One hell of a thrill ride if you can leave logic at the ticket window, JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM is a brainless blast.
After a terrific pre-credits sequence that doesn't make a lot of sense (why do they think the dinos would be dead?) we see the reliably great Jeff Goldblum at a senate hearing, discussing why the last of the dinosaurs at the park should be allowed to die.
It's three years after the disaster at the Jurassic World park and a massive volcano on the island is threatening to wipe out the island and all its previously extinct inhabitants.
James Cromwell (Babe, The Green Mile) is uber wealthy Benjamin Lockwood, who worked with Hammond to create the original Jurassic Park. He wants to launch a massive expedition to move the dinos off the island to another quiet island he owns in the middle of nowhere.
Rafe Spall (The Big Short) is Eli Mills, his ambitious assistant and Ted Levine (Silence of the Lambs, Heat) is Wheatly, the no nonsense leader of the expedition.
He recruits Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen (Chris Pratt) to lead the effort. Soon we are all on our way back to Jurassic World to rescue the dinos.
What could possibly go wrong???
If you can overlook the fact that people keep making the same stupid mistakes going back to the island in this film series and no one ever seems to learn anything from past events, it's a fun ride.
The dinosaurs are as cool or better than ever. Good guys turn out to be bad guys, but if you're over 10 years old, you'll figure out which are which pretty early.
The film's final act spins so far off the rails that you feel like another movie crept in and took over this one.
By the time Lockwood's spectacular mansion is overrun with dinosaurs and massive creatures are opening french doors to sneak into bedrooms, I has to just shake my head and go along for the journey.
Director J.A. Bayona (The Impossible, The Orphanage) has a ton of style and so much visual "cool" in his bag of tricks that he makes even the most absurd set pieces appealing.
The great Geraldine Chaplin (Doctor Zhivago) has a key role as nanny to Lockwood's granddaughter Maisie, who unfortunately serves as a key plot point in the final scenes.
The plot reveal around Maisie is maybe the single dumbest and most illogical "big twist" in a movie since the end of "Superman Returns" with that superhero infant mess.
Only serving to set up the next film in the Jurassic World trilogy, the reveal made me roll my eyes more than once.
BUT, how about those dinosaurs!
Pratt is a blast in every scene he's in, bringing real humor and fun to everything he touches. Howard is good too, bringing a softer side to her role as Claire and dumping those heels from the last movie.
That Endo-Raptor is one awesome new dinosaur too.
I saw this in IMAX 3D and the effects and sound were incredible, especially during the volcano eruption/dino stampede sequence.
Buy your popcorn, leave all logic in your car and enjoy the ride. It's brainless (kind of stupid) fantastic to look at and a lot of summer movie fun, just don't think too hard or your enjoyment will drop like that Brontosaurus off the sheer cliff.
FALLEN KINGDOM gets a B.