“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”
In this 5th (!!!) film of the franchise, Chris Pratt & Bryce Dallas Howard reunite, and so does Jeff Goldblum, but all too briefly. In a plot twist some would call a reach, but is all too prescient, a volcano now endangers the dinosaurs who three years earlier took over the theme park/luxury resort. James Cromwell (hello “Babe”- of course he’s an animal lover!) is a scientist with a plan to save the dinosaurs. The movie is at its best on the island. From there things go downhill into an “are you serious?” zone. But no matter, it’s still a blast. One of the dinosaurs is downright lovable. And Bryce Dallas Howard actually wears sensible shoes instead of those ludicrous spike heels from the 4th movie.
Kudos to Robert Pattinson for being so determined to leave behind his teenage heartthrob past from the “Twilight” franchise and reach for so many diverse roles. This time, our young Brit goes as American as possible, starring in an old school western. This is not your daddy’s western. It starts in familiar territory but then takes a sharp turn, not only in storyline but genre-wise, becoming a quirky comedy. Mia Wasikowsa plays his love interest…and she is a hoot! Oh, and then there’s Butterscotch, the miniature horse. The first hour is slow but then it’s a revelation. Props to the Zellner Brothers, who wrote, directed and have roles. They’re best known for the 2014 twice Indie Spirit-nominated “Kimko, the Treasure Hunter”.
Vera Farmiga (Oscar-nominated for “Up in the Air,” “The Conjuring,” & TV’s “Bates Motel”) stars as the Maria Milito of the film, a dog lover so in touch with canines, the homeless ones spot her a mile away. The single mom of a troubled teen gets a call from her dad who has never been there for her, a pot dealer played by Christopher Plummer. Plummer begs for her help when he’s thrown out of his senior citizen home. It becomes a road trip movie where we meet, along the way, Peter Fonda, Christopher Lloyd and Bobby Cannavale. Farmiga is tremendous and Christopher Plummer is a must-see icon, no matter what he does. It’s fun but you can wait for Netflix.