The Stream: Too many characters with storylines that don’t come together neatly.
The Big Screen: Some exciting action sequences and a stellar new character played by DeWanda Wise
The Final Bill: Jurassic nostalgia and high energy dinosaur mayhem is worth the price of admission– Trip Fontaine
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Writers: Emily Carmichael and Colin Trevorrow (screenplay) & (story by) Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly
Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, DeWanda Wise, Mamoudou Athie, Isabella Sermon, Campbell Scott
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of action, some violence and language
Runtime: 2 hours 16 minutes
Production Companies: Amblin Entertainment, Latina Pictures, Perfect World Pictures, Universal Pictures
Platform: In Theaters
Trailers: Easter Sunday, Three Thousand Years of Longing, Black Adam, Nope, Minions: The Rise of Gru
Jurassic World: Dominion opened in theaters this weekend. It is the highly anticipated sixth installment in the Jurassic Park franchise. In Dominion, we find out whether the dinosaurs, who were released into the world at the end of Fallen Kingdom, have been integrated into the greater society and what effect their presence has on the broader ecosystem. It’s been almost 30 years since we were first introduced to dinosaurs in modern times; but, six films later, are we still in awe of the scientific feats of DNA splicing and cloning? Here’s whether going back to Jurassic World is worth all of that anticipation.
Jurassic World: Dominion brings back Owen Grady (Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Howard), who are raising the teenage clone, Maisie Lockwood (Sermon). They are protecting her from evil corporate interests who seek to capture and study her for their own nefarious reasons. Also, Elli Sattler (Dern) and Alan Grant (Neill) are back to investigate a potential ecological disaster brought on by genetically modified locusts rabidly devouring the world’s crops. Then, there is Ian Malcolm (Goldblum) and Ramsay Cole (Athie) as fixtures of the corporation, Biosyn, which is at the center of all of these machinations. There’s also a dynamic pilot, Kayla Watts (Wise), and a manipulative CEO of Biosyn, Lewis Dodgson (Scott). Oh man, did I forget anything? Um… prehistoric ravenous hijinks ensue.
Okay, as you can see, there is a lot going on in Jurassic World: Dominion. It’s not necessarily complicated, but it is a lot to follow. These Jurassic Park movies always have a bit of an issue getting bogged down explaining the science of this all. In Dominion, they have to talk about genetic splicing and cloning and ecology, and it just goes on and on. Sattler and Grant are focused on stealing the DNA of these destructive locusts to prove that Biosyn is evil. Owen and Claire are focused on protecting Maisie from Biosyn. In a sense, it feels like so much is going on that there is not enough time for the characters to run and scream from the dinosaurs. That’s the unfortunate part if you really like that aspect from the original.
Despite these reservations of the plot, the movie does have its exciting parts. There are dinosaur chases through the streets, through the jungle and through the Biosyn facilities. DeWanda Wise plays a tough-as-nails, wisecracking pilot, who seems to be the most competent of all of our characters. She gets good one-liners and has a magnetic personality. Her presence adds a lot of energy to what could become stale. I’ll also note that the legacy characters of Sattler, Grant and Malcolm give exactly what you want. It’s like no time has passed at all. The nostalgia is very high and they effectively scratch that Jurassic Park itch.
Ultimately, Jurassic World: Dominion is an enjoyable, escapist summer blockbuster. The problem here is that there is too much going on and it doesn’t exactly all come together. There are probably too many characters that distract from the main attraction – the dinosaurs. Nevertheless, there are good dinosaur chases and exciting moments with a great new character played by DeWanda Wise. While I wouldn’t call Jurassic World: Dominion essential, it certainly is good enough for a matinee viewing, so get your bowl of popcorn.