There’s a moment’s delay in the new sequel Jurassic World Dominion where a dinosaur fight unfolds in front of a whole cast of people, any of whom could reasonably claim to be the main character of the ongoing Jurassic Park Series. “This isn’t about us,” says Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill). He’s absolutely right; Unlike the similarly late Steven Spielberg monster movie sequel, the dinosaurs didn’t evolve Jaws: The revenge-Style personal vendettas. The great spectacle of domination — making it a worthy big-screen experience — comes from observing how dinosaurs inhabit the human world much more than tracking the fates of specific people they happen to meet. dr Grant seems to understand that.
And yet the fact that Grant, nominal hero of the original 1993 megahit Jurassic Parkappears in domination at all suggesting that anyone, anywhere, believes that the people on this show matter. More importantly, they matter to an audience that appreciates them Jurassic Park enough to delight in dialogue and imagery that references it — though it’s the Spielbergian craft of this film that makes it a classic, rather than its catchphrases or big moments. (Or at least something close to crafting. Jurassic Park is not exact Jawalthough it’s a similarly tense film with a really compelling human dimension.)
So after sporadic participation in previous sequels, here are again Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) and Dr. Alan Grant (Neill) in his musty imitation Indiana Jones fedora. Again, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon) are the main characters from the now-completed film Jurassic world Continuation of the trilogy. Some fans will no doubt see this as a one-sided team-up. It has become a popular online game to ask if anyone even remembers it Jurassic world the names of the characters or what they do in their films, aside from teaching velociraptors to respond to a raised hand (Pratt) or, for once, to walk through a jungle on heels (Howard).
But they are the original Jurassic Park Characters really detailed and alive, or did they just appear in one of the most famous and loved films of all time? Malcolm has the benefit of Jeff Goldblum’s distinctive speaking rhythm, and Sattler seems particularly smart because she’s played by Dern. While Neill is a great actor and a welcome presence, Grant mostly just has that fedora. And Grant and Sattler are such buttoned-up characters that their romance is already in the low-key comfort phase in the first film, washing away from the screen before then Jurassic Park III.
Jurassic World Dominion attempts to bring these background elements to the fore. In retrospect, the whole trilogy seems like a comprehensive attempt to follow Grant’s hat by making the Spielberg-originated Jurassic Park films look a little more like the Spielberg-originated Indiana Jones films: spectacle with an action-packed human guide. Hence Pratt’s Owen Grady, a two-handed man who trains raptors, rides motorcycles, and trains with his unlikely love interest, Claire. domination begins with Owen and Claire in a state of tentative peace, living off the grid and getting along, but clashes with Maisie, the surrogate daughter they set out to protect after the events of 2018 Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
Besides revealing that Maisie is a clone of her mother, a scientist, Fallen Kingdom also wrapped in dinosaurs unleashed on North America. domination reveals that they’ve spread around the world via a clever NowThis news video full of morbid slapstick. For the first time, humans and dinosaurs have been forced to truly live together. In response, a company called Biosyn (an old competitor to the original dinosaur makers InGen) has set up another dinosaur sanctuary on a vast compound in Italy.
But Biosyn and their leader Dr. Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott) – who engaged Jurassic Park Fans may recall a meeting where his scapegoat, Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight), blurted out his name in a public place — they have more on their mind than strict conservation. They are very interested in Maisie’s whereabouts. They are also looking for Beta, the baby raptor born to Owen’s old pal Blue. They will manipulate genetics to the end of the world, which Malcolm warns everyone against.
This is just the bare setup for the 150 minutes dominationessentially a loose sequel to Fallen Kingdom and a band-reunited legacy sequel from Jurassic Park, both of which eventually converge into a single, crowded film. The weirder, wilder half features Pratt and Howard zapping through a variety of dinosaur-enhanced genres: Here, Owen plays cowboy and herds dinos off horses. Here is renegade environmentalist Claire in one nomadic country shot of the planes. Here they both fight their way through the streets of Malta (including a secret Mos Eisley-like dino market!). The Bourne Velociraptor.
For a while, domination seems so crazy alive with ways to get out of the original island park that it’s – like Fallen Kingdom – much less scene-for-scene predictable than many of its predecessors. An equivalent of Indiana Jones with dinos remains elusive. But Spielberg’s monster film is best represented by the 1997 Jurassic Park Consequence The Lost World rather than the fancier original, is alive and well. (And the Indy connection stays the same The Lost World was basically Spielberg’s ’90s version of Temple of Death.)
in the domination, Grant, Dern and Goldblum sneak around another high-tech facility adjacent to another sanctuary full of dinosaurs. Colin Trevorrow, who co-wrote and directed the first Jurassic worldwho co-wrote the second and is directing this again is too in awe of the original Jurassic Park to resist going back into the jungle, even if it’s a different jungle. Perhaps he is too in awe of the original point. domination is full of callbacks and curtain calls, and finally he’s so busy showcasing a combination of familiar dinosaurs (animal and human) alongside brand new threats that he’s running out of space to build actual set pieces. Which is a shame because the ones he puts together are mostly great fun, full of special effects work that doesn’t feel like a green screen into the Uncanny Valley.
Granted, Trevorrow doesn’t quite match the Spielbergian flair for composition that JA Bayona brought with him to the fallen kingdom. Bayona is the only Jurassic sequel director to date who even remotely approximates Spielberg’s innate talent for cinematography. Trevorrow is more artisanal, and when domination‘s gargantuan cast unites, their presence requires a level of blocking skill that seems beyond his reach.
To be fair, it might elude Spielberg as well; his Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull suffered from similar crowd control problems for the last half hour. But the group scenes in domination have the particularly uncomfortable tenor of a party where people aren’t sure what to say, even when the script insists they’re all connected and looking at one another with awe. (The boring flattery of Pratt’s Owen Grady continues here.)
So why is Jurassic World Dominion still satisfying, despite his bloat, his brazen pandering to past franchise installments, and his utterly ludicrous notions of Grady promising Blue he’ll bring her baby back, even though Blue seems forever on the verge of tearing him up and settling on his to feast on innards? It has everything to do with Trevorrow’s oversized version of what every Jurassic film has offered to date: the uneasy, half-dizzying, half-doomed feeling of stepping into an amusement park on the precipice of an apocalypse.
domination leans into the notion of a sci-fi dystopia doubling as an old-fashioned monster movie, something Universal is aware of. Like a 50’s B-movie Jurassic World Dominion Pauses to lecture on humanity’s place in the evolutionary chain between the sequences that deliver the gnashing goods. If we have to wade through some silly, pandering nostalgia to get to this delightfully huge dinosaur playground, so be it.
Jurassic World Dominion opens in theaters on June 10th.
https://www.polygon.com/23158390/jurassic-world-dominion-review Jurassic World Dominion review: a crowded, genre-bending monster