JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION signifies the end of an era. Beginning with JURASSIC PARK in 1993, audiences around the world have been treated to endless thrills and harrowing adventures involving the most terrifying creatures that ever roamed the Earth.
Dinosaurs were extinct way before humans even evolved, but the brilliance of visionaries like Steven Spielberg, who helmed the original back in ’93, has introduced the possibility of co-existence between mankind and these monstrous beasts. Fast forward to 2022 --- JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION --- and that’s exactly what’s going on. But is this new world order sustainable, especially when diabolical characters abound to muck up the works? Not so much ---
Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) and their “daughter”, Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon) are back and living off the grid to protect Maisie from people who want to exploit her. From JURASSIC PARK, Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) are reunited, along with BD Wong as Dr. Henry Wu, who is now employed by Biosyn, run by CEO Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott).
Biosyn is supposed to be solving the world hunger crisis by developing crops which are impervious to pests and disease. But Wu genetically engineered a breed of huge locusts which is now destroying food sources worldwide, threatening the entire ecosystem.
Biosyn’s headquarters is located in the Dolomite Mountains in Italy, and as JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION progresses, everyone involved ends up there --- along with a plethora of mighty large --- and very hungry --- dinosaurs. But why they are focusing on locusts instead of dinosaurs remains a mystery.
Admittedly, the story here by Derek Connolly and director Colin Trevorrow is pretty thin, with a screenplay by Trevorrow and Emily Carmichael that is equally lacking. But let’s face it, fans don’t go to see these films for the scintillating dialogue. They go because the visual effects --- the dinosaurs --- are AMAZING. And in this arena, JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION doesn’t disappoint!
There are ten new creatures created specifically for this movie, 27 different dinosaurs in all. Using both animatronics and digital, each of these dinosaurs existed in real life and were approved by paleontologist professor Stephen Brusatte from the University of Edinburgh. Trust me, if you are a fan it is worth seeing JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION to watch these magnificent beings as they cavort, hunt, fight --- and kill.
Two newcomers, DeWanda Wise as Kayla Watts and Mamoudou Athie portraying Ramsay Cole, round out the cast. Watts is a wise-cracking pilot who, along with Goldblum, provides much of the comic relief. Athie’s Cole is supremely cool under pressure and a much-needed lifeline for the “heroes” in JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION.
This last installment is somewhat entertaining. Perhaps a little less of the monster insects and a lot more dinosaur action. David struggled a bit to stay awake, but that shouldn’t surprise anyone.
Opinion: Wait for VOD
I have always been fascinated by dinosaurs and the fact that they occupied Planet Earth so many millions of years ago. I thought it would be especially interesting to see them interact with people in the everyday world. This happens to a certain extent in JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION, the sixth in the Jurassic franchise.
But I agree with the filmmakers that JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION is the last film. Enough is enough. Although they have created ten new dinosaurs and scary flocks of 30-inch-long locusts, veteran moviegoers may be tiring of the battles between man and beast and between the creatures themselves. Perhaps younger fans who represent a new generation of moviegoers would hunger for more, but I don’t believe another Jurassic picture would be warranted in any case.
This film brings together the two generations of actors for the first time, but two females steal the show. The first is Isabella Sermon as Maisie Lockwood, now a 14-year-old grown up from JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM. Maisie is learning about her deceased mother who conceived her on her own and altered Maisie’s DNA for health issues. This storyline will surface later in the film as Dr. Henry Wu (BD Wong) theorizes a similar approach to getting rid of the murderous locusts. The other standout performance is from DeWanda Wise as new character Kayla Watts. She’s a former military pilot who becomes a major hero as dinosaurs threaten to kill everyone in sight.
One of the better moments in the film has Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), dinosaur behavior expert, more or less “taming” one of the beasts. While there are, of course, plenty of action sequences, one that stands out features Owen and Kayla literally on thin ice. They are trying to escape one of the dinosaurs that threatens them from below the partially frozen waters. Bryce Dallas Howard returns as Claire Dearing, and her character has her own perils to overcome, including being ejected out of a plane and holding her breath under water to prevent from being eaten. Howard shows just the right amount of fear, not going overboard. The music from Oscar winner Michael Giacchino makes all this especially exciting as does the composer’s work throughout JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION.
The visual effects crew gives us herbivores and carnivores, plus horses --- and even an elephant --- running together with their ancient brethren. But it is the animatronic locusts that will give very young moviegoers nightmares. Think huge, ugly beasts with large jaws and killer instincts.
With a bloated budget of a reported $165 million and what appears to be a lot of effort on the part of the actors, it is not easy or justifiable to pan JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION, which I won’t. But, as I have already stated, this critic has seen enough of the Jurassic franchise.
Opinion: Wait for VOD