When the island's dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event.
A common trend with blockbusters is familiarity. It’s something you see in every Marvel movie, every Mission Impossible movie and every Jurassic Park/World movie. With the Jurassic Park/World movies familiarity comes in the shape of its characters, themes and set pieces. The latter two work better when familiar than its characters. Familiar set pieces make for amusing nods to previous movies which work well with people with a strong attachment to the series.
As fun as these nods are, the repetitive characters are beginning to grate. Every film has a hunter (Bob Peck, Pete Postlethwaite, Vincent d'Onofrio, Ted Levine), a kid, a central couple, comic relief, a girl interested in dinosaurs and a computer wizkid. It’s getting to the extent its becomes low hanging fruit to parody, and yet it’s almost accepted because the weakest aspects of many blockbusters are its script. Mostly because the writers are pressured to get a script out quick but writers Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly had more than enough time to create something with more meat on it than a Compsognathus.
The films weakest aspect is its script, but J. A. Bayona excels in the director’s chair. Following on from three great and well-respected films (The Orphanage, The Impossible, A Monster Calls) Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is Bayona’s biggest film to date. He handles the grand set pieces well, successfully drawing some tension out of these scenes and making most of a rather bad screenplay that doesn’t do anything interesting with the story and neither does it develop the characters any further. Whilst the character development is minimal, empathy for the dinosaurs is high as close up shots, capturing the dinosaurs emotional distress, do tug at the heartstrings (Blu, Owen Grady’s personal raptor, feels more like a dog than a dinosaur).
Despite the meat-free script, however, the film remains fun. The performances are committed and the film frequently funny but the reason the film works (for me at least) is just the strong connection we have with the franchise. I wish I could have seen more real dinosaurs, I wish the script was a little fleshed out, and I wish it wasnt so familiar as it was. However, I’m an easy person to please when in the mood so I just had fun watching conniving characters get their just deserts by being one the dino’s dessert.