The Dry Well of Nostalgia: Our Review of ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - June 10, 2022
The Dry Well of Nostalgia: Our Review of ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’

“There should have been a better farewell. But in the end, there never is. And we take what meagre scraps we can find.”

While this quote from author Richard K Morgan may feel out of place, when it comes to Jurassic World: Dominion it’s actually quite apt as this beloved franchise falls flat with an entry that is so listless it will make you want to forget that anything other than the 1993 seminal beginning of it all ever even existed.

Jurassic World: Dominion takes place four years after Isla Nublar has been destroyed. Dinosaurs now live—and hunt—alongside humans all over the world. This fragile balance will reshape the future and determine, once and for all, whether human beings are to remain the apex predators on a planet they now share with history’s most fearsome creatures.

To be fair, we will admit that everything out side of the original Jurassic Park in this canon is inherently silly and has lean on the magic of the original to let it all seem to work.  However, with Jurassic World: Dominion what we have what is easily the laziest, most derivative entry into the franchise yet.

We know what you are thinking, yes it is the very nature of a ‘sequel’ to borrow beats and moments from its original to send audiences home with a fun product that evokes positive memories of the original, but here in lies the problem.

Director Colin Trevorrow and his team already came into this dinosaur filled world doing that on Jurassic World, but now as we are the end of this new trilogy the idea of taking beats and moments that have already happened, and just executing them at a faster pace does not for a good movie make.

Yes, we all want the one scene where everyone has to stay still because there’s a dinosaur around the corner, but when you do it again….and again….and AGAIN…you get the idea.

Combined with some lazy writing that has us not knowing if we’re in a Bourne movie or an Afterschool special alongside a lack of character development that relies too hard on us already being emotionally invested to the people on the screen and a plethora of visual throwbacks to other installments (and even other movies) that aren’t nearly as cute as everyone thinks they are.  Even with some solid animatronic work for some close up action shots with the dinosaurs, none of this makes for a really good story and actually I have to reference a colleague and friend to truly explain what this film is.

Jurassic Park: Dominion is an amusement park ride…plain and simple.  Its fan service veiled inside a poorly written story with various environmental and relationship themes spread throughout.

This does nothing for a cast that is seemingly running around the world too fast in order to deliver actual dialogue as they jump from set piece to set piece and once the old school team and the new school team get together all we get is some awkward and forced dialogue as they all try to pose for the prerequisite silhouette shot in front of a dinosaur.

Only Laura Dern feels like she belongs in the mess of it all with these newer characters; while new faces Mamoudou Athie, DeWanda Wise and Campbell Scott as the worst mash of Steve Jobs and a Roger Moore era Bond villain give us some different energy then from the obvious sources.  Unfortunately though, no one really has to ‘act’ in this film as they fly from set piece to set piece.

Ultimately, we can’t really blame you if you want to go and see Jurassic World: Dominion at some point and only out of a morbid sense of curiosity, but you don’t need to.  There isn’t anything about this film that demands the big screen which leads us to hope that this franchise either gets rebooted somehow (we hope not) or it goes where dinosaurs actually went millions of years ago.

Extinct.

Because these scraps that are left aren’t nearly good enough.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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