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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (3D/IMAX in some cinemas)


Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall, Toby Jones, Ted Levine, Daniella Pineda, Justice Smith, Isabella Sermon, Geraldine Chaplin, Jeff Goldblum, B D Wong

Director: J A Bayona

This all-action contribution to the dinosaur franchise is a good deal better than we have any right to expect. The beasts' new home is about to become overwhelmed by an erupting volcano, but series characters Owen (Pratt) and Claire (Howard) are enlisted by the Lockwood Foundation, now supervised by dodgy family scion Eli Mills (Spall), to rescue the dinos and take them to a purpose-built sanctuary.

"Save the dinosaurs,' exclaims Pratt, 'from an island that's about to explode. What could go wrong?'

That pretty much sums up the plot, as the mission proves instead to be one, with the help of hired soldiers, that intends to capture a specific number of species, to be sold to millionaire mercenaries as lethal weapons of war (a sort of prehistoric Captain America, if you will). It's the deformed brainchild of Spall, soon revealed in his true colours, with a below-par Jones as his go-between.

With old man Lockwood (Cromwell) out of the way, can our heroes and Lockwood's young granddaughter (Sermon) save the day?

Non-stop chases, hairsbreadth escapes and battles between prehistoric monsters all duly ensue, giving us barely time to pause for breath, or even to realise how silly and heavily contrived this all is. Nearly all the performances are first-class, especially Pratt, Howard and Sermon (whose film debut this is), and, if the ending is a little po-faced and pretentious (how does a dinosaur from Costa Rica get to face off with a lion?) it's one of minor quibbles in a thumping entertainment that will give you a bang for your buck.

David Quinlan

USA 2018. UK Distributor: Universal. Colour by Kodak.
128 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 06 Jun 2018