Jurassic World Dominion Review: Colin Trevorrow caps the saga with an ungodly blockbuster mix


Jurassic World Dominion Review: Colin Trevorrow caps the saga with an ungodly blockbuster mix

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(1.5 stars)

After the first “Jurassic World” film was based on a dinosaur invented in the laboratory called the Indomino rex and its sequel, Fallen Kingdom, on similar species splicing IndoraptorWith a character in Jurassic World Dominion, Colin Trevorrow, the shepherd of legends, pointed out that such half-breeds are a thing of the past.

In reality, however, Trevorrow has saved its most monstrous amalgamation for last: a bombastic film that proves the timeless wonder and simmering tension of 1993’s “Jurassic Park” have died out in favor of an ungodly blockbuster concoction. While the return of this classic’s stars – Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum, valiantly giving it their all – offers a welcome nostalgia, there’s only so much they can do to salvage an ill-calculated, algorithmic misfire that clumsily evokes dominance. Mission: Impossible, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Don’t Look Up all at once.

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Unfortunately, that makes Dominion a fitting conclusion to the Jurassic World trilogy. Trevorrow, who co-wrote all three films and directed the first and third installments, doubles down on the qualities that made 2015’s Jurassic World a guilty pleasure and 2018’s JA Bayona-directed Fallen Kingdom a franchise . worst disaster. Do you remember the militarized Raptor Brigade? Or the dinosaur auction on the black market? Dominion offers more of the same absurd conspiracy.

That’s a shame, because Fallen Kingdom at least managed to create a potential-charged premise for Dominion, where dinosaurs were unleashed on the world and civilization had to confront the hubris of humanity. But aside from poignantly explanatory bookends that offer glimpses of dinosaurs roaming traffic, galloping across the plains, and nesting atop a skyscraper, Dominion has little interest in exploring how these prehistoric creatures unbalance the ecosystem or recalibrate the food chain.

Instead, Trevorrow and co-writer Emily Carmichael (working from a story by Trevorrow and Derek Connolly) deliver an over-the-top spectacle of climate defeatism, big-tech overreach, the morality of cloning, and, yes, more underground dinosaur trade. And much of the film takes place in a dinosaur sanctuary in the Italian Dolomites, restoring the status quo and allowing our heroes to once again fight for survival as they navigate dinosaur territory.

Not only does Dominion bring back the Jurassic Park trio, it also continues with Jurassic World’s decidedly less charismatic central duo: former Velociraptor trainer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and park manager, the to dinosaur rights activist Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard). The film picks up four years after Fallen Kingdom, in which the dinosaurs created for the doomed Jurassic Park and its sequel Jurassic World are rescued from a volcanic eruption, shipped to California and named after the aforementioned dino on the American Mainland were released the bidding failed.

Owen and Claire hide out in the Sierra Nevada and stay off the grid while they take care of Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon), the lurking teen who impulsively unleashed the dinosaurs in “Fallen Kingdom” after she discovered that she was a clone of her mother. But Maisie’s precious DNA puts her in the crosshairs of Biosyn, a genetics giant run by the amusingly oddball Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott, in a role briefly played by Cameron Thor in Jurassic Park). Meanwhile, paleontologist Alan Grant (Neill), paleobotanist Ellie Sattler (Dern), and chaos theorist Ian Malcolm (a scene stealer from Goldblum) seek to expose the same corporation for his unabashed plan to control the world’s food supply through genetically enhanced locusts.

Concluding not only this trilogy, but also the six-movie Jurassic saga, Dominion gives Neill, Dern and Goldblum a satisfying victory lap. Before the generations of Jurassic Park and Jurassic World collide, however, there are many more characters to cycle through. BD Wong is back as Dr. Henry Wu, the genetic engineer whose repeated failure to learn from his mistakes borders on parody. Dichen Lachman plays a dinosaur smuggler who wields a laser pointer, ordering dinos to attack his targets, in a startling reprisal for Fallen Kingdom’s sleatest conceit. Mamoudou Athie and DeWanda Wise make appealing additions – as Biosyn’s shadowy communications boss and virtuous cargo pilot respectively – but still get lost in the mix.

To credit Trevorrow, he knows how to stage an action sequence and conjure up impressive images. A motorcycle chase through dinosaur-infested Malta makes for a hilarious ride, and a scene in which Howard’s Claire evades a beast by diving underwater proves worthy of Steven Spielberg’s original film.

Speaking of the movie, the “Jurassic Park” callbacks – which come thick and fast, especially in the final act – cause groans, cheers and nothing in between. When the final 20 minutes of “Dominion” plays back as a bar-by-beat recreation of set-pieces from previous films, it’s clear that Trevorrow and company have nothing new to say. In a welcome bit of self-aware shtick, the film at least allows Goldblum to sum up the state of the franchise: “Jurassic World? Not a fan.”

PG-13. In the theaters of the region. Contains intense storylines, some violence and strong language. 147 minutes.

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