We have a slow week at the theaters and I wanted to re-release a review from the summer I recently re-watched as the EXTENDED EDITION. I will give a brief remark on the extended version. It is much, much better! I was incredibly impressed with the opening and the new scenes peppered in. I will leave my original review as submitted earlier this year. Watch this film!
Summer is here! We had an absolute blockbuster and AMAZING summer film with Top Gun: Maverick and Hollywood is hitting its groove on the big budget films now. I would imagine most of my readers remember the Jurassic Park films. The first one is iconic, and the score is so memorable. I went to a symphony orchestra a few months ago and you guessed it…the Jurassic Park theme song was played. I can still picture watching the original film at the drive-in movies in 1993 and watching as the Jurassic Park jeeps slowly drove through the gates and we heard the…” Welcome to Jurassic Park.” for the first time. The first two films (Jurassic Park and The Lost World) were based off novels by the renowned Michael Crichton. I think most kids that grew up with these movies loved them. I definitely did. This spurred my love for fossils, history, action adventures. The Jurassic original trilogy last ended in 2001 and then you had a retooling or reboot with Jurassic World in 2015. THIS film was to be the epic conclusion. The most exciting aspect to me would be that both the original cast and the new cast would combine forces to save the day. We have been seeing this lately with beloved series (ala Star Wars) but it was rumored that the original cast wouldn’t just have cameos in the film but full fleshed out parts. This was a film on my top 10 list of the year, and I could not wait to sit down and watch dinosaurs roam the Earth again. The question popped into my brain as I sat down…. would I be let down? We just came off one of the best movies I have ever seen, and the bar was set to an unimaginable level. We will see…
Onto the film.
We open with a “new segment” that was essentially just a montage and to fill in the audience of what has happened and bring everyone up to speed especially if they had not seen the last film. Usually this works and I understand why it was done, however, this felt incredibly force fed. My excitement started to wane then and again when I noticed that the dinosaurs CGI was hit or miss. This was 5 minutes in, so I started to get nervous. We then see our heroine from the most recent films Claire (Howard) working as some type of smuggler? She is attempting to free dinosaurs who are being illegally obtained and housed in small shelters with terrible conditions. Remember dinosaurs now roam the entire World. There is a chase scene that works, but again the CGI was hit or miss and it kept throwing me out of the film.
We learn that a corporation known as Biosyn Genetic has a sanctuary in a secluded region in Italy (think mountains) that dinosaurs are being taken to utilize their DNA to help with cures various diseases. Of course, nefarious motives are at play behind the scenes. We then see that the film introduces us to each of the main cast members. First, we see the “new” cast from the last trilogy with Owen (Grady) and Maisie (Sermon) all living with Claire as a makeshift family in the woods. We then see that there are giant locusts (yes you read that right) attacking crops that AREN’T Biosyn seeds and the potential for a world feminine is there. This is how the original cast is introduced. We met Ellie Sattler (Dern) and she finds her old friend (and maybe old flame) the great Dr. Alan Grant (Neill) to come with her and track down evidence if Biosyn is an evil corporation. Ok no more plot details from me…
It is no spoiler to know that eventually all the film’s stars team up. This is where the film works. The problem is that it takes most of the film for this to happen. We had many great set pieces and excellent scenes that work with different cast members individually, but it is peppered in at random times. The film gets really good…then drags down…. back to really good…and then drags down again. Rinse and repeat. As I said about the CGI it is hit or miss. You can tell in some scenes that had created the dinosaurs as puppets (what the filmmakers did with the first film) and they look lifelike, and you will be drawn in. Then you’ll have a scene with a CGI bonanza, and it takes you out of the story. The plot sounding so confusing is actually rather thin and it is all just a means to get everyone together. The writing felt lazy. The saving grace (besides the dinosaurs that work) is the cast. It was nostalgic and brought a smile to my face to see the original cast together and then to see the original cast meet the new cast. The problem is too much is squandered before that. If you’re a fan of the series then see this film. I may see it again in 3D and hope that the CGI issues were because of that format? I do feel this is the weakest of the series and it is a shame because it is supposed to be the last. Missed the mark here but still fun because well…dinosaurs. 3 stars out of 5
Re-release score 4.5 stars out of 5