Lion meets T-Rex

REVIEW: Volcanoes and dinosaurs, what’s not to like?

The latest instalment from the Jurassic universe, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, takes us back to Isla Nublar, the location where everything went awry in the first film of the franchise, Jurassic Park.

The opening scene starts with a submersible entering a lagoon that’s home to a giant mosasaur. The guys inside have been hired by rich bad guy, Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) to extract a dinosaur tooth, so more creatures can be cloned from its DNA.

They manage to cut the tooth free, which floats to the surface and is taken by helicopter to a makeshift base. Without giving too much away, this sets the scene for an hour-long showdown involving the mosasaur and a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) reprise their roles as the good guys from Jurassic World. Dearing is working with billionaire Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell). He and John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) were the brains trust who opened the dinosaur park in the original Jurassic Park movie (released in 1993).

Lockwood’s now trying to save his babies from extinction when the volcano on Isla Nublar finally blows. So Dearing asks Grady to track down and find the female velociraptor Blue, which Lockwood raised from a hatching.

Dearing, Grady and Franklin Webb (Justice Smith) head to the island with dinosaur expert Daniella Pineda (Zia Rodriguez) in tow. They meet up with the team supposedly there to save the dinosaurs. The inevitable occurs and Grady and Dearing are double-crossed and left to die.

Scenery and volcanic eruptions dominate the screen from thereon with the movie’s realistic pyroclastics and lava flows creating some life and death dilemmas for Dearing and her techno whiz sidekick Webb. They also have to contend with a fully grown carnivorous dinosaur back in the Jurassic World control room.

Somehow, good and bad guys alike manage to escape the island and find themselves back at Lockwood’s estate. This is where the human and dinosaur interaction gets really interesting.

Mills and his dinosaur hunting lieutenant Ken Wheatley (Ted Levine), who doubled-crossed Grady on the island, manages to transport the dinosaurs to the United States under the guise of a humanitarian mission. They then double-cross the dying Lockwood. Mills is so twisted he has developed the Indoraptor – a hybrid dinosaur bred for the highest bidder. Indoraptor and Blue actually play a big part in this movie… so keep an eye on that.

Plenty of action involving humans and dinosaurs alike follows, with Grady making his presence felt in several not so subtle action scenes.

If you’re a fan of dinosaur movies there’s a touch of nostalgia in store, with Jeff Goldblum reprising his Jurassic Park role as Ian Malcolm. His is the movie’s voice of reason.

The movie does end abruptly but also sets the scene for the final blockbuster in the trilogy scheduled for release in 2021.

I quite enjoyed Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom. It gets four out of five dinosaur stars from me.