Compared to the initial Jurassic World movie from three years ago, this sequel seeks to remove the isolation of the island where the remains of the theme park are partially under water. Dinosaurs run rampant and an active volcano is mere hours away from making dinosaurs extinct once again. Enter stage left Claire and Owen, who venture back to the island under the sponsorship of a wealthy client, to ensure the survival of many dinosaurs… unaware that their decisions are going to change the direction of the franchise. The surviving reptiles are put up on the auction block and it does not take a genetic scientist to realize the repercussions.
The initial Jurassic World, the fourth film in the franchise, forgot and forgave the second and third film in the series, picking up 20 years after the first Jurassic Park. Fans of the last entry who found it laughable that Claire ran about in high heels, and Owen playing the role of Hollywood macho, will be pleased to know that the opening scenes with Claire and Owen display appropriate footwear and a less demigod take on male dominance.
In what might also be a corrective move, the plot (primarily isolated in a billionaire sanctuary) takes a darker tone with uncivil bloodshed. Compared to the grand scheme of the last film, this movie is a bit of a letdown. There is a plot but somehow this comes off as something we have seen before in other movies. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom plays like a middle chapter of a trilogy, setting the stage for what was inevitable over the last 25 years since the launch of the franchise. Our heroes are no longer the dinosaurs, to whom we root for, but rather Claire and Owen who are running around through most of the movie trying to survive one deadly scenario after another.
Jeff Goldblum returns as Ian Malcolm, promising during a U.S. Senate hearing that letting any of the dinosaurs off the island would be like opening Pandora’s box. His scenes, however, should have remained a surprise for theatergoers… which is the one complaint I would have for Universal Studios. If you saw the movie trailer for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, you already have a pretty good idea what the plot for the movie is. Sadly, what you expect is exactly what you will see. Movie trailers should never give away 90 percent of a movie. With that said, the saving grace is not the final minutes of the movie or Goldblum’s scientific and theoretical insight, but the director’s style of telling the story visually. Colin Trevorrow provided better direction here than the prior movie in the franchise. Impressive direction; but I only wish the script provided something equally impressive.