Coming to theatres this week from writer/director Colin Trevorrow and Universal Pictures is the next chapter in the story of JURASSIC WORLD Dominion.
The dinosaurs are now living among everyone in the world but up in the snowy mountains, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) is living the dino-cowboy-roundup life with girlfriend Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) and the mysterious young girl Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon). Also living in the woods is Owen’s raptor Blue who has managed to become a parent of young Beta.
The reasons for keeping Maisie away from prying eyes is a mystery but one that others are very interested in. Seeing Owen and Claire as parental figures, that means she is also going to rebel against them a little. That is until she and Beta are kidnapped sending her parents on a journey to rescue her. Owen is keeping his promise to Blue and, with Claire, going after their girl!
In a local corn field, Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) discovers huge locust that have been modified and are on the move to destroy every crop in their path, every crop except the one seeded by Dr. Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott), CEO of Biosyn Genetics. Realizing she needs help; Dr. Sattler turns to the one person she can trust Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill).
With an invite to Biosyn from Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), that is there in to find a way to turn around the giant destroyers. On their way to Italy also is Kayla Watts (DeWanda Wise), a pilot who sees the young Maisie being escorted to Biosyn. She soon runs into Owen and Claire learning that they are looking for the girl and agrees to help them.
At Biosyn, Sattler and Grant are met by Ramsay Cole (Mamoudou Athie) who introduces them to Dr. Dodgson and takes them to see Malcolm. After pleasantries, Malcolm makes it clear he wants to help the two find what they are looking for to stop the madness. Maisie is taken to see Dr. Henry Wu (BD Wong) who has much to tell the teen about her past and what makes her so special.
What they all do not know is that they are mere steps from coming together to do the one thing that should have been done years ago but life always finds a way!
Pratt is back as Owen giving us dino-cowboy vibes who wants to protect them, Claire and mysterious Maisie. Pratt goes straight for the action with his motorcycle chase and it is fast paced, but then again, his character is being chased by raptors. Howard as Claire is trying to connect with Maisie but the “you’re not my mom” card gets played. That does not stop Claire from doing whatever she must to rescue the girl.
Sermon as Maisie is full of mystery but once it is revealed, personally not sure what it really has to do with dinosaurs or anything else for that matter. She does make a connection with Blue’s kid Beta but Sermon seems to be in the film for being a kid for kids sake. Reverting a bit to the original JURASSIC PARK, this character tries to get us to go back to something that supposedly happened but I’m not getting it.
Athie as Ramsay is a twitchy character that is taken in by Dr.’s Dodgson and Dr. Malcolm. Believing he is part of something good, it becomes clear (as it usually does with people of conscience) that bad things are being done just because they can be. Wong as Dr. Wu is something else, every time he is on the screen, he looks like he is about to either have a nervous breakdown or a good cry. Trying to change his character’s persona is a big stretch as the narrative becomes “I just want to make it right”, yea.
Wise as Kayla is a fast and furious airplane pilot that wants to collect her money and stay out of other people’s business. When it comes to meeting Claire and realizing what part Maisie plays in this, her tune changes and she becomes a super heroine of sorts. Scott as Dr. Dodgson is a little weird, a bit creepy and just not your average looking bad guy. That makes it funny to watch how his mind works.
Let’s talk Dern as Dr. Sattler, she returns and reconnects with her 1993 friends. Without missing a beat, Dern takes back her role as the excited doctor with a cause and this time it is one that could destroy the planet. Neill as Dr. Grant is still digging up the past and when he sees Sattler again, he is willing to get back out in the world and go on this crazy journey to find answers. Neill reaches in and gives us a still cagey character who seems to have an issue still with Malcolm.
Speaking of Malcolm, I am thrilled to see Jeff Goldblum back on the screen in this role. He delivers everything that I was hoping for. His character makes total sense in the way he feels and dang if he didn’t bring the laughs along with him. One-liners, observations and gestures are what make Dr. Malcolm the character that he is. I swear I spit soda through my nose when I saw the scene with the unbuttoned shirt – absolutely hilarious!
Other cast include Omar Sy as Barry Sembene, Justice smith as Franklin Webb, Scott Haze as Rainn Delacourt, Dichen Lachman as Soyona Santos, Daniella Pineda as Dr. Zia Rodriguez, Kristoffer Polaha as Wyatt Huntley, Elva Trill as Charlotte Lockwood, and Varada Sethu as Shira.
JURASSIC WORLD: Dominion – <insert sigh here> – I want to say I was blow away but sadly, I was not. The cinematography started out grainy and old looking so I was not sure what that was all about. The storyline is really muddled and I just gave up trying to figure it out. I mean let’s be real, the film runs two hours and twenty-six minutes which means getting to understand anything, well, just cannot happen.
There are chase scenes with raptors and the introduction of a new scarier dinosaur making the T-Rex appear to be tame by comparison. The characters are in the Italian mountains I guess and they run in the complex, then they escape the complex, then they run back in the complex only to escape the complex. I was getting whiplash.
I am not sure that writer/director Trevorrow was up to the task of doing this film but if it were not for Dern, Neill and Goldblum, JURASSIC WORLD: Dominion would be a total bust. They are almost just as I remember and it is very nostalgic to see them again. I appreciated Pratt and Howard rescuing the girl but the story of the girl is, to me, ridiculous. Seeing Pratt and Blue on screen together was so dang sweet.
So, just a thought here but maybe because you can do a thing does not mean you should do a thing – and the thing is JURASSIC WORLD: Dominion had the opportunity to be frakken amazing but instead feels like a throw together mushy story to collect dino-bucks from thirsty movie goers. Is it the worse thing I have ever seen? Hardly. It is just disappointing.
But, no worries, the film will make tons of money because it has the word Jurassic in it and because there are those that long for characters like Sattler, Malcolm, Grant, which is why Owen and Claire succeeded in being awesome characters. The rest is Jurassic dressing with dino-slight-of-hand.
In the end – it did not start here but it certainly should end here!