“Blue is alive,” says Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) to Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), reminding him of the velociraptor he patiently trained from its infancy in “Jurassic World” (2015). “You spent years working with her. Are you going to let her die?” Isla Nublar’s dormant volcano has roared into life. An extinction-level event will soon destroy the island and its dinosaurs. That’s the setup for this fifth “Jurassic” iteration.
Can Claire and Owen rescue raptor Blue from the doomed island or will the dinos be weaponized by Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) and his corporate confederates? For action and answers, see “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.”
Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt are appealing as former Jurassic Park director Claire Dearing and dinosaur-trainer Owen Grady. She heads the Dinosaur Protection Group, a non-profit organization, financed by billionaire dinosaur lover Sir Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell), that’s dedicated to saving the island’s giant lizards. Claire recruits Owen to find Blue, the most intelligent of the prehistoric creatures. “If I don’t make it back,” says Owen as he disappears into the jungle, “remember, you made me come.” Among the corporate DNA pirates are Rafe Spall and Ted Levine as Eli Mills and Ken Wheatley. Toby Jones is enthusiastic auctioneer Gunnar Eversol, and Isabella Sermon is Lockwood’s plucky young granddaughter Maisie.
Others in the cast include Geraldine Chaplin as Maisie’s governess Iris, Daniella Pineda as dino-medic Zia Rodriguez, and Justice Smith, amusing as computer nerd Franklin Webb. Jeff Goldblum has a cameo as Ian Malcolm, testifying about dinosaurs before Congress.
“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” directed by J.A. Bayona, with script by Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow, is visually stunning, entertaining and, in its second hour, often silly. Sequences on the island (the first hour) are fast and exciting, although keeping the characters sorted out is sometimes a challenge. Part two, on the other hand, requires serious suspension of disbelief. It’s set in the crowded basement of Lockwood’s gothic stately home, where 11 species of crated dinosaurs are waiting to be sold to high bidders from pharmaceutical and weapons manufacturers. Can Claire and Owen — with help from little Maisie — prevent this animal-rights outrage? I won’t reveal the outcome, but it sets up a sixth Jurassic installment. Stay through the credits for a teaser.
Rated PG-13 for intense sci-fi violence and peril, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” runs 128 minutes.
Jurassic flick, number five:
See volcanic lava hurled;
If these dinosaurs survive,
Welcome to “Jurassic World.”