If you’re looking for a mindless way to pass the time, Jurassic World Dominion fits that definition all too perfectly.
This review of the film Jurassic World Dominion does not contain spoilers.
In that rare action-adventure film where the special effects-laden creatures outact the cast (except for always welcomed Mamoudou Athie and DeWanda Wise), Jurassic World Dominion is so poorly thought out and written I may call it remarkable. It has no point in existing other than two things. One, finally giving franchise veteran actor BD Wong the chance to make it to the film’s third act without disappearing. The other is just for the humans to make the same mistakes over and over and over again. You never thought it would be possible for a collective rooting for Blue and their offspring Beta to kill off the cast because that was the one thing I held onto to get me through to the merciful end.
I would give you a synopsis of the sixth film in the series, but it is hardly needed. Four years later, after Isla Nublar is destroyed, you have Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) now hiding Masie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon) from many trying to find her. These dinosaurs are now common animals worldwide, like deer and squirrels. The cast of the original is also back. You have the return of paleontologists Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) as they investigate why a mutated genic locust is now a thousand times bigger and eating all crops all over the midwest except for one produced by Biosyn Genetics.
The scientist who thinks he can reinvent the wheel without it resulting in eating everyone they employ is Dr. Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott, miscast and over the top here). The character from the first film is behind the swarm of a locust on steroids. His company has no love for prehistoric history. They want to use the dinos for laboratory applications for future testing. He wants to kidnap Masie because she is the key to unlocking marketing potential. At his main headquarters, he employs an old friend of ours, Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), who is there to infiltrate Biosyn to see how they are, unintentionally, ending the world’s food supply.
It’s almost shocking how little thought and care was put into what is being billed as the end of the Jurassic era in film. To be sure, I checked, and this notch in Universal Studio’s filmography, I assure you, is not a comedy. Even if I tried to convince the guy with the maniacal laugh behind me at my public Las Vegas screening, the dialogue, situations, and character choices are laughable. Multiple scenes will keep you puzzled and ruin the enjoyment. You have dozens of scenes where people go along with their day without realizing loose carnivores are towering over them and are readily eaten. You even have a howling scene where a bad guy gets both arms being eaten while Pratt interrogates him. And then there is the release of a swarm of fire locusts into the wild for no apparent reason.
Please forgive me, but I want to continue my rant here because of common sense issues. For one, now raptors can be laser tagged with a pointer. When four police officers realize they are now bait, they put away their guns and refuse to shoot. They then run. Why? No one knows. One of them, played by Omar Sy, has a raptor with his head a few feet from his face. He draws his gun, and does he shoot such an easy target? No, he takes out the glass above him to escape – even if the creature is begging for a head full of hot lead.
However, the most egregious mistake with Emily Carmichael’s (Pacific Rim) script is how lazy it is. There is no coherent explanation for why the locust ignores Biosyn Genetics plants, ignoring quick fixes, or a cohesive reason for anything going on. In fact, Carmichael and director Colin Trevorrow cannot even land the tagline about this being the end of an era. They cannot help themselves as there is a clear opening for more films to come.
If you are looking for a mindless good time, Jurassic World Dominion may fit that definition a bit too perfectly. The movie is boring, even laughable, and utterly predictable.
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