When you last saw them, the dinosaurs of Jurassic World had overrun the park—no surprise there. Now they need saving, specifically from a volcano rumbling to life beneath their feet. Enter Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, a JA Bayona film that has critics split with a 53% favorable rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
- Finding Fallen Kingdom "lazier and less inspired than its predecessor," Adam Graham has seen enough dinosaurs for a while. "A routine sense of tedium" means it's time to "close the park for good already," he writes at the Detroit News, noting "only a dizzying one-take underwater sequence, with two characters trapped inside a sinking gyrosphere, has any real pizzazz, let alone suspense." And "even Pratt's star has cooled."
- Matthew Rozsa is on the opposite end of the spectrum. "This is without question the best Jurassic Park sequel—smart, scary, and even emotionally powerful," he writes at Salon, describing one scene as "so heart-wrenchingly beautiful" it brought him to tears. There's more to love, as the film poses big questions regarding animal rights and, in a "refreshing twist," takes the dinosaurs outside of a jungle setting.
- "They've been brought to the screen this time around through elegant puppetry more often than computer-generated imagery, with impressive results," writes Joe Morgenstern at the Wall Street Journal. He was also impressed with Pratt, "delicate in his approach to physical comedy and touching in his faithful friendship with the raptor Blue." By the end, though, "it's as if all concerned on the creative side threw up their hands, then tossed in anything that might lead to a setup for film number six."
- "If you're thinking, 'I've seen this movie before,' just wait, it (gets) so much more derivative than you would ever imagine possible," is Lindsey Bahr's take at the AP. Fallen Kingdom starts solidly with "genuine suspense," but then "the contrivances start," she writes, concluding "it's time to evolve or go extinct." Still, "there are certainly worse ways to spend a couple hours in the air-conditioned multiplex this summer."
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