Thanks to Universal Pictures Australia, we got to see J. A. Bayona’s, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom at it’s official Australian premiere. This is our review of the movie, but as usual, no matter what we say, we still recommend you to go and see it at your local cinema because there is no better critic than yourself!

When a volcanic eruption puts all the dinosaurs in Isla Nublar in jeopardy and the government refuses to help, John Hammond’s former partner Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell) puts together a team of experts to rescue some of the key species. He enlists former Jurassic World boss Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) and her new team, but she needs to convince her former partner, velociraptor expert Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to come along in order to rescue Blue, the smartest raptor of all. Lockwood’s assistant Eli (Rafe Spall) has other plans, as he wants to weaponise the creatures and sell them to the highest bidder, even creating a new breed lethal than the Indominus rex… What could go wrong?

Let’s be honest, we’ll probably never get another Jurassic Park film as good as the original. Spielberg managed to make an entire generation believe dinosaurs could walk the Earth again, with a simple but effective story and state of the art animatronics and CGI. The sequels never achieved that, Lost World, despite having a little girl capable of kicking raptors with gymnastics, was just okay and Jurassic Park III was average at best; and while Jurassic World was good fun and well received (we really liked it!) it was never gonna top the franchise.

Fallen Kingdom follows the pattern, it’s just an okay, fun blockbuster. It’s silly, and succumbs to the trend of “let’s add cameos” to market it, with Jeff Goldblum returning along with BD Wong. However, what you see in the trailers is pretty much their entire time onscreen. Thankfully we have Chris Pratt, whose role is as charming as ever. He delivers most of the best sequences in the film, especially while being paralysed and trying to escape volcanic lava.

The plot itself doesn’t really add up. The beginning of the film is the strongest part, with some great underwater scenes and an escape from the island that includes a sad moment for dinosaur lovers. However, adding mercenaries (again) and money-grubbing evil businessmen, secondary comedic characters like a little girl (played by Isabella Sermon, who actually delivers a solid performance despite everything) whose backstory is unnecessary and underdeveloped, plus another genetically manipulated dinosaur to the equation ends in a messy and very predictable final product.

Despite all the flaws, Fallen Kingdom achieves its main purpose: it’s entertaining. It has suspense, comedy, pays tribute to some iconic scenes of the franchise, has impressive visual effects and a couple of good scares, all helped by a beautiful soundtrack by Michael Giacchino that includes some iconic tunes by John Williams that viewers will love.

Overall? It’s a fun, yet messy ride that opens the door for an even larger scale finale to the Jurassic World Trilogy.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – In Cinemas June 24