Oh God. What a poopfest.
Let’s just get this review over with. SPOILERS ABOUND.
The biggest spoiler is that it sucks, though maybe we should have realized this ahead of time as this is the fifth movie in a franchise based on an early 1990s film the success of which was good writing and acting paired with the first example of how CGI, if done well, can enhance a film.
Alas, the lesson was not learned that films cannot live by CGI dinosaurs alone. While the actors do their best, the plot is like a 500 pound T-Rex turd – mildly interesting from afar, but big, smelly and useless up close.
At first, it feels like a bait and switch. Our heroes, Claire and Owen (Bryce Howard and Chris Pratt) are recruited to save the dinosaurs left on the island from the previous film, from an impending volcano eruption. I expected 2 hours of our adventurers running around with dinos in a race against time whilst avoiding incoming hot lava and am willing to ignore how our heroes did not learn from the previous film that Mother Nature decided long ago that man and dinos don’t mix and that the dinos should be left to be cooked because they can never be controlled.
Indeed, the first 20 minutes where this happens make up the most interesting part of the film, but from there it struggles. I don’t want to accuse the film of a bait and switch because on a second glance of the plot, the trailer is honest about what the film is about and I suppose it’s my fault that I only watched the first part of the trailer.
At any rate, the hot lava island chase idea is cut short early and we are transported to the mansion of Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell), the never yet mentioned former business partner of Hammond from the original film. Lockwood, Clare and Owen have been double crossed by Lockwood’s business associate Eli (Rafe Spall) and a merc (Ted Levine, who, as we all know, once famously asked a lady to put the lotion in the basket in “Silence of the Lambs.”) His presence in the film is cool and creepy but doesn’t save it.
Blah, blah, blah the villains have brought the dinos to the mansion to be auctioned off to the world’s wealthiest reprobates. Owen and Clare are left to escape the dino infested estate, and a dino fight in the bedroom of Lockwood’s granddaughter seems surreal.
It all culminates (BIG SPOILER) in dinos being released into the world and although that’s scary, it seems unlikely, as the number of dinos released is relatively small and surely the Army could have taken them out before they get too far and take over.
It ends (SPOILER) with Jeff Goldblum reprising his role as Dr. Malcolm, testifying before some kind of committee about the dangers of dinos and/or man’s hubris in thinking he can control the uncontrollable. I felt cheated as I assumed Goldblum was going to be running around on the lava filled island, firing off quips to our plucky band of younger heroes. Alas, his presence is just a quick cameo.
From “Star Wars” to this film, this “We’re bringing the old timers back!” only to have them move on and off the screen quickly seems lame. Although Harrison Ford’s part in “The Force Awakens” is big, Luke and Leia were underutilized. Here, I’m not sure why Goldblum isn’t given a bigger role as he seems to still be physically capable and his mind seems sharp so…beats me. Money? Who knows.
Hollywood, take a cue from Dr. Malcolm. Just because you CAN clone dinos doesn’t mean you should. Therefore, just because you CAN make a fifth sequel a very original, yet to be surpassed dino film doesn’t mean you should.
Yes, man was blessed with the ability to do a number of things, but he was also blessed with the ability to consider whether he should do these things and when it comes to dino movies…please, unless you come up with an original plot, very doubtful at this point, just take the cash you would have given to a sixth cash grab and green light something else instead.
The wisest among the characters in the series know the dinos should die yet the Hollywood suits, like their corporate dino company counterparts, just don’t get the point.
STATUS: Not shelf-worthy!!! Oh, it pains me to say that.