People spend so much time thinking about how to do it they never stopped to think about if they should do it, that is to say, to make this movie, 3.5 readers.
BQB here with a review of the latest installment to the ongoing prehistoric monsters meet modern times saga.
At the outset, let me say this: I didn’t think it was as bad as the critics are saying, but I do think the concept of modern day dinos is played out and it’s going to be a long time, if ever, when writers think of a new setting to put our giant scaly predecessors in to make them interesting. The previous film stunk the big one, making me think that was all she wrote to this franchise, but by God, they managed to make one last flick that is passable.
The plot? Owen and Claire (Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard) are hiding out from the law and dinos with their clone kid who set the dinos free in an act of defiance against the villains of the last picture and don’t ask me to explain it any better than that because if I try, my eyes will glaze over.
Somehow, they go down the rabbit hole of uncovering a plot to control the world’s food supply courtesy of Dodgson (I always thought he was Dobson) the dude that Wayne Knight aka Newman aka Dennis Nedry sold the shaving cream can full of dino dna samples to in the last one. It was never mentioned in any of the other movies, but apparently this evildoer spent the last 30 some odd years starting and running his own evil biological company, though to the outsider, he comes across as a typical Tim Cook-esque Silicon Valley mogul.
Yes, these bad dudes have managed to use dino DNA tech to create prehistoric bugs designed to devour all the world’s crops except the bad guys’ crops and ergo, yadda yadda yadda, the villain will control all the food and you’ll have to sell your right testicle to get a damn candy bar.
One source of criticism might be that, you know, if there’s a villainous plot afoot, it should involve killer dinos instead of killer bugs, but the dinos are still present. Another source of criticism is that the last film ended with a teaser of a new world where dinosaurs have run amuck. I thought we’d see more of that and we do, just not in the ways we thought. Here, dinos do cross paths with and endanger humans but in most cases, it’s kind of like when a bear gets lost and wanders around a suburban neighborhood, “Damn it! That brontosaurus is getting too close to the city! Better call the cops!”
To be sure, there are evil dino breeders, underground dino black market clubs, and the evil corporation’s dino sanctuary to give you the visual dino feast you crave, but yeah, I thought based on the last film, this one would be all about a world destroyed by T-Rexes wreaking havoc on major metropolitan areas, chomping up everything in sight.
Then again, I mean, dinos being released into the world would be dangerous, but in reality I suppose we have the army, police, national guard and enough gun toting rednecks to take these beasts out and the remaining stragglers would be an annoyance and/or relegated to the black market. So I guess kudos to this flick for embracing that reality but then again this film is the last place I go to for reality. I wanted to see T-Rexes stomping all over downtown, damn it!
Bonus points for bringing the original cast back together. Laura Dern, Sam Neil and Jeff Goldblum all reprise their roles as Doctors Ellie Satler, Grant and Malcolm and much to the film’s credit, these aren’t brief cameos. While many franchises trot out their older stars for a quick walk-on, this trio is very integral to the plot. They get a lot of lines/scenes and have screentime for well over half the movie so if you’re nostalgic for the first film, look no further.
DeWanda Wise and Mamoudou Athie round out the cast as a pilot whose plane gets turned into pyterodactyl lunch and a whistleblower who fights the evil corporation, respectively.
STATUS: Shelf-worthy. It seems this will be it for Jurassic films for a while and that’s probably for the best. I applaud the film for its overall message of “while scientific breakthroughs are awesome, let’s be careful while we’re playing God” but seriously, how many times can some idiot mess with dino dna before the government steps in and bans everyone from starting dino dna labs?