Jurassic World: Dominion
11 Jun 2022
Emily Carmichael, Colin Trevorrow, Derek Connolly
Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Sam Neill
It doesn’t seem possible that nearly thirty years have passed since Jurassic Park first exploded onto the big screen. It was 1993 that I witnessed the rarest of events; a complete sell-out in the cinema when a friend actually had to queue for tickets. It’s also hard to believe that Jurassic World: Dominion is the sixth instalment of the series; and can only add fuel to the ongoing discussion that compares sequels with the original. But nothing could possibly match the impact of seeing Jurassic Park for the first time. There were audible gasps in the audience as the kids were chased by velociraptors. Can that sense of shock and wonderment be sustained for this long?
The story picks up with dinosaurs now roaming the earth in the wild as they struggle to integrate. A debate rages as rule makers argue over the solution to a problem caused by their commercial exploitation. Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) is active in the protection of dinosaurs while ex-raptor trainer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) acts as co-guardian to Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon), a girl with a special connection to the Jurassic project. The BioSyn organisation headed by Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott) is conducting trials using dinosaur DNA which they claim can cure a range of illnesses. However, it seems they are responsible for genetically engineered locusts ruining the world’s crops. Maisie is kidnapped on the orders of BioSyn as they are convinced her unique DNA is the final piece in the jigsaw. Dearing and Grady set off in hot pursuit but will good overcome evil?
Whilst highly competant it’s probably the weakest edition in the franchise. The special effects and stunts are brilliantly executed, but we are no longer impressed by what is now a standard feature in action movies. We are left with a half-baked, lopsided plot that is more about overgrown locusts than dinosaurs. They clip inspiration from Indiana Jones and borrow second hand baddies from a James Bond plot. Laura Dern, Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum reprise their usual roles but look underwhelmed by the experience.
The format looks tired and leaden footed without the slightest hint of creativity. Executive Producer Stephen Spielberg proudly spoke of making great ‘popcorn movies’. I wouldn’t buy a bag of popcorn for this one let alone a bargain bucket. It suffers badly when compared with the gloriously brilliant original and I sincerely hope this is the last time. But with the bean counters excitedly watching the cash registers anything is possible. As the Rolling Stones once put it so eloquently ‘this could be the last time, maybe the last time…but I don’t know?’