Jurassic World: Dominion or ‘Palaeontologists Assemble!’ as it could otherwise be known, closes off director Colin Trevorrow’s modern trilogy of Jurassic World movies that started with 2015’s Jurassic World.
So, what have these three movies taught us about these fearful lizards and humanity’s scientific hubris?
What Is Jurassic World: Dominion About?
Jurassic World: Dominion picks up from where Fallen Kingdom left off: dinosaurs are now roaming the landscape untethered.
A five-minute prologue (added to the VOD version of Dominion and absent from the original theatrical release) shows the extent to which these long-extinct animals have become part of everyday life; pterodactyls and metropolis airspace do not mix well.
If anything, these movies have taught us that massive scary monsters on camera still bring in the bucks.
Much has been made of the return to the franchise of original stars Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum. It’s certainly nice to see the old gang on screen together for the first time since 1993’s original Jurassic Park yet their involvement throws into sharp relief that essential problem with the new franchise: the people.
Arguably the franchise has struggled ever since the superb first movie to really recapture the magic. Yet the World movies, led by Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, have failed to ignite any interest in what these cardboard characters are up to beyond survival.
Our angle may be different this time (protection of a child), but there remains no nuance or subplot element to elevate such basic ingredients.
This isn’t helped by a rather jumbled approach to plot. Grady and Dearing (Pratt and Howard) kill time until their rescued ward Masie Lockwood is kidnapped again and then spend the film in full rescue mode, whereas the original cast are frowning in concern about genetically engineered giant locusts set to devastate the world’s food supply.
Oddly enough, the earth-shattering implications of free-roaming dinosaurs take a back seat.
Jurassic World: Dominion Official Trailer
Is Jurassic World: Dominion Worth Watching?
The locusts plotline functions as our now arbitrary ‘just because we could doesn’t mean we should’ chin-stroker. Except it doesn’t.
All such lamenting is loaded onto the shoulders of one character (BD Wong as Dr. Henry Wu, returning from the first movie) whose mumbled concerns are rebuffed by – you guessed it – another bland money hungry CEO (Biosyn swapping in to replace the original InGen corporation).
You come to such franchise entertainment mostly for action set pieces though, and Trevorrow ensures that all due destruction and energy is thrown at the screen.
This is best delivered in a heartstopping motorbike chase scene which rockets through Maltese streets as trained raptor-like dinosaurs give terrifying pursuit.
Jurassic World: Dominion slices together its big set pieces with skilled craft so that, for those moments, you are as locked on as the killing machines pursuing our heroes.
Ultimately though, this isn’t enough to inject life into a long-dead body with little more to offer.
A combination of dull antagonist; paper thin protagonists (our original trio are sadly given little substance to work with); and signature dinosaurs reduced to a ‘pop up and boo’ presence all make for a strung together sequence of events stretched out like a double helix about to pop.
Words by Mike Record