“Dinosaurs may be extinct from the face of the planet, but they are alive and well in our imaginations.” – Steve Miller
This franchise has gone the way of actual dinosaurs, extinct. Franchises like Mission: Impossible have the unique distinction of improving upon itself with each new entry. Jurassic Park and all of its subsequent additions aren’t so fortunate and neither are we. Someone somewhere is convinced we want more of these things. If Dominion is the best they can deliver it’s far past this particular franchise’s expiration date.
So much of what works in Dominion, and it’s very little, only does so because their target audience is people who grew up with the original trilogy and their children who have been introduced to the franchise by those very same people. It’s a vehicle running on pure nostalgia and at this point it’s running on fumes. I’m not sure how many more euphemisms I can come up with that mean these movies need to stop. And they do, they need to stop. Let’s not look at a property like Fast & Furious and think that’s a good thing. Of course both are Universal so who knows, this might end up in space too.
Each new entry in a franchise needs a shtick; a thing that gets people excited enough to blow money on seeing another one of whatever unrightfully got a sequel while more deserving movies like Dredd get left by the wayside. I’m not bitter. Anyway, the obvious gimmick this time around is the original trio, Dr. Malcolm, Dr. Grant and Dr. Sattler making an overdue(?) return. I include a question mark because were they really the thing missing from making this whole dinosaur thing special again? If Dominion is any indication, they are not in fact the missing link. My greatest praise of Dominion is that it did the remarkably mundane task of being better than its predecessor, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. That isn’t saying much.
Well surely anything that improved upon the previous is because of the return of the legacy characters right? No. In fact I’d argue they act more as a hindrance on the whole of the movie. From the story to the pacing they drag this whole movie into the ground. I’m going to say this too, Laura Dern gives an abysmal performance. None of the originals do anything remarkable enough to merit a return but she is especially distracting as someone who looks as if they barely want to be in the room let alone another dinosaur movie. But I can’t blame her either for being forced into a story that is so misguided it makes you constipated in thought. Instead of battling or surviving dinosaurs alongside the newbs they are left to search for the origins of a lab manufactured locust horde that is infecting crops and threatening food supply on a global level. Yeah. Unless I missed something the only thing tying the locust storyline to the dinosaurs is that the same company altering the bugs and managing the dinosaurs just happen to be the same exact company. Otherwise I can’t exactly recall a connection. To be fair when I saw the movie people were clapping and that made me, understandably murderous with rage. Seriously, if you clap in a movie theater I guarantee your IQ is less than your shoe size.
(Reading back over this review I’m realizing how bitter I really do sound.)
There needs to be a mass grave where movies like the newer Terminators and Fast & Furious and now Jurassic World can all rest in peace for hopefully long enough that they can come up with something better ‘cause this ain’t it. I say long enough because stopping in Hollyweird language means stop for a few years and they do it all over again until something sticks. So if that’s the case then all I ask is to stop long enough for some good ideas to gestate for once.
“What about the new people?” Exactly, what about them? If you’ve seen the previous two Worlds you know exactly what they’re like. They haven’t changed one bit. Pratt’s Owen Grady does the hand thing about a thousand times again, Howard’s Claire Dearing still is pretty of course but seems of little concern about the dinosaur apocalypse she is basically single handedly responsible for. Their self-inflicted lab, clone baby is now a teen and doing teen things and that’s hard. It’s all a contrived mess to force dinosaurs into the mix and watch them run from those very same giant, lizard birds. My favorite of the new characters is Kayla Watts, played by the gorgeous DeWanda Wise. She is someone I’d like to get to know. But I digress.
Jurassic World: Dominion is as messy and pointless as sequels come. And for this to supposedly be the final entry, its missteps feel all the more heavy and misguided. Aside from some pretty cool moments featuring dinosaurs, this is one sequel that didn’t need to be. The people of Dominion are the least interesting part and their reasons for being around are even less obvious. I mean, locusts? Really?!
I have a Jurassic World movie idea – Dinosaurs run rampant around the globe. The characters of Jurassic World and Park are tasked, as dinosaur experts, with creating and carrying out a plan to either capture or kill as many as possible. There’s your movie. It does not need to be any more convoluted than that. Sometimes simplicity really is key. My final thoughts on Dominion are probably what you think. If you really like dinosaurs on the big screen and know not to hope for anything better than this, Dominion might be worth your time. Just don’t clap, don’t be those people.
Rated PG-13 For: intense sequences of action, some violence and language
Runtime: 146 minutes
After Credits Scene: No
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Sam Neill
Directed By: Colin Trevorrow
Out of 10 Nerdskulls
Story: 4/ Acting: 5/ Directing: 7/ Visuals: 7
OVERALL: 5 Nerdskulls
Buy to Own: Unless you’re a completionist, no.
Check out the trailer below:
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