Film Review – JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION (2022)

JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION (2022, USA/Malta, 146m, 12) ***
Action, Adventure
dist. Universal Pictures; pr co. Amblin Entertainment / Latina Pictures / Perfect World Pictures / Universal Pictures; d. Colin Trevorrow; w. Emily Carmichael, Colin Trevorrow (based on a story by Derek Connolly & Colin Trevorrow and characters created by Michael Crichton); pr. Patrick Crowley, Frank Marshall; ph. John Schwartzman (Colour | 2.00:1); m. Michael Giacchino; ed. Mark Sanger; pd. Kevin Jenkins; ad. Ben Collins.
cast: Chris Pratt (Owen Grady), Bryce Dallas Howard (Claire Dearing), Laura Dern (Ellie Sattler), Sam Neill (Alan Grant), Jeff Goldblum (Ian Malcolm), DeWanda Wise (Kayla Watts), Mamoudou Athie (Ramsay Cole), Isabella Sermon (Maisie Lockwood / Young Charlotte Lockwood), Campbell Scott (Lewis Dodgson), BD Wong (Dr. Henry Wu), Omar Sy (Barry Sembène), Justice Smith (Franklin Webb), Daniella Pineda (Dr. Zia Rodriguez), Scott Haze (Rainn Delacourt), Dichen Lachman (Soyona Santos), Kristoffer Polaha (Wyatt Huntley), Caleb Hearon (Jeremy Bernier), Freya Parker (Denise Roberts), Alexander Owen (Angus Hetbury), Ahir Shah (Sundar Kumar).
This is the globetrotting sixth (and likely final) entry in a series that has undoubtedly run out of steam but still manages to entertain on a basic level. The story takes place four years after Isla Nublar has been destroyed. Dinosaurs now live–and hunt–alongside humans all over the world. This fragile balance will reshape the future and determine, once and for all, whether human beings are to remain the apex predators on a planet they now share with history’s most fearsome creatures. Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard return from the previous two films, as do Neill, Dern and Goldblum, stars of the original Jurassic trilogy. It is the latter who provides most of the nostalgic warmth and this is where the film derives much of its entertainment value. Neill slips easily back into his awkward palaeontologist role and Dern into hers as Neill’s more idealistic and pro-active associate, whilst Goldblum can still deliver wryly comic lines. The plot involving genetically created giant locusts being used to dry up the natural food supply so the bad guys can control the world’s resources through manufactured foods is certainly heavy-handed and lacks any real substance. Sub-plots surrounding the kidnapping of Sermon, a genetically created child, and a baby raptor are intended to provide an emotional core, but merely feel contrived to raise the stakes even further. The action set-pieces and dinosaur sequences are what the series is all about. Here the action often feels mechanical and derivative, but occasionally thrills, whilst the dinosaur sequences tend to repeat what we have seen before, albeit with the customary skill and technical proficiency. The film is also overlong and would have benefited from further trimming. Otherwise, it provides sufficient thrills and entertainment but without the depth to make it anything other than pure popcorn entertainment.

Film Review – JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM (2018)

Image result for jurassic world fallen kingdomJurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018; USA/Spain; Colour; 128m) **½  d. Juan Antonio Bayona; w. Colin Trevorrow, Derek Connolly; ph. Óscar Faura; m. Michael Giacchino.  Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, James Cromwell, Rafe Spall, Toby Jones, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, Ted Levine, Geraldine Chaplin, Jeff Goldblum, BD Wong, David Olawale Ayinde, Bobbi Jo Hart, Daniel Stisen, Robert Emms, Kamil Lemieszewski, Michael Papajohn, Peter Jason, Sean Gislingham, Max Baker, Faith Fay, Kevin Layne, Daniel Eghan, Ronan Summers, Deborah Rock, Charlie Rawes, Manoj Anand, Cory Peterson, Fran Targ, John Heartstone. Sequel in which the remaining dinosaurs at the former Jurassic World resort are threatened by an erupting volcano. Dumb and preposterous follow-up to JURASSIC WORLD (2015) with a lazy and mechanical script and populated with cardboard characters and actors delivering one-dimensional performances. Strong on technical merits and dinosaur design. The action is also enlivened by some neat set-pieces, but there is a distinct feeling that the franchise has run its course. [12]

Film Review – PASSENGERS (2016)

Image result for passengers 2016 blu-ray ukPassengers (2016; USA; Colour; 116m) **½ d. Morten Tyldum; w. Jon Spaihts; ph. Rodrigo Prieto; m. Thomas Newman.  Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne, Andy Garcia, Inder Kumar, Jamie Soricelli, Vince Foster, Julee Cerda, Robert Larriviere, Barbara Jones. A spacecraft traveling to a distant colony planet and transporting thousands of people has a malfunction in its sleep chambers. As a result, two passengers are awakened 90 years early. Visually impressive sci-fi thriller/love story pushes all the familiar buttons through its highly contrived plot, which often defies logic. Pratt and Lawrence are appealing enough, but both the romance and the thrills are strictly by the numbers. Also shot in 3-D. [12]