Jurassic World Dominion – Film Review
by Fran Winston
Directed by: Colin Trevorrow
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, DeWanda Wise, Mamoudou Athie, BD Wong, Omar Sy, Isabella Sermon
In cinemas on 10th June
This third and final (well so they say) instalment in the Jurassic World franchise also concludes the original Jurassic Park storyline, bringing the entire story full circle after almost 30 years. Hence there are some familiar faces returning to the cast in the shape of Sam Neill and Laura Dern. While there are some viewers who will no doubt have seen only the two preceding movies in the “World” franchise a knowledge of the events of the “Park” movies will really add to the viewing experience of this.
Indeed, I remember watching the first Jurassic Park in cinemas and marvelling at the wonder of it. It may be difficult to comprehend now, but audiences were astonished at how realistic the dinosaurs were. It was the kind of cinema that got everyone talking both because of the effects and also its message about the folly of playing God.
The Jurassic story has come a long way since then almost doing blockbuster by numbers at this stage. The dinosaurs moved out of the parks and into the world (as the title suggests) and this episode sees them living – and hunting – among us. Which, as you can imagine, isn’t exactly going swimmingly. Throw in a plague of killer locusts and you have a recipe for disaster for humanity unless someone intervenes.
Enter Dr Alan Grant (Neill) and Dr Ellie Sattler (Dern) reprising their roles from the original Park movie, reuniting with Dr Ian Malcom (Goldblum) who is already a familiar face to World viewers having previously appeared (briefly) in Fallen Kingdom.
Meanwhile, the protagonists of the previous World movies Owen Grady (Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Howard) are living in the wilderness with their (sort of) adoptive daughter Masie (Sermon) who is a clone created in one of the other films (are you confused yet?) When she is kidnapped alongside the offspring of Grady’s favourite dinosaur (yes, that’s a thing) they head off in pursuit.
So you have two stories that are tenuously interlinked running simultaneously with characters from two different phases of the franchise. Well, you didn’t expect a straightforward cohesive story, did you? Of course, they eventually meet and there’s lots of back-slapping and admiration for each other’s work as they set out to destroy this latest threat to humanity.
This is as big and brash as you would expect. While the marvel of seeing dinosaurs on screen may have waned somewhat you will still appreciate how amazing the CGI is. Mixing the two Jurassic generations allows for plenty of in-jokes and Easter eggs – perhaps too much time is spent on this although fans of the franchise will love them – however, it does pull the story in several directions making it a bit incohesive at times.
This takes itself far more seriously than the previous World offerings but never reaches the earnest heights of the original movie. In fact, in its attempts to tick a lot of boxes and appeal to a broad demographic it feels preachy at times. It is an entertaining popcorn movie but as an entry to the franchise, it is predictable and messy. Don’t try and analyse this as part of the bigger picture or compare it to what went before and it is enjoyable albeit forgettable.