Monday 8 May 2023

REVIEW: The Adventures of Jurassic Pet 2: The Lost Secret - Starring Carolyn Josephine Wright, Sophie Proctor and Myles Currin-Moore

Review by Jon Donnis:
"The Adventures of Jurassic Pet 2: The Lost Secret" is a sequel to a film I never heard of, mainly because it was never released in the UK. That being said, when I was asked to review this, I was intrigued. Directed by Ryan Bellgardt and Chris Hoyt, the film follows adventurous teenager Wendy Jenkins (Sophie Proctor) and her wise grandmother Tadrina Green (Carolyn Josephine Wright), who are the protectors of a magical portal to the land of dinosaurs. However, the portal only opens once a month during the full moon period. After one such visit, Wendy winds up getting more than she bargained for when a baby dinosaur named Junior doesn't go back through the portal with its family and instead follows Wendy and her grandmother home.

They decide the best course of action is to keep Junior safe until the portal opens again. Wendy and her new friend Curtis (Myles Currin-Moore), who is an orphan and is being fostered by Wendy's family, must keep a watchful eye, but if only it were that simple. You see, the Mayor of the town played by Drew Pollock is evil, and with his henchmen Barney (LaRonn Marzett) and Clyde (Rahjzae Moore), they are running a factory producing a synthetic version of a poison created by an African Tsetse fly, which, if infected, will cause a sleeping illness - perfect if you want to, say, rob a bank.

When Wendy's grandmother has a fall, Junior accidentally calls for medical help, and as she is taken, Junior is now on his own.

Will Wendy and Curtis be able to not only find and help Junior but also stop the bad guys from poisoning the town? Well, you will need to watch to find out.

First of all, please keep in mind that this is a low-budget kids' film. Comparing it with "Jurassic World," just because they both have dinosaurs in them, is a disservice to both films. It is like comparing apples to oranges. Also, a child of say 7 years old is not going to care that this has a tiny budget compared to the unlimited money of a Hollywood franchise. So, understand that I will judge this film as I do all films, on its own merits and with an understanding of where it is coming from, who it is made by and for, and the budget.

With that said, I actually quite enjoyed this film, even if I am clearly not the target audience. The plot is simple and never tries to over-explain itself. Dinosaurs come through a portal every full moon, they are basically harmless, a baby dinosaur gets left behind, there is an evil mayor, some bumbling henchmen, and the kids will save the day. It is old-fashioned storytelling that is perfect for kids.

The characters of Wendy and Curtis do most of the heavy lifting in the film. They are both likable characters, as is the Grandmother, played by Carolyn Josephine Wright. You don't really need to have seen the first film to follow this one; everything is explained pretty quickly at the start of the film.

The Good: 
At about 80 minutes minus the credits, this film hits the magical run time - enough to keep kids engaged without them getting bored. The story is fun, and the characters are likable.

The Bad:
The low budget does mean some very dodgy visual effects and CGI, but they do their best with what they have. There are a few moments where an adult might moan about certain things in the film, for example when the kids are tied up with rope, but clearly, they could just escape at any point as the rope isn't very tight. But a child probably isn't going to notice or care about that.

A fun little kid's film, if it keeps your child entertained for 80 minutes can you really complain?

Keeping in mind the budget, and who the film is aimed at, I score The Adventures of Jurassic Pet 2: The Lost Secret a very decent 7.5/10

Out on digital 8 May 2023