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Jurassic World Dominion Movie Review: This dinosaur film lacks bite- Cinema express

Jurassic World Dominion Movie Review: This dinosaur film lacks bite

Jurassic World Dominion is the worst thing to happen to dinosaurs since the asteroid that wiped them out

Published: 10th June 2022

History, as a subject, never really gets its due. It's not just a window to the past, but also a record of what mistakes we once committed. In the Jurassic Park films, the characters realise this as they are intermittently reminded why humans never existed at the time period when dinosaurs once freely roamed the planet. Similarly, the first trilogy and the reception that dipped as the films progressed should have been a lesson for the makers of the second trilogy. History is unfortunately repeating itself as the latest outing, Jurassic World Dominion is not just the weakest link in the second trilogy, but also in the entire Jurassic Park franchise.

Director: Colin Trevorrow
Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill

Four years after the Isla Nublar incident, dinosaurs are living alongside humans and this, obviously, leads to new disasters. A newsflash says that there have been 37 deaths because of this human-animal conflict. Speaking of humans, some of them want to preserve the majestic creatures while others, as always, try to make a quick buck. While some resort to illegal breeding and trafficking, corporates-- organisations working tirelessly to destroy humanity, according to the filmmakers--are coming up with more deviant schemes. One of them, which sells seeds, creates a locust that's coupled with the dino DNA which feeds on crops that are not made from their company seeds. They prioritise profit over famine and the death of millions.

The film also brings back its three famous doctors, Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler and Ian Malcolm (played by Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum) to solve the locust infestation. To complicate the story further, we also have Maisie Lockwood, a clone of Benjamin Lockwood's daughter who is kept away from the world by Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard).

The idea of two species from different timelines trying to coexist in a world that's already on the brink of destruction, thanks to several aspects like global warming and climate change, is an intriguing one, and a far better reason for a Jurassic Park film sequel than what its predecessors ever had. We get a cowboy-style introduction for Owen when he lassos a Parasaurolophus and we also get to see Maisie (Isabella Sermon) help a bunch of men safely move an Apatosaurus from their workplace. But all of these 'cute' scenes don't last long as a firm called BioSyn, headed by Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott), turns things up a notch and a series of incidents lead Owen and his family to team up with the doctors to save themselves and expose the true motives of the corporate company.

The biggest selling point of this film is the fact that Dern, Goldblum and Neill are coming together once again after the first film which came out in 1993. Despite the fact that the scenes involving the three of them make up for some of the best non-dino sequences in the film, the trio are rarely together. Goldblum, who plays the eccentric chaotician, Ian, appears in just one scene in the first half and returns only for the climax. Doctors Alan and Ellie feature in far more engaging; one of them is a divorcee while the other one has apparently stayed single over the years. You know what that means. Claire, Owen and Maisie have their own little adventure or misadventure to be precise, with Owen's pet raptor Blue finding her way to their cabin in the woods and bringing in a new baby with her.

Dominion relies more on nostalgia and callbacks for its humour and emotion. It's fun to see Ian donning his signature leather jacket and when Alan gets asked if he knows about the voltage at the park's electric fences, you recognise that it's a callback to the first film. The film is a visual spectacle, sure, and the makers, keeping in the tradition of the previous films, have used animatronic dinosaurs. We also finally get to see feathered dinosaurs, a far more realistic representation of the animals closely related to birds. Alan even pokes fun at how they "always come from the sides" when they attack humans. We get nods to several other film franchises. A racy bike sequence set in Malta has a raptor chasing our heroes, and in one Bourne Ultimatum-esque scene, we see the dino jump from one balcony to another. Dodgson is sure to remind you of Bond villains and there's even a shot where a raptor breaks a chunk of a door and sticks his face through the hole in a 'here's Johnny!' style. The film also reminds you of some Indiana Jones and Star Wars films, but all of this is simply fan service and do nothing to aid the events of this film.

The original Jurassic Park films offered a good mix of humour, action and tasteful jump-scares. While the first two films of the second trilogy managed to retain a certain percentage of that fun, this final film of the whole franchise just doesn't get that mix right. Even the much-anticipated T Rex, that has become the mascot for the franchise, comes up at the end for a boring fight with a bigger Gigantosaurus and the result of that brawl is an easy guess. On the whole, this film is not the fitting finale this three-decade-old franchise deserved. What should have been a nostalgic send-off to the mammoth creatures ends up being a product that fails to tick off a checklist of everything fans loved from the franchise. Jurassic World Dominion is the worst thing to happen to dinosaurs since the asteroid that wiped them out.

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