'Jurassic Park' Sequel Settles for a Simplistic Storyline

The producers of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom could have come up with any number of concepts for a sequel to the long-running sci-fi adventure flick. That they chose the most simplistic and unimaginative of them speaks volumes to just how poorly conceived this movie is.

Undoubtedly bound to be one of the summer’s biggest blockbusters despite whatever negative reviews it might get, the film opens area-wide today.

Set on the fictional Central American island of Isla Nublar, the movie centers on Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) as they attempt to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from the old dinosaur tourist attraction. A volcanic eruption threatens to destroy the island and take the lives of all the remaining dinosaurs with it.

Granted, these dinosaurs are mere clones, but Claire still has a place in her heart for them, especially for Blue, the dinosaur that Owen trained to behave as if it were a dog. While other dinosaurs would just as well eat a human for a snack, Blue possesses empathy, something that we see in old footage of Owen working with the creature.

Claire thinks the dinosaurs are as good as dead until billionaire Sir Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell) intervenes and offers to rescue the creatures and send them to a sanctuary. Dude is so rich, he just happens to have a spare island where she can take them. Trouble is, his offer to save them comes via Eli Mils (Rafe Spall), his deceitful right-hand man, who secretly has other plans. He needs Claire’s help to track the creatures but once he gets them off the island, he plans to hold an auction for wealthy businessmen and make millions.

Claire, however, believes Eli when he says he wants to save the dinosaurs and recruits Owen to join her as she accompanies Eli's mercenaries to the island. Once they get to the island, things go south quickly; Claire and Owen quickly realize Eli has deceived them, and they have to smuggle their way onto the boats transporting the dinosaurs before they depart. The boats take the creatures back to Lockwood’s estate, and Eli starts to auction them off while Claire and Owen try to find a way to foil his evil plan. Predictably enough, Blue helps them as they battle the armed guards and try to save Sir Benjamin's young granddaughter.

A deafening movie (if it's not lava exploding, it's dinosaurs howling) with all the appeal of an amusement park ride, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom features plenty of action. Dinosaurs regularly chomp on humans (and on each other), and Pratt plays Owen as a Indiana Jones-like action hero capable of knocking out soldiers and wrestling dinosaurs. But the flimsy premise makes it all for naught.
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Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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