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A still from Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and Isabella Sermon. Photo: AP
A still from Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and Isabella Sermon. Photo: AP

Film Review | Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Dinosaurs might just become extinct again, but it's becoming tougher to care

Years after the theme park Jurassic World closed down, the island of Isla Nublar, deserted by humans, is left to the dinosaurs who roam freely in the jungles. But an imminent volcanic eruption is endangering the island and all its inhabitants. Animal activists and sympathisers fear that dinosaurs might just become extinct again.

In the United States of America, Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) is presenting one side of the case to a special committee. Somewhere else Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), now a bleeding-heart animal rights activist, is rallying to save these creatures. The overarching question is, even if they are man-made, should dinosaurs be given the same protection as humans?

Providentially, Claire gets a call from an old acquaintance. Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) reps billionaire Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell) and, under the latter’s patronage, Claire is commissioned to go to Isla Nublar and save as many creatures as possible.

Among the list of creatures to rescue is Blue, the velociraptor. But in order to track Blue, Claire needs to rope in Blue’s trainer, Owen (Chris Pratt). A lean team of Claire, a vet, a system analyst and Owen arrive at Isla Nublar.

The events that follow on the island are simply a reboot of the action, drama and man-animal conflict one has seen in the previous entries of this franchise. Even though the creators of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom attempt to weave in comments about man playing god and interfering with nature, they barely scratch a very thick hide on ethical issues. The only moving scene is that of a lone, gentle survivor, helplessly watching hope recede.

Once back in America, an evil administrator is attempting to profit from this operation and Lockwood’s Gothic estate turns into a version of Night At The Museum, with the entire dinosaur hall running rampant.

Among the fresh additions is a new hybrid super-breed called Indoraptor, and there’s a subplot where parallels are drawn between human clones and cloned dinos. This makes you wonder if the writers (Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly) are struggling with evolving the story, and that the directors, who have taken the baton from Steven Spielberg (in this case J. A. Bayona), are gingerly operating in the celebrated director’s shadow.

Not only do the actors look bored with the dinos, who once commanded awe and fear, the creatures too seem disinterested. The roars, gnashing teeth and appetite for destruction has a been-there-done-that feel. But there’s no sign of the franchise becoming extinct just yet—the fifth and sixth films have already been announced.

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