s franchise reboot, this one has a sense of humor about itself, making it easier to enjoy the scares and thrills we now expect from a franchise about dinosaurs brought back to life through cloning. Here, the dinos are stranded in the wreckage they’ve made of an island theme park, and when a volcano threatens their lives, a former manager and dinosaur trainer (Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt) reteam to avert a second dinosaur extinction. Nothing goes right, of course, said Bilge Ebiri in VillageVoice.com. Pratt’s Owen Grady has to scramble away from a wave of hot lava, and people get trapped in a bunker with a fearsome Baryonyx, but “everything happens so quickly that you don’t even have time to wonder if you’re having fun or not.” At least the third act, which unfolds in a dinosaur prison, lets director J.A. Bayona show his horror-movie chops, said Jesse Hassenger in AVClub.com. “Make no mistake”: This Jurassic movie is “not less stupid” than its predecessor. “But as a teeth-gnashing, monster-in-the-basement creature feature, it has a certain freshness.”
Universal Pictures, courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories, Magnolia Pictures ■