Jurassic World Dominion Is a Mess With Too Few Dinosaurs

The point of entertainment is not to wear you down, but you’d never know it from watching Jurassic World DominionColin Trevorrow directed. It is the sixth. Jurassic ParkOverall, the movie and third hit with its strong, gritty toes since the reboot of the franchise in 2015. Jurassic World.Trevorrow directed the film. The movie was less soulless than this. At least it allowed us to enjoy some of its wonders, such as the vision of a dreamily placid brontosaurus gliding along a river with peaceful harmony canoes that were being manned by resort-goers. The movie also featured plenty of prehistoric beasties chomping down on unfortunate humans, if that’s what you came for. Yet even with all its blockbuster slickness, the movie didn’t crack you over the head with the relentless stupidity of its plot.

In seven years, however, much can happen. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom(2018). Directed by J.A. (2018), directed by J.A. And although Trevorrow—who, before he began making dinosaur blockbusters, directed the 2012 indie Safety is not guaranteed—has retaken the reins, it’s too late to turn back the clock. Jurassic World DominionFeatures some acceptablely excessive special effects and even stretches to peak nostalgia value through bringing back OG Jurassic ParkStars Laura Dern and Sam Neill. The film starts off promisingly, but it quickly becomes tiresome and leads to major eye glazes. There’s so much plot, so many characters, so damn much Chris Pratt, that the dinosaurs end up taking a backseat. They’re the forlorn underdogs of their own film.

Sam Neill and Laura Dern are both welcome, but they’re not enough to save the movie.

Universal Pictures and Amblin En—© 2022 Universal Studios and Amblin Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

Continue reading: Laura Dern on Jurassic Parkand the pressure of restoring an iconic character

It goes like this: There are many kinds of dinosaurs now living in the wild, and they share space with human beings for good or ill. Others want them to die, while others believe these long-suffering creatures deserve to be alive. Claire Dearing, an ex-operations manager at the Jurassic World dinosaur-park that has since fallen, and Owen Grady (Pratt), are part of the second group. They live in log cabin seclusion, together. They’re the guardians and protectors of 14-year-old Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon), who possesses special genetic properties that make her a valuable commodity, vulnerable to kidnaping, which is exactly what happens. Desperate to find her, Claire and Owen end up in Malta—because of course.

But the real action will take place somewhere in the Dolomites, in the secret lab of creepy-serene Steve Jobs–Elon Musk-like Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott), whose multi-zillion-dollar company BioSyn doesn’t sound sinister at all. BioSyn has fooled people into thinking it’s doing God’s work by creating a safe haven for persecuted dinosaurs. But all is not as it seems, as I’m sure you’ve guessed by now. Paleobotanist Ellie Sattler, (Dern), investigates the rise in large, destructive, genetically modified dino-locusts. She reunites with Alan Grant (Neill), to try and unlock the secrets behind these crop-munching critters. They find themselves at BioSyn Headquarters, and are able to catch the Ted Talk of Ian Malcolm (Goldblum), who is a dino-intellectual. Poor Dr. Henry Wu (BD Wong), also employed by BioSyn, lurks perpetually in the background, wearing a sad, droopy sweater indicative of every bad life choice he’s made.

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With so many humans bumbling around, there’s barely room for dinosaurs. Some highlights include a duo of apex predators going at it in a fight-to-the-death for universal superiority, though really, they’re tussling over one tiny deer carcass. Early in the film, there’s a rousing scene where Pratt’s Owen, back home in the Sierra Nevadas, does some mighty fine dinosaur wranglin’. He handily slides a lasso around a bucking dino’s neck, ultimately sidling up to whisper sweet nothings in its ear, whereupon it becomes as docile as a bunny. He’s so showily accomplished and aw-shucks sensitive that you just want to tell him to take it down a notch.

Chris Pratt is Owen Grady

ILM/Universal Pictures and Ambli—© 2022 Universal Studios and Amblin Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

There’s a lot of noise in Jurassic World DominionThere’s also a lot of sub-par special effects. All of these creatures don’t look very unique or frightening. You can imagine surviving hundreds of thousands years only to be wiped out by one giant dinoblur. Some scenes heavily borrow from other franchises (Indiana Jones, Star Wars)Without even trying to imitate originality, The sight of Dern, Neill and Goldblum together again should offer at least a mild thrill of pleasure, but it’s weirdly underwhelming (though those who care about such things should note that Dern’s Ellie Sattler brings a Really It’s a good idea to wear a scarf. One of the best things about Jurassic World DominionTwo new characters are Ramsay Cole, the BioSyn genius Ramsay Cole. Kayla Watts is an ornery-cool pilot and mercenary named Kayla Watts. They carry the movie as ably as they can, but they can’t save it. Jurassic World DominionThe largest and most extravagant Jurassic Park–franchise film yet. It’s not worth it if you are left feeling less than entertained by a film. You can actually hear the rumble of millions of dinosaurs rolling around in their fossilized graves.

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