Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

First Hit: For something as overly done and complicated as this, it was a drag to watch.

This is another example of a franchise pushing it too far and getting minimal results.

The first opening scenes, when two guys are underwater sawing off a bone of a dead dinosaur and a guy on land, guiding them, was cartoonish although it wanted to be something else. They are sawing off this bone so that the DNA can be used to create more dinosaurs.

The island where the dinosaurs are currently living, Jurassic Park, has been over run (see last episode) by these very same dinosaurs. No people live on the island and it is no longer an amusement park. However, all of the dinosaurs are in danger of dying because a volcano on the island is starting to erupt.

Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell) has come up with a plan to transport several of the current species from this erupting island and put them on another island he owns. They identify something like 13 dinosaurs to move. I couldn’t help but notice that they only wanted 1 of each, so my mind went to; how are they going to propagate on this new island without a mate?

Unbeknownst to Lockwood, his company manager, Eli Mills (Rafe Spall), has other ideas. Mills is planning to use Lockwood's money to move the dinosaurs but to a place where he can sell them to the highest bidder. He’s also working with Dr. Wu (BD Wong) to genetically engineer some new species from the DNA of the captured dinosaurs and the bone that was captured in the first scene.

Under the belief that they are supporting Lockwood’s plan, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) help Mills capture the dinosaurs. The were recruited because they know the Jurassic Park Island and Owen raised "Blue" (a Velociraptor) and may be the only one to get the raptor into a cage for capture.

To add some comic relief and younger actors, Franklin Webb (Justice Smith) and Zia Rodriguez (Daniella Pineda) are brought on the expedition because Webb is an IT wiz and Rodriguez is an accomplished physician for dinosaurs. Webb’s fear of everything resulted in lots of screaming by him which got old after his second scream.

Meanwhile, the original director of Jurassic Park, Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), spends his time arguing in front of Senate committees. He doesn't want to save the dinosaurs and is in favor of letting them die from the volcanic eruption. He suspects that there will be trouble if they are saved.

This is enough of the story line setup to say that things go bad for everyone’s plan and that is where the action takes over. Unfortunately, the only thing good about the action is that CG dinosaurs look awfully cool. The detail in their skin and movement is outstanding. However, some of the actions, like a dinosaur tapping its long-clawed toe on the bedroom floor, is too human of a movement and came off as silly.

Pratt does action, quirkiness and smart-alecky remarks very well. He’s well controlled in his body and always has enough wherewithal to make his character believable. Even in a boring dumb film such as this, he makes his character work. Howard is mediocre at best. She never looks the part of scientist or activist and she doesn’t come off as intelligent. Spall was OK as the guy who was out to make money for himself. Cromwell had a very subdued role and his performance reflected this. Goldblum plays the wiseacre know it all and although it is his signature type of performance, it would be nice to see him really act sometime. Pineda was strong as the young woman whose intent was to save the dinosaurs. Smith’s role was silly, and it made him look silly. Isabella Sermon did an excellent job playing Lockwood’s granddaughter Maisie, however there is something behind the curtain. Ted Levine played Ken Wheatly the tough guy carrying out Mills’ orders and always wanting to be paid. It is actually a good thing that he got his just deserts. Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow wrote this overly complicated moving into boredom script. J.A. Bayona did what he was told, action at all costs, and also throw in some tongue in cheek funny moments and quips.

Overall: This film is a disgrace to the franchise and isn’t worth the money spent on it or the price of admission.