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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom                   review by Bobby Blakey

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The original Jurassic Park unleashed a new type of cinema on audiences when it hit theaters in 1993.If you were lucky enough to see it in theaters it made you believe dinosaurs had returned like never before. It holds up just as great today and with the box office it had it was no surprise that they made sequels. While both The Lost World and Jurassic Park III never met the expectations of fans, the power of the original lived on. In 2015 they took fans back to the island with Jurassic World to big success and it was clearly just the start of something bigger. With the success of the film it has unsurprisingly kicked off a new direction for the series complete with its next installment Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom, but can it live up to the size of the previous entries or will it go extinct?

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom follows four years since the theme park and luxury resort Jurassic World was destroyed by dinosaurs out of containment. Isla Nublar now sits abandoned by humans while the surviving dinosaurs fend for themselves in the jungles. When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event.  Owen is driven to find Blue, his lead raptor who’s still missing in the wild, and Claire has grown a respect for these creatures she now makes her mission. Arriving on the unstable island as lava begins raining down, their expedition uncovers a conspiracy that could return our entire planet to a perilous order not seen since prehistoric times. Like most I really like this franchise, but was surprised how much I ended up enjoying Jurassic World. It has moved to the top right up there with the original for me so I was obviously both excited and nervous for the next chapter.

I was on the fence with the story unveiled in the trailer because it seemed a bit of a silly reason to return to where they almost died, but the direction of the characters actually made sense. There is an evolution for Claire from straight up business woman who cares nothing for those living creatures to caring too much very much like real life activists. This causes some of her decisions making to not always be the best for the bigger picture, but you can kind of understand it in a strange way. Pratt’s Owen is pretty much the same, but such a great character he is always fun to watch and steps right back into the role with ease. For those fans of Goldblum’s return in the trailer he serves a good purpose, but is sadly nothing more than a cameo which I kind of had suspected he would be. The story does some interesting things connecting back to the original film once again, but also takes some of the elements of The Lost World as well. It’s not hard to figure out where the film is going most of the time and there is one twist that I really hated and wished they would have left it out of this series, but actually fits in with the bigger picture to where this all could have gone from day one.

There are a lot of really predictable moments here and doesn’t really do much to bring anything new to the table since it kind of brings more of the same from the last film, but brings both the dino carnage and some elements of the scarier side that they used in the original film. The volcano sequence from the trailer is great fun, but then it does slow down for quite a bit before getting back to the action. Surprisingly it is some of the down time dealing with the dinosaurs that I found myself really enjoying outside of the action. I wish they had gone with something more fresh and new for the overall story, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t still enjoy this entry. For the first time in the franchise this film is clearly leading into the next part of this new trilogy with an open ending which felt kind of strange, but opens up the doors to new things.

This isn’t the sequel I was hoping for, but it still offered up some great action, cool dinosaurs, heart and fun to make it worth checking out if you love dinosaurs and the franchise as a whole.

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