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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

This film franchise should go extinct

    The Jurassic World theme park was abandoned after a disastrous security breach left tourists maimed, eaten and heavily inconvenienced. The company went bankrupt, and the island of person-eating dinosaurs (some of which can fly) was ignored by the governments of the world.
    Five years later, the dinosaurs are set to lose their haven. Isla Nublar’s long-dormant volcano is active and about to erupt. When the volcano blows, dinosaurs will go extinct again. Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard: Gold), the former manager of Jurassic World, leads a non-profit dedicated to preventing a second extinction.
    Claire is underfunded and fighting a losing battle, but there is hope. Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell: Marshall), John Hammond’s former partner and a founder of the technology that revitalized dinosaurs, has a plan. He wants Claire to help capture a few of every species and transfer them to safety on a new island he’s bought.
    There’s a hitch: The government has decided to allow the dinosaurs to die, making this rescue mission tech­nically off the books.
    To help save the creatures she considers to be a miracle of nature, Claire recruits ex-boyfriend Owen (Chris Pratt: Avengers: Infinity War). He overcomes his reluctance for the sake of rescuing Blue, a dinosaur that once saved his life.
    Will saving dinosaurs from a second extinction throw nature off balance? Is something nefarious lurking behind Lockwood’s plan? Will moviemakers ever stop tainting the memory of Jurassic Park with these terrible sequels?
    This summer blockbuster offers big-budget effects and so little else that it manages to make dinosaurs mundane.
    The one bright spot is the director, J.A. Bayona (A Monster Calls), who spices up rote scenes with innovative camera work. Bayona and cinematographer Óscar Faura (A Monster Calls) craft an opening sequence with great tension and pepper the story with original shots.
    But grand camera angles and sweeping pans do not a story make. Plot twists and turns are so telegraphed that they might as well be handed out on a pamphlet before the movie. When humans appear, the film grinds to a halt. Their dialogue is terrible, they fail to understand human interaction and, most troubling, they take precious time away from the dinos.
    Even seasoned performers like Howard, Pratt and Cromwell seem either bored or embarrassed. Pratt and Howard still have negative romantic chemistry, so every scene featuring their banter is painful as well as unnecessary.
    Even diehard Jurassic fans will be disappointed.
Poor Prehistoric Action • PG-13 • 128 mins.