Jurassic World: Dominion Review – Time of Extinction
After Steven Spielberg’s iconic 1993 adaptation of Michael Crichton’s novel, the jurassic park the franchise slowly eroded into extinction. That’s not to say that films that succeed in the first installment are terrible. Indeed, some of them (The lost World and the original jurassic world, for example) are good. However, the magic of JP1 is difficult to imitate. Unfortunately, things got worse in 2018 Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Here, with the latest episode of Jurassic World: Domination critically, the franchise followed which devolved into a cove of tired cliches, uninspiring wooden characters, and nonsensical plot. What happened on Earth?
Jurassic Park without the heart
The plot is split between two separate narratives – both of which have BioSyn as the main antagonist. In the first, we have our “next generation” heroes, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Clare Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), trying to save their surrogate daughter, Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon), from the evil conglomerate. Elsewhere, ‘legacy heroes’ Dr Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and Dr Alan Grant (by silver fox Sam Neill) join forces to investigate BioSyn’s connection to a once-extinct swarm of locusts threatening the plants and the world’s food supply.
Now the basic plot on paper sounds like bananas. But to nail the insane depths the movie sinks would venture us into spoiler territory. If only to give you a vague idea of what to expect, there’s human cloning, corrupt scientists, and an evil corporation with a comically sinister plan to make a profit. In other words, par for the course in terms of a jurassic park/World film. The film’s terrible attempts to create good twists make Jurassic World: Dominion even dumber than it first appears. You will remain insensitive to all this.
Riding Chris Pratt’s Bike
Unfortunately, in our review of Jurassic World: Dominion the haphazard plot isn’t helped by its lack of compelling characters. Chris Pratt is once again lost as dino-trainer-turned-action-hero Owen Grady, who feels like a suppressed version of Peter Quill. Here, Pratt is forced to act as a “solemn action hero,” but his charisma is so much beyond that yawn-inducing role that he ends up being terrible at playing it. Pratt is more comfortable playing quirky heroes with memorable banter (e.g. Peter Quill AKA Star-Lord).
But whatever his character, Pratt is both muscular and handsome enough to be a Hollywood action star. Indeed, some of the film’s tensest scenes show Pratt’s annoying hunk fleeing from escaped dinosaurs on a motorbike through Malta. Previous J.W. the installments established Grady as a talented biker, so he’s undoubtedly consistent and believable. There’s a sense of menace and urgency to these scenes that provide thrills when the writing fails. If you watch this movie, you have to watch it on a movie screen.
Unfortunately, some of the action scenes are “meh”, especially when the dinos are fully involved. As in previous films, there are a few scenes where the characters cautiously step back from the dinosaurs with outstretched hands. However, these scenes carry no weight or threat as we have seen the same scenario play out in previous films. In many better movies, might I add. As such, the conclusion of these scenes is distant and predictable.
The Powers-That-Be also brought back characters from the original jurassic park films as if they were subconsciously aware that their lackluster premise wasn’t enough. And while seeing Dr. Alan Grant and Dr. Ellie Sattler return to share the screen with Jeff Goldblum’s brilliant Dr. Ian Malcolm, it somewhat pleases your nostalgic heart, it also disappoints you. The main reason for these is that their material is simply below average. Jurassic World: Dominion and our opinion.
The biggest problem is that the three legacy characters willingly get involved in the plot. It’s hard to understand why our heroes would put themselves in danger again rather than call the authorities. They experienced the original jurassic parkand – like us – learned the hard lesson that humans shouldn’t meddle casually with genetics and that dinos can never truly be tamed. Still, it doesn’t take long for either Grant or Sattler to join their old friend, Malcolm, in the “Dino Trenches.”
Admittedly, this is a problem that also exists in the previous films. But that might have been overlooked had the elders had interesting things to do – or say. Unfortunately, they got neither. Sure, they make occasional nods and references to the original movie (Grant harks back to the chilling tale of dinos going at their throats like he does in JP1 – albeit in a context that does not make sense this time). But they don’t have any real character development and share no chemistry with the “next generation” cast during the short time they bond.
The new “new” guys
But besides the old ones, we also have some “new ones”. DeWanda Wise’s action heroine Kayla Watts is cool, confident, and able to deliver the humor that Owen Grady lacks. However, she also has an uninspiring backstory and shares her new friend’s inability to die (a plane crash, for example, barely baffles our heroes).
Meanwhile, Dichen Lachman portrays the stunningly beautiful and pernicious dino smuggler, Soyona Santos. However, as hammy and evil as her villainess is, she seems incredibly out of place here. The only upside is that she’s more memorable than evil, conspiratorial scientist Dr. Lewis Dodgson (now played by Campbell Scott) instead of JP1‘s Cameron Thor – the latter’s status as a convicted sex offender likely inspired the redesign). Dodgson is such a monotonous and boring character that he feels more comfortable working in a tax office than running a secret scientific conspiracy.
Verdict: Jurassic World: Dominion is an uninspired and numbing film, offering only the occasional good thrill. Don’t waste your money on this mess of a movie. You better use it to watch Top Gun: Maverick In place.
did you watch Jurassic World: Dominion – and, if so, do you think it’s a good or bad addition to the franchise?
Four years after the destruction of Isla Nublar, dinosaurs now live and hunt alongside humans all over the world. This delicate balance will reshape the future and determine, once and for all, whether human beings are to remain the apex predators on a planet they now share with history’s most fearsome creatures in a new age.
- There are thrills in the action scenes
- Dinos always look cool
- Nice to see Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum back together
- Absurd and boring plot
- Undeveloped wooden characters
- Some characters feel too invincible
- The score is not memorable