Review of 'Jurassic World Dominion'

jurassic_world_dominion.jpg In the latest instalment in the “Jurassic Park/World” franchise dinosaurs once again rule the planet and a dinosaur sanctuary has been created by Biosyn Genetics in the Dolomites of Italy. Biosyn's CEO is the quirky Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott) whose altruistic surface hides (sigh) a dark secret. Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) have settled down with 14 year old Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon) Charlotte Lockwood's cloned daughter in a remote cabin in the Sierra Nevada mountains who they are hiding from people who want to kidnap her for her genetic secrets. Charlotte Lockwood, was a geneticist at Jurassic Park and daughter of Benjamin Lockwood who co-founded Ingen, the group that created the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park. In the woods near the cabin “Blue”, Owen's velociraptor project from Jurassic World, has now settled with her offspring. When the strong-minded Maisie and the young velociraptor are kidnapped Owen and Claire make their way to the Biosyn facility where they believe the two have been taken. Asked to investigate an infestation of huge locusts that threatens humanity by decimating crops, scientist Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) from the original “Jurassic Park” film enlists the support of the initially reluctant palaeontologist Alan Grant (Sam Neil) to visit the Biosyn facility in Italy to obtain a sample to prove they are behind the locust plagues. When they arrive at the facility they meet another familiar face: Mathematician and now famous author Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) who gives lectures to the geneticists stationed there. When things go wrong with their attempt at retrieving the sample the action really kicks off…

Yes, there is a great deal going on in the plot to unite the characters from the Jurassic World and Jurassic Park franchises in a satisfactory way and it does seem like so many unconvincing contrivances. It is great to see Ellie, Alan and Malcom return to the series (though there are several rather corny sequences where the entire cast are so obviously posed for the camera looking with horror into the distance) and their roles are quite strong but the whole film is quite tiresome: Yet another character being stalked in woods/tunnels by a dinosaur, yet another dinosaur fight (between the Therizinosaurus and the Tyrannosaurus Rex – an ongoing battle throughout the film as to which is the “king of the dinosaurs”), yet another bit of sneaking around a top secret facility, yet another corporate CEO gone bad, yet another troubled teenager, yet another world-threatening crisis…Sure, the action and effects are truly amazing (it is nice to see the return of puppetry that really brings the dinosaurs to life) but it is all a bit of a tired format now. The action here is definitely turned up to max with sequence after sequence after sequence but after a while I began to lose interest and hoped it would just all just sort itself out rather than yet another plot twist.

Big, brash, looks great but ultimately tired, confusing and way too busy. “Dominion” is a bit of a dud. To be fair I have been disappointed with the series anyway with the films generally in decline since the original film though with the occasional bit of greatness…I think this film might draw a line under the whole thing. The original film's message was about the peril of interfering with nature and each film following is just a reworking of this message over and over again with nothing really new added to the (plot) mix. The films now more simply use the old and tried B-movie formula of running away from monsters…which, to be fair, really do look amazing. Pretending they are anything more than that is a bit naïve but, I suppose, it does fill the 2 1/2 hour running time.

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2022-06-19

Directed by: Colin Trevorrow

Studio: Amblin Entertainment

Year: 2022

Length: 146 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction

Other reviewed films by Colin Trevorrow: