Thursday, June 9, 2022

Jurassic World Dominion

The corpse of the Jurassic Park franchise drags itself to the finish line in what is being marketed as the final entry to the series. Let's hope so. Only marginally better than the forgettable last entry, 2018's Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Jurassic World Dominion weaves in the surviving characters of the original Jurassic Park in an attempt to blind viewers with nostalgia while failing to do anything all that interesting with them.

The original film, adapted from Michael Crichton's novel, worked for two reasons. First, the man who founded the park did so out of good intentions without realizing the possible costs of his actions. Second, there was a sense of wonder, both for the characters and the audience, in seeing dinosaurs reborn in modern day. Neither of those are present in the final entry of the franchise.

Gone is the well-intentioned if naïve John Hammond obsessed with sharing his love of dinosaurs to the world without realizing dinosaurs can be the teeniest bit dangerous. In his place is greedy billionaire Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott) who is only missing the appropriate henchman or femme fatale to make him a proper Bond villain. He's motivated only by profit and greed, and has no compunctions about endangering the future of the human race to increase his corporate bottom line. Gone too is the wonder. Dinosaurs are everywhere; parts of the film are (at times) concerned with how man and dinosaur move forward together, but that's quickly thrown out the window every time characters need to run for their lives from those same dinosaurs.

And then there's the girl/clone (Isabella Sermon) introduced in the last film (who honestly I had forgotten all about after scrubbing as much of the last film from my memory as possible) who is wanted for her unique genetic makeup. Her kidnapping, and that of a baby raptor, drives Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to the Biosyn habitat. Elsewhere, Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), Alan Grant (Sam Neil), and Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) team-up to expose what the company is really doing with their dino-genetic research (including creating a plague of dino-grasshoppers capable of destroying the world's food supply in a single summer). The separate groups are kept apart for most of the film with characters skulking around and/or running for their lives. Eventually the groups come together to skulk around and run for their lives.

Jurassic World Dominion isn't joyless. There is some fun to see Neil and Dern back together on-screen. There's not as much interaction with the old/new casts as could have been accomplished with some slight tweaks the the script, but what we do get is the sort of bare minimum of what you would expect. Yay? And there are plenty of dinosaurs brought back one more time including the T-Rex. The most prominent of the new faces is DeWanda Wise as a smuggler whose actions are necessary to the plot despite her choices making very little sense in the heat of the moment. Speaking of those making odd choices, look no further than screenwriter Emily Carmichael and screenwriter/director Colin Trevorrow who close out the franchise with, at best, mixed results. It may not be the worst of the franchise, but it's not from lack of effort.

  • Title: Jurassic World Dominion
  • IMDb: link

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