With crowds like this not seen since Black Panther, this movie was much better than expected. Given that certain dinosaurs like to rip people apart, and that directors like to scare the heck out of us, this is not exactly family fare for young kids. Notwithstanding its PG-13 rating, lots of parents took younger children who may be waking up with nightmares. It was that good! America loves dinosaurs; Jurassic World made $1.67 billion. That’s billion. Overseas, this sequel has already made $372 million. For those critics who say there were not enough “thrilling moments,” I was on the edge of my seat,anticipating the next attack. To those critics who say the bad guys were cartoonish caricatures, I will grant you that point. But, we viewers went to see the dinosaurs, not the bad guys.
Set three years after its predecessor, the abandoned Isla Nublar is set to suffer a volcanic eruption large enough to kill all the remaining dinosaurs. Congress debates whether humans should intervene to save them but ultimately declines. One of the original cloners, Benjamin Lockwood, asks Claire Dearing to assist in moving some of the dinosaurs to a new island where they can live undisturbed. In poor health, Lockwood’s affairs are being handled by Eli Mills, who is particularly interested in seeing that Blue, the velociraptor, survives. Claire knows that only Owen Grady, Blue’s trainer, will be able catch Blue. Time is of the essence. Mills does not follow Lockwood’s wishes, and Lockwood’s granddaughter, provides some much needed assistance to Claire and Owen.
Chris Pratt is Owen Grady and continues to be a bankable star. He doesn’t have quite the number of his usual snarky comments but his romance with Claire seems to be progressing nicely. Dallas Bryce Howard (did you know she was Ron Howard’s daughter?) is Claire Dearing and brings just the right empathy and strength to the role. Rafe Spall is Eli Mills; his casting could have been better. James Cromwell is Benjamin Lockwood and always a delight to watch. He needed more screen time. Justice Smith and Daniella Pineda were nice additions as co-workers of Claire. Isabella Sermon lit up the screen as Maisie Lockwood, the granddaughter. I can’t wait to see her again. Other actors of note include Toby Jones, B. D. Wong and Jeff Goldblum.
Interestingly, the audience score thus far is only 68%. Reading some of their comments, it seems like they either loved it or hated it. As you can see by my rating, I thought it was great summer fun. Taking the dinosaurs off the island frees the development of the franchise. If the dinosaurs can roam the earth, what havoc will they wreak? If the dinosaurs can roam the earth, what havoc can geneticists wreak? The ending sets up nicely for Jurassic World 3, now set for release in June 2021. Until then, like Solo: A Star Wars Story, fans can debate the success, or failure, of this leg. This movie cost somewhere in the range of $180 million to make. The producers will declare this one a success all the way to the bank.