Film review: Jurassic World Dominion
This movie is what happens when you cross a lot of hungry dinos with humanity trying desperately to redeem itself for a mistake, and boy does it try.
Jurassic World Dominion is the third in the series and centres around the aftermath of 2018’s Fallen Kingdom.
This new reality involves learning to live with something that threatens the safety and wellbeing of humanity, which came about as a result of the irresponsible actions of humans and has recently been let out into the broader population after humans tried and failed to keep it contained. Sound familiar?
Dominion sees the return of the two main characters in the new iteration of the franchise, Chris Pratt as Owen Grady and Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire Dearing, as well as recurring supporting cast members Justice Smith, Omar Sy and Isabella Sermon, and newcomer to the series, DeWanda Wise.
If, like me, you’re a die-hard fan of the 1993 classic, then the many subtle and not-so-subtle references (and believe me, there are MANY) won’t be lost on you.
But, if, like me, you’re a die-hard fan of the 1993 CLASSIC… you may also have extremely high expectations. After all, this one sees the return of Sam Neill’s paleontologist Dr Alan Grant, Laura Dern’s paleobotanist Dr Ellie Sattler and sarcastic chaotician Dr Ian Malcolm, played by the eminently cool and quirky Jeff Goldblum.
What I will say is that the film attempts to accomplish A LOT in its 147-minute runtime.
First off, much like any other franchise bringing back the big players, reacquainting audiences with characters they grew up with and establishing how these characters fit into the current story takes a bit of time.
I won’t spoil anything for you, but let’s just say the way Grant, Sattler and Malcolm live their lives now is relatively low-key compared to the perils they faced on that island 187 miles west of Costa Rica some three decades ago.
Then there’s the actual plot. In this case, it requires wrapping up the entire franchise in a way that leaves audiences satisfied but not ready for it to end before it does, which can be a difficult balance to strike.
While I can see that the film tries to give some heart and feeling to the action with its overall themes and message, to me, it feels at odds with what we’re seeing, and in some ways, I would’ve preferred if it just stuck to one genre or the other.
I also found that the pacing of the movie could be a bit chaotic in parts, with moments that felt quite slow or drawn out coupled with heavy, fast-paced action sequences. For me, jumping between these throughout the two and a half hours made the film feel somewhat rushed.
However, it still has plenty to enjoy, with lots of dinosaurs and some great quips from Goldblum that have you wondering if they were in the script or if he made them up on the day. And seeing the iconic trio back again and interacting with the newer characters is awesome.
When it comes to sound design, this is a movie that is made for the cinema. Hearing the roars all around you and the swells of Michael Giacchino’s score, with some of the classic John Williams theme thrown in, really provides an immersive experience and recaptures some of the magic of the original.
As Ian Malcolm says in the original Jurassic Park, “Life… uh… finds a way.” And it certainly has.
With this film, the sixth and final chapter of the Jurassic Park saga, the franchise is always having new life breathed into it.
Seasoned fans and new recruits flock to these movies much like the herd of parasaurolophuses we see a horse-riding Owen Grady trying to round up near the beginning of the film.
Overall, the film is great fun, and it’s safe to say that if you like any or all of the following: dinosaurs, car chases, dinosaurs roaring, nostalgia, dinosaurs eating people, adventure, dinosaurs fighting other dinosaurs, action and giant insects - then you’re in for a treat.
Jurassic World Dominion is in cinemas now.