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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Review: Secrets of the Chaos in ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’

The enduring, collective love for “Jurassic Park” is notoriously difficult to explain. Steven Spielberg’s 1993 film implanted itself in our cultural consciousness as the platonic ideal of a blockbuster. And it wasn’t just that 10-year-olds had an early experience in the movie theater. It seems that most everyone, including those who were adults at the time and who would not be born for a decade or more, have a story about how much that movie meant to them. It doesn’t matter how many times you watch it, or how much better the special effects get: “Jurassic Park” never fades, it just remains perfectly preserved in amber.

It’s hard to blame anyone—a filmmaker, a studio, or an audience looking for a fun time in movies—for trying to recapture that magic. Spielberg himself had trouble, too. But now, somehow, we’re into six movies and three decades and that’s as far as one can get from the spark that made that first movie so special that we’re going to go with “Jurassic World” with “Jurassic World”. “Can bid farewell to the era: Dominion.”

I can’t say that I didn’t have any real fun with “Dominion.” There’s a very well done motorcycle chase through the streets of Taos, the overwhelming pleasure to see Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum reunited together and the fun addition of a hotshot pilot played by Devanda Wise. And there’s wall-to-wall action that swiftly rounds out to a runtime of about two and a half hours. But I can’t even say that I didn’t laugh at times that weren’t made to be funny.

“Jurassic World: Dominion” is a chaotic mishmash on an epic scale and, believe it or not, the dinosaurs (which sound great) are almost beside the point. After the events of “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”, dinosaurs are just… around. There’s even a black-market operation in Taos that’s so elaborate, you’d think we were in a dino dystopia 30 years later and not many years later when dino ran into the woods. But, again, “Dominion” isn’t really about dinosaurs. It’s about locusts and tech giants.

A company called Biosyn is the big bad here and it’s run by a guy named Lewis Dodgson (now played by Campbell Scott), who, as you’ll remember, wanted to buy embryos in the first movie.

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt, Isabella Sermon and Devanda Wise, from left, in a scene from “Jurassic World Dominion.” (Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment via Associated Press)

Dodgson has turned into a Steve Jobs-ian visionary on a sweaty Gordon Gecko-type vacation that’s still no good and after-profits. Dern’s Ellie Sattler suspects they are behind a locust epidemic that is destroying all food that isn’t grown with biocin seeds and teaming it up again with Neil’s Alan Grant for the first time in years. decide to use that as an excuse. Conveniently, Biocin is also where Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm is an in-house public intellectual. And they’re also looking for Macy (Isabella Sermon), the clone girl from the previous film. She’s been in hiding with Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) for the past few years.

There’s plenty of elaborate wheel-spinning and globetrotting to take everyone to the Biocene headquarters in the Dolomites, a Bond villain complex surrounded by a dino sanctuary.

That’s a lot of people too. At some point, eight dinosaurs are moving at once. Oddly, this doesn’t have the effect of raising the stakes. It’s like watching a tour group at an experiential amusement park exhibit, with some having the problem that watching dinosaurs run amongst themselves may no longer be fun, no matter how big they’ve grown.

This Image Released By Universal Pictures Shows A Giganotosaurus, At Left, And A T. Rex In A View &Quot;Jurassic World Dominion.&Quot; (Universal Pictures/Amblin Entertainment Via Ap)
This image released by Universal Pictures shows a Giganotosaurus, at left, and a T. rex in a scene from “Jurassic World Dominion.” (Universal Pictures/Amblin Entertainment via Associated Press)

Colin Trevorrow is back in the director’s chair and shares a writing credit with Emily Carmichael, which adds value and wit to the proceedings, but it’s hard to say what it all adds up to. It’s funny sometimes and silly at others. But that just doesn’t sound right enough to capitalize on this franchise or bring it back down to earth. “Jurassic World” started off huge. There was nowhere to grow, except at the box office.

It was a Hail Mary to bring back the “Jurassic Park” original. But his big meeting with the cast of “Jurassic World” has the unintended effect of reminding us how little we’ve come to care about newcomers. It’s not really their fault. Pratt and Howard have some good moments here too, but their characters flatten out somewhere along the way. And when the original is attractive there’s no competition.

At one point, Goldbaum’s chaotic Ian Malcolm quipped “Jurassic World? Not a single fan.” He’s talking about the failed amusement park that kickstarted the new trilogy, but it’s so common that you have to applaud everyone from the filmmakers to the studio behind it. They are saying goodbye with a laugh.

“Jurassic World: Dominion”

Universal Pictures

The PG-13 was rated for “language, rapid course of action, some violence”.

Running time, 146 minutes.

★★ (out of four)

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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