The seemingly endless stream of reboots, remakes, and sequels being churned out by Hollywood is a mixed bag for modern-day moviegoers. New movies based on old intellectual properties aren’t original and risk rehashing stories, characters, and worlds that audiences may be tired of; but they also guarantee familiar stories, characters, and worlds that audiences may be willing to buy a movie ticket in order to revisit. However, the one reaction that most viewers will experience (the one studio executives hope for) is that feeling of their inner-child in awe at watching realistic dinosaurs on the big screen. This feeling is both Jurassic World: Dominion’s greatest strength and its most obvious weakness.
Jurassic World: Dominion has a star-studded cast including Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, DeWanda Wise, Mamoudou Athie, and Isabella Sermon as well as Jurassic Park veterans Laura Dern, Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, and BD Wong.
In all honesty, there’s not much to say about the acting in the film. All of the actors play the same characters that they played in previous films and all of the characters act almost identically to their versions in their original films. It’s satisfying to see where Owen Grady (Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Howard) are at the end of the trilogy, and their romantic relationship with one another is sweet. Seeing the original trio of characters grace the new trilogy with their presence is enjoyable and nostalgic. Dern, Neill, and Goldblum feel very similar to their original portrayals. The only major new players are tough and rugged pilot Kayla Watts (Wise), righteous corporate insider Ramsay Cole (Athie), rebellious teenager Maisie Lockwood (Sermon), and evil CEO Campbell Scott (Lewis Dogsdon). None of the performances disappoint, but none of them necessarily impress either. The good news is that they are all excellent at running from, screaming at, and fighting off dinosaurs.
The production quality is what one would expect from a movie with a budget of $185 million — impressive but unoriginal. The cinematography, sound design, set production, and score are all that one would expect from a blockbuster film with a large budget. Everything looks and sounds great, but nothing is revolutionary.
The story is somewhat lackluster. For the most part, a Jurassic Park movie just needs to set up dinosaurs and be able to give said dinosaurs enough freedom to chase and eat some people, but the story in the sixth installment of the franchise feels weaker than the rest. The world that is set up using a NowThis News story as the prologue is new and exciting. Dinosaurs have made their way into the global public, and people have to learn to navigate this new reality with 65-million-year-old creatures inhabiting a 21st century world.
The plot that takes place in this world feels small in scope and unrelated to the rest of the world. The story also feels so small and isolated that it doesn’t feel like an exciting conclusion to the trilogy. All of the characters have clear problems to fix, but the problems that they are faced with seem to be lacking motivation and to be disconnected from the greater world. Ellie Sattler (Dern), Alan Grant (Neill), and Ian Malcolm (Goldblum) all have parts which could have been replaced by any random, new character. Having them return is unnecessary to the plot and obvious nostalgia-bait.
Although a standout story with amazing visuals and an inspired score would have been very welcome, filmmakers and audience members both know that there is only one thing moviegoers want to see when going into a Jurassic Park movie, giant dinosaurs fighting each other, chasing main characters, and eating the occasional background character. Like all of the other Jurassic Park movies, Jurassic World: Dominion delivers.
There are enough giant computer-generated and practical dinosaurs to appease actual children and the inner-child in every viewer. Similar to the original Jurassic Park which was so revolutionary for its time almost thirty years ago, Jurassic World: Dominion has a good balance of both giant, carnivorous computer-generated dinosaurs that eat people and small, innocent animatronic dinosaurs which are just so cute and cuddly.
Although its now the sixth time that this concept has been brought to the big screen, seeing such realistic dinosaurs play in the world of the 21st century alongside actors is still fun to watch and technologically impressive. Putting aside the fact that six of these movies have been made for no other purpose other than making money off of a beloved intellectual property, the experience of watching a movie about dinosaurs with dinosaurs that look and move in realistic fashion pure, shameless, childlike fun. That is the value of Jurassic World: Dominion and the entire Jurassic Park series as a whole.
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Like the majority of remakes, reboots, and sequels, Jurassic World: Dominion follows the same trend of providing a mediocre story with stagnant characters while looking great and offering a lot of fun action. It’s predictable, but that’s not inherently a bad thing. It won’t impress any serious appreciators of fine cinema, but it will impress the inner-child of all audience members that like to see cool dinosaurs fighting, chasing, and eating things on screen. Viewers should turn off their critical analysis of this movie when going in, enjoy the impressive-looking dinosaurs on screen, and admire how far technology has progressed in order to give viewers bigger, more realistic dinosaurs to watch and admire.