‘Jurrassic World Dominion’ Review: A Chance To Play Jurassic Bingo!
The ultimate challenge for a longstanding franchise like the Jurassic series is to fulfil the requirements of both the producers and the audiences. Sometimes success in a film really does help the franchise develop and the ongoing sequels or spin-offs can honour the passion of the creators (I’m thinking ‘X2’, ‘Paddington 2’, ‘Toy Story 2’ and ‘The Dark Knight’). Other times it is less successful and the battle between bringing in the big money, serving multiple cross-promotion deals and giving the audience a reason to return can harm the outcome.
I feel ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ has unfortunately struggled to juggle all its responsibilities as a global franchise and has therefore stopped short of being a fantastic film that I will be talking about for years. I am certainly not saying you shouldn’t see the film, in fact, if you are a super-fan, a dinosaur-fan, Goldblum-fan or Chris Pratt-fan… then please please do go and see it, you will find what you are looking for!.. But I am just not sure if will get those five stars in your heart…
Trevorrow is a very capable director and knows what the fans want, it is just a worry that the “trying to stuff too much” approach in the 2hrs 30 minutes that he had, meant that some of it fell a little flat and cliched elements were sometimes worth a groan rather than a cheer. What might be fun is if you go into the screening with your own bingo card of ‘callbacks’ that you expect… Upside-down spinning car? TICK! Laura Dern looking amazed? TICK! Jeff Goldblum taking off his glasses? TICK! Disguised aerosol can? TICK! I think we were just missing the rippling glass of water for a full house!
But that’s enough cynicism from me… what are we actually expecting. The film brings us to a world where dinosaurs are living back in society alongside humans, but as with any society, the illegal trading and breeding serves as a backbone to the reasoning behind our modern trilogy characters (Pratt, Howard) getting involved. Alongside this, a new biotech firm (sound familiar?) is playing around with genetics, giving the opportunity for the old trilogy characters to join the narrative (Dern, Neill). Then – adding in a bit of convoluted genetic meddling that ties the first trilogy to the second trilogy – Trevorrow finds a way that these characters’ storylines will converge.
The narrative has a believability, but the prologue and epilogue style of delivery as a news/documentary felt very clunky, and has been done before and much better in quite a few big blockbuster films. The introduction of DeWanda Wise and Mamoudou Athie are really good. Both performers bring a real sense of believability to their roles and I can see both of these actors going on to even greater things. In fact, I would believe if the original trilogy stars had not agreed to be in this film, the performances of these new additions would have elevated the overall outcome of the movie due to their chemistry with Pratt, Howard, and Sermon, alongside the new power-hungry villain, Campbell Scott. As the storylines all converge to an epic third act in the film it is interesting to see 9 (yes NINE) characters all face the ultimate dinosaur dilemma and [removed for spoilers!]… some might say we needed more characters to become dinosaur buffet food to bring back those 1993 memories!
I do have a favourite bit, and it honestly honours that iconic book cover that Crichton had back in the original release, where a certain A-list dinosaur carefully places his profile inside the frame of a waterfall. Genuinely smiled at this and there was a little cheer across my screening!
So despite my comments I genuinely would encourage Geektowners go and see it, you will love certain bits, but I would be cautious of the groaning or eye-rolling you might do.
An extra special thanks to Frontier Developments who hosted Geektown for this premiere, because I am pretty sure their game Jurassic World Evolution 2 is a stronger reflection of the franchise and memories we all remember, plus added Jeff Goldblum providing the voice!
To coincide with the movie release, Jurassic World Evolution 2: Dominion Biosyn Expansion will be coming on the 14th of June. This will include a new original campaign where you take control of Biosyn’s valley research compound; New dinos including new feathered dinosaurs such as the Pyroraptor; 6 new dinosaur skins and 2 brand new Variants based on iconic dinosaurs from Jurassic World Dominion; And a new Chaos Theory level to the game where you work to protect dinosaurs at a snowy Sierra Nevada range. They also will be releasing the free Update 3 at the same time, and you can read more about all of that here.
‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ is out in cinemas UK-wide from today.
Gray has been teaching Media and Film studies for 11 years now, and saturates himself in a world of TV and Film. Can most regularly be found with his iPad bingeing on a TV series whenever there is a spare moment between planning and marking. Gray has 3 years of writing experience for exam boards and educational resource companies too.