Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – Fifth in a Non-Extinct Series

When the original “Jurassic Park” appeared toward the end of the last century, it was a clever take on science run amok. While that is a theme that has been assayed often over the decades, the idea of bringing dinosaurs back to life through genetic engineering seemed both far-fetched and timely. The ticket-buying public certainly agreed, inevitably prompting a series of sequels.

For the fifth installment, a few of the usual suspects are in the mix, as well as some fresh faces. Coming back are Bryce Dallas Howard, B. D. Wong, Chris Pratt, and the always welcome Jeff Goldblum. Goldblum’s sardonic wit, understated delivery and wry facial expressions remain a delight, regardless of the plot’s wobbliness.

New to the proceedings, among others, are the fairly eclectic gathering of Rafe (“Hot Fuzz”) Spall, James (“Babe”) Cromwell, Toby (“Captain America”) Jones, and Geraldine (“Dr. Zhivago”) Chaplin.

The plot, which is often secondary in these circumstances, involves venturing to the island of the original theme park of cloned dinosaurs to rescue them before a volcano blows its top. Differences of opinion at the governmental level and the scientific community set the stage for a degree of friction, but that is mostly an excuse for soldiers to challenge the rescuers.

The effects are inevitably getting better as technology continues to evolve. Director J.A. Bayona (born in Spain) does what he can with a script from several writers, but the plot holes are big enough for a T. Rex.

Brad Auerbach has been a journalist and editor covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.