New from Peter Spedale on Be Movie See Movie: Movie Review: Jurassic World Dominion

Jurassics, assemble! When you’re Colin Trevorrow, trying and trying again to recapture the magic if something that happened almost 30 years ago by the GOAT director, you’re gonna try more and more desperate sh*t. With Jurassic World Dominion, he pulls out all the stops: an Avengers team up of the old and the new of Jurassic Lore! Trevorrow was hoping for the OG Avengers, but he got something worse than the already not great Age of Ultron, bummer.

After the events of Fallen Kingdom, dinosaurs and humans are now sharing the same living spaces, creating an uneasy coexistence. Enter Biosyn Genetics and their CEO Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott), who wrangle in the creatures to use their DNA for medical advancement. Obviously, a giant monopoly with genetic engineering raises some red flags in common places. Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) is a public environmental activist, while here partner Owen (Chris Pratt) chooses a quiet life raising their adopted daughter Maisie (Isabella Sermon). To save face, Dodgson enlists his publicist Ramsay (Mamoudou Athie) and inhouse consultant Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) to bring in Malcolm’s old friends Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and Allan Grant (Sam Neill) for a very public tour of their safe facility in Italy. Naturally, things might not be as on the level as Biosyn or you know, the world, might want y’all to believe.

Jurassic World Dominion is that person you were flirting with at the bar: the tease. At first you’re excited at the chance that you might’ve connected with someone you’re attracted too, but you realize they’re just manipulating you so you can pay for their drinks. Despite the first 2 Jurassic World movies, Dominion gives the hope that we might have finally left theme park storytelling: that we can finally see a modern world with humans and dinosaurs trying to live together. Nope, after some teases initially, we spend most of the movie in Biosyns Dolomite Secluded Nature Reserve. Um, that’s a theme park you jerks, just for uppity rich eccentric billionaires/corporatists. And hiding within that theme park are the same themes we’ve been watching for 30 years of Jurassic movies, human hubris with science, egomaniacal rich people drunk on power, the pitfalls of genetic engineering, etc. The only intriguing new wrinkle takes place on Malta, but its evident that that part of the plot is a side mission: an excuse for a moderately cool action sequence, and that’s it.

So with nothing new, what’s left? Jurassic World Dominion is one of those condescending franchise movies that wholly banks on nostalgia to tell its tale, relying on the audience to gasp every time we see Dr. Grant, or Dr. Sadler, or let Jeff Goldblum cook. The OG cast carries themselves admirably (Goldblum gets the best moment), but we’ve also got the new trilogy characters to consider. This movie really hopes you’re invested in Chris Pratt’s relationship with a CGI raptor named Blue, putting more time into that relationship that the Pratt/Bryce Dallas Howard one for some insane reason. So any “callback” to moments from the original trilogy is calling back to empty emotionless references because of how soulless the new Jurassic Worlds have been. And to top it all off, none of these OG Park/World characters have meet, and the movie spends zero time letting them get to know one another, simply irritatingly forcing them together via ludicrous circumstances. But the worst fates of all has to be the lost wonder children will no longer feel towards dinosaurs after Dominion. All the action sequences are simply remixed to look like a better version of a sequence from an earlier movie. We do get some new dinosaurs here, but it’s not great that the one that stands out is disposed of in 5 minutes in the middle of the movie and the “BIG BAD” is so hilariously crammed into the story it elicits laughter more than applause, because the whole plot revolves around locusts instead of dinosaurs. Jurassic World Dominion isn’t Book of Henry Colin Trevorrow stupid, but it’s in the vicinity, not great for the director, what at one point could have made a Star Wars movie!

I’m getting madder as I write, so I’m just gonna stop. In the theatre, Jurassic World Dominion is a 2 and a half hour reminder that I could be doing something else, or watching a better dinosaur movie, like obviously the original Jurassic Park. Hell I’dve settle for just watching the VelociPastor twice, since that movie at least knows its stupid.

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