'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' is the latest and arguably least of the series

( PG-13 ) ( Monitor Movie Guide )

Chris Pratt brings a wry insouciance to the mayhem and the escape from Isla Nublar has its modicum of thrills.

Universal Pictures/AP
Chris Pratt stars in 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.'

So long as the "Jurassic" franchise continues to make major moola, no dinosaur will ever go extinct. "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," coming three years after "Jurassic World," is the latest and arguably least of the series. At this point, you've seen one velociraptor, you've seen them all.

In this latest iteration, directed by J.A. Bayona and written by Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow, the dinos on Isla Nublar, the abandoned park site off the coast of Costa Rica, are facing a total wipeout thanks to an impending volcanic eruption.

To the rescue, making return appearances, are animal behaviorist Owen (Chris Pratt) and former park manager and Owen's former girlfriend Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard). This time Claire is minus her high heels from the last film. I was sorry to see them go.

Their mission, funded by benevolent billionaire Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell), aims to rescue the dinosaurs and move them to a new sanctuary. But Lockwood's assistant, Eli Mills (Rafe Spall), wants to weaponize the critters and auction them off to international arms dealers. In the world of Jurassic World, dinosaurs are the good guys. The bad guys are all those scurvy, nature-tampering humans.

Pratt brings a wry derring-do to the mayhem, and the escape from Isla Nublar has its modicum of thrills. But the only touch I truly enjoyed was giving Lockwood's precocious granddaughter (Isabella Sermon) the name of Maisie. No doubt this is a nod to Henry James's child-centric classic "What Maisie Knew." 

I'm guessing somebody connected to this project was an English lit major. Grade: C+ (Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of science-fiction violence and peril.)

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