Three years after Jurassic World brought the beloved dino franchise back to life, the inevitable follow-up arrives promising more dinosaurs than the previous four movies combined. It's an entertaining romp with plenty of interesting ideas, but little in the way of genuine tension.
With Central American island Isla Nublar about to be consumed by an erupting volcano, raptor-wrangler Owen (Chris Pratt) and former park executive Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) join an expedition to try and save the dinosaurs that roam free there following the amusement park becoming overrun by its attractions.
This section of the film evokes 1997's The Lost World: Jurassic Park, with added lava, then the action shifts to the large estate of Benjamin Lockwood (James Lockwood), the never-before-mentioned former partner of Jurassic Park founder John Hammond.
Although some shots from the trailer erroneously suggest a much-expanded scope, the film instead narrows its focus to this estate location for the remainder of the story. There is undeniable appeal in the idea of applying the haunted house horror model to the franchise, but the film fails to extract all that many thrills out of this concept, despite the presence of J.A. Bayona, who made one of the all-time great haunted house horrors, 2007's The Orphanage, in the director's chair.
There's also yet another "super" dinosaur in play, this time it's an ultra-intelligent, ultra-large velociraptor dubbed the Indoraptor, which is also the film's concession-of-sorts to the long-rumoured "weaponised dinosaur" sequel plot.
Normal dinosaurs are plenty freaky enough, and provide a lot of options for dangerous scenarios. You shouldn't need to keep inventing new ones to up the peril.
Pratt and Howard remain effortlessly charming, and among the new additions, Toby Jones shines, managing to sell his preposterous character. Jones should be in all movies.
Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum
Rarely thrilling, never boring.