Jurassic World: Dominion


‘…the second Jurassic World trilogy grinds to a halt, still making coin but beloved by no-one…’

As we approach 30 years of messing around with dinosaur DNA, it’s hard to imagine exactly who is getting excited about a return to the Jurassic Park franchise. The 1993 original was a game-changer in terms of using CGI to realise previously unimaginable visuals; the director of Jaws knew how to stage-manage the action with real showmanship, and as Gloria Hunniford wisely noted, audiences simply couldn’t tell which dinosaurs were fake and which ones were real. Fast forward thirty years and the second Jurassic World trilogy grinds to a halt, still making coin but beloved by no-one.

The advertising for the final film in the second trilogy puts the returning stars (Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern, Sam Neill) front and centre, and that’s hardly surprising; all remarkably spruce and well preserved, they’re still a lot more interesting that the main storyline. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard stand around in front of green screens as the returning adventurers Claire Deering and Owen Grady, and it’s hard to imagine who is closely following their story arc. They used to work at the original Jurassic World theme park, but now seem to be global espionage agents or something, forming a runaway family with Maisie Lockwood, the cloned grand-daughter of Sir Benjamin Lockwood, as they seek to avoid the authorities…

In short, there’s nothing here narratively; we’re some way away from the idea of a theme park where nothing can go worng, as featured in Michael Crichton high-concepts Westworld and Jurassic Park. Colin Trevorrow’s film doesn’t even feature the distinctive Gothic haunted house setting of J A Bayona’s tedious follow-up to Jurassic World, Fallen Kingdom. Instead, we globetrot through some bland spy scenarios, with a couple of decent action highlights, and a generally stale air pervades the whole enterprise, a pall which only lifts when the original trio are on screen. Pratt’s character in particular will grind anyone up the wrong way; a dinosaur whisperer, he’s also a expert on cars, motorcycles and planes, but despite such amazing abilities, has zero character. At least the oldies know how to crack wise.

You have to make your own fun when you try and fan the flames of a franchise that was old hat by the time of the second film, but there’s only one real attraction here, and that’s seeing Neill, Goldblum and Dern. Otherwise, there’s a similar mix of dinosaurs, disaster movie and resourceful family drama, but the elements separated some time ago, and Jurassic World: Dominion is something of a slog. CGI is flipping everywhere these days, and there’s nothing special about seeing dinosaurs or this franchise again; I won’t be the only critic to say this, but it’s time that these dinosaurs went the way of the dodo.


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  1. The story was mince. Once I got to the jungle in the Dolomites, I was praying the dinosaurs would kill everyone in sight. Not sure I was so desperate to see the original trio back that I wouldn’t have settled for a better story without them. Jurassic Woke.

    • I can’t see how hard it is to make a dinosaur adventure movie. We’re meant to be scared of them, but we’re also reviewing them? And I spent half the film trying to place Campbell Scott, which did not help. You called this one right. As per.

      • And the nods to previous films were badly done. Dodson’s can of shaving foam, hiding in the car to escape the T Rex. Maverick showed it was possible to use the past to illuminate the present.

  2. but now seem to be global espionage agents or something, forming a runaway family with Maisie Lockwood, the cloned grand-daughter of Sir Benjamin Lockwood, as they seek to avoid the authorities…

    Whaaaaaaat?!? When did that happen? I checked out after the first Jurassic World movie. I know Pratt can act better but he was vanilla in the first movie, so if you’re saying he’s even blander here, man, how is that even possible? If these ever show up for free on Prime I’ll probably binge watch the entire franchise, get a mental bellyache and then go back to watching the original once a decade 😀

    • We’re not so different after all…your assessment of Pratt is bang on. He’s gone from vanilla to traces of vanilla to hint of vanilla…and yes, the story has moved on, but not in a way that anyone cares about…

      • I’ve said this before, but for me, this franchise was ALL about the dinosaurs eating people, period. When writers try to be clever, they usually fail and it seems like this franchise has proved that maxim correct.

        I’ll still watch it for free on a binge though. But that’s the only way….

  3. Nostalgia is big business. Isn’t this movie raking in the cash?

    I don’t know if I ever watched any of these after the first one. Won’t be hurrying to see this either.

    • These films do make money, but the trend is downwards. The first one is something special, but everything else is middling to poor. You can skip the rest; I guess children may still like seeing dinosaurs, and it’s a safe option for families, but there’s no much to write home about. If you want to write home about dull summer movies…

  4. I’m sure my five-year-old nephew will enjoy it, but Chris Pratt is walking on shaky ground now and only Star-Lord can save him. I miss the Parks and Recreation Pratt. Sounds terrible, cant wait to watch it.

    • I hope he does enjoy it. This isn’t quite the one star dud that many people are calling it, but even your nephew may find the spy shenanigans to be not quite what he was hoping for. Lower expectations and enjoy the action scenes…

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