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The Jurassic Park franchise, like the prehistoric beasts that terrorize increasingly dumb humans in these films, refuses to die. With this in mind, the monstrously lucrative Jurassic World emerged, bursting free from its genetically-engineered egg, created in a lab by a committee of people dedicated to give the masses what they kinda-maybe-sorta wanted. And, despite the unmitigated disaster that ensued upon the release of these monsters (and that’s just the critical response to the movie!), the powers that be called for another sequel in this unending journey down the reptilian throat of the T-Rex. At some point, we’ve got to reach the stomach acid that ends us for good, but I’m guessing that may not be for a while. In the meantime, here’s a trailer.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom sees the return of the magnetic Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy) and his adoring love interest Bryce Dallas Howard (Black Mirror) as they jump into danger yet again, seeking to put right what once went wrong. Of course, they’ll fail a lot before the end of the movie, where they more than likely escape the narrowing jaws of death once more and fall in love all over again because movies.

Oh, bother. I just finished talking about shedding my film cynicism with a discussion about another upcoming creature feature, Pacific Rim: Uprising, and now Fallen Kingdom threatens to bring it all back again. It’s not that I don’t think the previous flick, Jurassic World, wasn’t a reasonably fun movie. It had the basics. Dinosaurs, people screaming and fleeing in terror, dinosaurs, vaguely-defined social commentary, dinosaurs, etc. I just found the tone a little all-over-the-place. Especially when it comes to the aforementioned lovebirds, whose dynamic swung for charming but instead tripped into cringe territory, and every attempt to make the heroine look impressive was undercut by badly-time, ill-advised jokes and a lopsided focus on the leading man, who anyone could have told director Colin Trevorrow at the time didn’t need half the “help” he was given to look good. He’s got this covered, dude. Trust.

To soothe my nerves, Universal Pictures has elected J.A. Boyona (A Monster Calls) for the unenviable task of directing this dinofest. Meanwhile, they’ve brought back Jeff Goldblum, fresh off his stint as the eccentric alien, the Grandmaster in Thor: Ragnarok, to sweeten the deal, reprising his role from the original Jurassic Park. Let us pray this return portends something worthy of his indomitable presence this summer movie season.

Perhaps the universe is trying to tell me something, but the last time I heard the phrase “life always finds a way” was in the season finale of Power Rangers Wild Force. A curious sequence in which the title superheroes have just witnessed the death of all their giant fighting animal pals at the hands of the show’s main villain. But then the team shouts a lot of heroic stuff at the enemy, and suddenly it seems as though their courage and bravery has somehow resurrected the entire pack. The beasts are spontaneously revived, and the battle continues, literally because they said so. Funny that.

Goldblum’s appearance in the trailer reminds of the reintroduction of actor Raymond Burr in the film Godzilla 1985, where the American insert character, created solely for the re-edited US version of the original Japanese piece, steps back onto the screen decades after his prior involvement in the franchise. Mister Burr shows up with nothing to do (of course not – he’s not supposed to be there!) except to basically just tell us what we already know: Godzilla’s a bad mofo and you’d better pack a change of shorts if you presume to challenge him in his territory (which is, of course, everywhere). While Goldblum adds some street cred to Fallen Kingdom, and will undoubtedly be fun to watch just because it’s freaking Goldblum and there’s simply no other acceptable response to him but awe. But I’ll be curious to see if his appearance gets more than the Raymond Burr treatment here. At the moment, it’s just nice to see him pointlessly warning people again as they march right onto the dino dinner table anyway.

For what it’s worth, the dinosaur sequences look as exciting as ever, and J.A. Bayona vows to bring back some of the chilling scares of the original film, which has to be the most exciting element so far. There’s also that whole volcanic stampede thing.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom erupts June 22, 2018. Be assured that it will be a success whether you see it or not. They always find a way.

 

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