• Few sequels drop the ball like "Jurassic World 2: Fallen Kingdom". Fourteen years people waited for a Jurassic Park film after 2001's second sequel to the original, and were rewarded with something which was fun; involving; paid close attention to its second unit material and was its own animal yet at the same time had an eye on what preceded it, only here to be greeted by a supine mess lacking one hundredth of both the awe and the majesty of the 2015 effort. How does a film with dinosaurs in it be so horribly dull? I sat there watching the film and waiting for something to happen; waiting for the film to actually begin - I check to see how far in we are and, to my horror, an hour had elapsed. There is no excitement; no panic - the film seems to lack a sense of urgency or any kind of danger. I came away from the experience baffled; confused as to what I just saw; perplexed that studio executives got it into their heads this might constitute a feature synonymous with the 'Jurassic' brand.

    And yet, there are dinosaurs. But so what? The scenes involving them are suspiciously lacking. Compare any effective sequence from a previous entry, or even Peter Jackson's "King Kong" remake, to what is provided here and there is no contest as to which are more efficient. Curiously, they are no longer mere creatures of millennia past - behaving organically; wandering around; hunting; investigating and ultimately attacking human prey, but are now action heroes in themselves with the ability to play-dead or know when somebody is sneaking up on them. It would not surprise me if, in future editions, they began to speak English and crack one-liners.

    The film opens efficiently enough: mercenaries decked in black, and totally incapable of comprehending what they are dealing with, are at the site of the park of the previous "Jurassic World" effort attempting to obtain the DNA from the sub-aquatic grave of the Indominus Rex for what is painfully channeled to be nefarious means. Meanwhile, a huge volcano is about to erupt on the island of Isla Nublar, which is where the site is, thus killing all the remaining dinosaurs still there. This induces a moral dilemma as to whether it is worth going through the effort to save them (but, where will they go next?), having been artificially brought back into our world, or let them succumb to a natural disaster in a manner similar to many moons ago when a meteor wiped them out. I am all for getting an audience thinking, but the weight of this sort of subject, intriguing though it is, feels out of place and though is present, is not really explored.

    Eventually, and though it would surely be a quandary for the Costa Ricans to solve, the American government decrees that they should be left to die. Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), however, is not having it. She, with her bland team of metropolitan millennial types, the likes of whom make it their life's work to pursue impossible humanitarian causes, want to save them and so enlist the help of Chris Pratt's Owen Grady, the rock around which the action of the previous film revolved.

    Unfortunately, Pratt appears to be as disinterested as his character - he, like everybody else, is given nothing to do; characterisation is vacant. The broader picture renders the opening act little but a smokescreen. The events of the entire first forty-five minutes might have been condensed into a thirty second voice-over if the second half of the film was the one Juan Bayona wanted to make; a film about the moral imperatives of the plot would require the entire film to take place on the island (volcanic eruption imminent, providing urgency and a race against time) as characters on separate sides of the argument debate and disagree though ultimately learn from one another about points of view.

    The expedition has been funded by James Cromwell's aging Benjamin Lockwood, a one-time business partner of the original John Hammond character whom pioneered the idea of a theme-park with dinosaurs in the first place. This was a nice inclusion, providing us with a moment of reflection as to how time has indeed passed since both Jurassic Park's initial 1993 release and whenever we first experienced it, and is perhaps best epitomised in the frailty of Cromwell's character. Amazingly, the island from the last film still has functioning electricity and I am sure there is absolutely nothing in the fact Ted Levine's commando character, waiting on an air strip to greet them, peers on at their plane as it lands from behind the confines of some ominous looking sunglasses.

    Most disappointing was the inescapable feeling of the film being so detached from the Jurassic Park (or "World") brand. Jarringly, and much like Spielberg's 1997 "Lost World" sequel, it refutes the locality of a jungle or isolated island for more urbane places, even cutting back and forth between them as events transpire at the Lockwood estate and between Claire and Owen, in what is an approach which works far from brilliantly. Things are eventually bound up together to reveal a bigger picture, but I cannot say I was involved; what exactly was being depicted here? What is the overarching idea or thread pulsating through the picture? It seems to want to attack big-business; greed and profiteering from misery, but this is a multi-million dollar franchise hurrying out a sequel which has self-evidently not been thought through. If "Fallen Kingdom" is the route the series wishes to pursue, I would've considered it a mercy if another fourteen years had passed before a new entry was made.