Jurassic World Dominion is a dino-snore summer blockbuster
Synopsis: Four years after the destruction of Isla Nublar, dinosaurs now live and hunt alongside humans worldwide. This fragile balance will reshape the future and determine, once and for all, whether human beings are to remain the apex predators on a planet they now share with history's most fearsome creatures in a New Era.
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Sam Neil, Jeff Goldblum
There are things to like about Jurassic World Dominion; there is also quite a bit not to like about it. Let’s start with the positive: the film fits in well with the summer blockbuster season; it’s an IMAX film that takes full advantage of the IMAX canvass; it has moments in it that are very visually appealing.
It’s hard to believe how much time has passed since the first Jurassic Park movie. You can really appreciate the cinematic technological advances from the first film to this one. As I watch the humans and dinosaurs sharing a screen, I’m not thinking about green screens or special effects; the experience, at times, feels very immersive.
The film also does a great job bringing the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World characters together. You have the old school with Laura Dern, Sam Neil, and Jeff Goldblum meeting up with the new: Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard.
While I am sure some criticism of this film will be directed toward the acting, that wasn’t my biggest gripe. In addition to the main cast, we have Campbell Scott, a fine actor in his own right, playing Lewis Dodgson; more on him in a moment.
We are told this is the last film in the series; that’s unfortunate. Many feel The Rise of Skywalker wasn’t a great way to end the Star Wars series. It’s as if the people behind Jurassic World heard that and said, ‘hold my beer.’
First of all, this is a movie that we expect to be about dinosaurs, but those creatures don’t feature heavily in most of the film. Instead, we are focusing on character dynamics. It was somewhat reminiscent of Transformer: Revenge of the Fallen. Remember that movie? Instead of focussing on the Transformers, the film's main point was who was going to say ‘I love you’ first between the two main characters, and by the end, you were left thinking, who cares?
Very much the same here. Jeff Goldblum, who has been a rockstar in this series, is utterly wasted in this film. The sarcasm and wit that his character, Ian Malcolm, usually displays are gone, and we get a highly watered-down version of his character.
I like Chris Pratt. I think he’s a good actor who has star appeal but speaking of Star Wars, when did Pratt become a Jedi? For most of the film, he tries to control dinosaurs by holding his hand up and commanding them. That may work with my pet dog, but I doubt it would work with a Lion, let alone multiple dinosaurs.
Also, we are expected to believe these dinosaurs are intelligent apex predators, but they can’t track a single human who crashes in the middle of their jungle?
Campbell Scott, I said we would get back to him, is a good actor — I liked him in Rodger Dodger and One Week — but how did he end up in this film? Another actor whose talents are wasted. He was essentially brought on to play a not-so-subtle version of Apple CEO Tim Cook. From the haircut and the idiosyncrasies to copying what Apple’s campus looks like, Scott plays the villain in the film. Wait, is Tim Cook a villain? I must have missed that memo, or should I say iMessage.
The film seems to be more of a scolding of how we are treating the planet instead of trying to be entertaining. As a result, it falls short. Don’t get me wrong, you can do both, but this is way too preachy and thus loses its effect.
Did I find aspects of this film entertaining? Absolutely. DeWanda Wise and Isabella Sermon are entertaining and good in their roles. I always silently cheer when I see Omar Sy (Les Intouchables) on screen, and there are some good action scenes, but overall, this is a miss for me.
I went in with medium expectations, and those expectations weren’t met. I didn’t leave the theatre full of excitement but disappointment at what could have been.
As we approach the end of the school year and report cards are being handed out, my comment to the director would be:
“Colin has the ability; he just didn’t apply himself.”
Watch the movie trailer: