MOVIE REVIEW: Fallen Kingdom is big but flawed
THE idea to reboot the Jurassic Park franchise, 15 years on, by finally realising Hammond's dream of a dinosaur amusement park was a good one.
Jurassic World brought the film franchise into this century and managed to turn those deadly Velociraptors into man's best friend courtesy of Chris Pratt's animal trainer Owen.
But the sequel to the reboot, Fallen Kingdom, takes things a bit too far, losing the sense of believability that made earlier films so terrifying.
Pratt and co-star Bryce Dallas Howard, who thankfully puts on a pair of sensibly leather boots this time around, return as Owen and Claire launch a rescue mission to save the dinosaurs abandoned following the spectacular collapse of the park.
Abandoned on Isla Nublar, the animals face another extinction-level event as the once dormant volcano roars to life.
After much debate about animal rights, world leaders decide to let nature take its course. Despite the setback, Claire is still determined to save the dinosaurs she once saw as merely assets and finds a backer in the form of Hammond's Jurassic Park co-founder Benjamin Lockwood and his right-hand man Eli Mills.
All she needs to convince Owen to come along is the carrot of a reunion with his beloved raptor Blue.
Off they go to Isla Nublar, which seems strangely easy to get to considering it's full of dangerous animals, to restart the park's tracking system.
That sounds like enough to fill a movie right?
Well that's just the start of Fallen Kingdom, with the rescue mission revealed to be a giant cover for Mills' plan to harvest the DNA of the reptiles and sell them off to the highest bidder in a black market auction.
This is where the wheels come off a bit, as the animals are transported by ship to a remote mansion that just so happens to have a giant scientific facility and holding cages in the basement.
Yet again the mad scientists have been in the lab splicing genes to create yet another, even more dangerous dino hybrid. Will they ever learn?
When the lab experiment escapes, all hell breaks loose and Lockwood's granddaughter Maisie gets caught up in the mayhem.
While Spanish director JA Bayona brings a great gothic sensibility to this film, the tropes established in the earlier films are starting to wear thin. These scenes are still fun, but they feel like something you've seen before.
The most disappointing thing, though, is that Jeff Goldblum has been relegated to one single speech that tops and tails the film.
This franchise better start evolving soon, or it's in danger of becoming a relic of the past.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom opens in cinemas on Thursday.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum, Danielle Pineda, James Cromwell, Rafe Spall, Justice Smith, Toby Jones.
Director: JA Bayona
Verdict: 2.5/5 stars