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Rated 3.06 stars
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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
One Thrill Ride after Another
by James Colt Harrison

Hold on to your hats and wigs! What a fantastically exciting, thrilling, funny, and scary movie Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom from Universal Pictures and director J.A. Bayona is! From the first eye-popping IMAX scene to the startling ending, Jurassic is one thrill ride after another.

Not everybody loves dinosaurs, but you will learn to appreciate them as they are laid out in full dimension as we gasp in awe while they command the spectacular scenes shot by ace Spanish cinematographer Oscar Faura (The Imitation Game). Fierce and ferocious, gentle and loveable, the giant old-world animals come in a seemingly unlimited variety of models. The geniuses of the special effects department conjured up as many different ones as possible to give us a look at the magnificent creatures who dominated the animal kingdom lo those many millions of years ago. It’s jaw-dropping to see them in their true dimensions and weighty, bigger-than-elephant sizes. They actually lived!

Handsome Chris Pratt (as Owen Grady) and red-headed gorgeous Bryce Dallas Howard (daughter of director Ron Howard) who plays Claire, are thrown together in this thriller to save the dinosaurs on the original island where Jurassic Park was located. Sparks should fly between them as their hormones are raging in their young and fit bodies. But that’s beside the point, and they have a mission to accomplish. The only sparks occurring at the moment are the ones being spewed out from the erupting volcano destined to destroy the island and all the dinosaurs on it. Owen and Claire to the rescue! They will do their best to save the animals.

In the meantime, evil plotters (there are always evil people to spice up things) are looking to make a profit out of cloning or selling the remaining dinosaurs. Eli Mills (Rafe Spall), the dastardly assistant to wealthy Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell), the man who financed the original cloning program, is up to no good. Mills and his henchmen bamboozle Owen and Claire into thinking he will save the dinosaurs on the island. They go along with Mills and tough squadron leader Ken Wheatley (Ted Levine), only to find they are setting up a world-wide auction to sell off the dinos to the highest bidders.

With all the derring-do and the rampaging dinosaurs, there is plenty of action to satisfy fans. The special effects are done beautifully, and it all looks very, very real. No jerky puppets in this $170,000,000 film. The money is all up on the screen. The exploding volcano serves as a terrifying backdrop to the escaping dinosaurs and flying monsters. It also becomes a reason to flee the island as soon as possible. Grady’s assistants Franklin (a funny and nervous Justice Smith) and Zia (Daniella Pineda) add to the fun. There’s lots of comedy in the film, and it serves to relieve all the scariness and tension of the dinosaur scenes. Little Maisie (Lockwood’s granddaughter), adds some needed shrieks and adorable moments. Played by moppet actress Isabella Sermon, she gives the kids somebody to root for. She’s a good little actress.

On the whole, this is a smashing film, a welcome bonus to the summer fare. It brings new terror to the sci-fi/horror/action genre. Although it’s fun, fun, fun, it won’t strain your intellect. But it will tickle your funny bone, scare the bananas out of you, and make you cover your eyes now and then out of terror.

Once again, Universal Pictures proves to be the studio that's King of the Monster movies!

(Released by Universal Pictures and rated “PG-13” by MPAA.)

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