Review by Sean Boelman
(from left) Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon) and Kayla Watts (DeWanda Wise) in Jurassic World Dominion, co-written and directed by Colin Trevorrow. Photo Credit: John Wilson/Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment.
There is an adage that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Well, it seems that the team behind the Jurassic Park series is absolutely f*cking nuts because they attempted to do the same thing with Jurassic World Dominion that they did with Jurassic World III, hoping it would work out in their favor. In short, it didn’t.
It would be hard to explain in concise terms what is going on in the plot of Jurassic World Dominion because that’s just how complicated it is. The main storyline of the film follows Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) as they work to expose an evil corporation whose genetic modification work threatens to cause global devastation. Meanwhile, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) set out on a quest to rescue their “adopted” clone daughter (Maisie Lockwood) as well as the Velociraptor Blue’s daughter.
If none of that makes any sense, don’t expect it to be any more logical when you’re actually watching the movie. Indeed, the film has all of the intelligence of a Resident Evil movie with none of the enjoyability. It’s just insultingly dumb, and while it is constantly trying to appease just one of your brain cells, it can’t even do that.
For fans of the Jurassic Park lore, the introduction of Biosyn into the equation is sure to be exciting. But unfortunately, the movie doesn’t do anything interesting with these characters. They are just another exaggeratedly evil corporation that wants to play God and has to face the horrifying consequences of doing so. And Campbell Scott’s antagonist is so all-over-the-place that it doesn’t even work as satire.
Those hoping to get one last adventure with their old pals may be satisfied if they’re happy with the lowest hanging fruit there is. The film cashes in on the nostalgia in every possible way, and expects audiences to lap it up. Sadly, some will be satisfied with these stupefyingly obvious attempts to pander to the audience, but hopefully more will see through this thinly veiled laziness.
It’s a shame, because the cast here is genuinely talented! In addition to the returning stars, many of whom have only grown in profile since they originated their roles, this movie adds a few new faces. Mamoudou Athie gives what is the closest thing to a good performance in this film, although his performance is suspiciously close to Domhnall Gleeson’s in the sequel trilogy. DeWanda Wise also shows a lot of potential in her role, but the character goes nowhere.
At several points, the movie attempts to revert back to the practical roots of Spielberg’s original film, but it blends them with CGI in a way that is outright distracting. Consistency is key in a spectacle-driven blockbuster like this, and that is what is missing here, especially during the action sequences that are shot in a way that is frequently incomprehensible.
Jurassic World Dominion is so staggeringly incompetent that it would be shocking if Colin Trevorrow manages to be entrusted with another major IP like this ever again. Thank goodness it’s planned to be the final entry, because it’s time that this series goes extinct.
Jurassic World Dominion hits theaters on June 10.