Directed By Colin Trevorrow
Starring – Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Neill
The Plot – Four years after the destruction of Isla Nublar, 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 in a new Era.
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action, some violence and adult language
After the heavily flawed disappointment that was 2018’s “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”, the franchise regroups for its most climactic installment to date, bringing with it the simmering ingredients of creativity that have cemented it as an endearing cultural footnote for nearly thirty years. Most importantly and consequentially here, the decision to bring back Trevorrow to the director’s chair is vitally beneficial, with Colin constructing all of the wonder and exhilaration of the franchise’s most defining moments for a nearly two-and-a-half-hour thrill ride that rarely relents. This is most evident in the franchise-best action sequences, which not only elicit with them the kind of urgency and vulnerability in everything from high-speed chases to chopper attacks in the sky, but also photograph them in a way that palpably interprets the speeds and spins of the unpredictable elements along the way, without ever sacrificing the clarity of the depiction. Likewise, the scaling of the dinosaurs, with all of their immense sizes and various designs, inflict a boldness and believability thanks in part to a vast improvement in the combination of C.G.I and animatronics practicality, but more so on the shoulders of trusted cinematographer John Schwartzman (Also from Jurassic World), whose layering to the influence allows these foreign creatures to immerse themselves seamlessly to the various landscapes they now hold hostage by their newfound freedoms. As to where the 93′ original film captured your attention by seeing these extinct creatures brought to life with some of the best practical effects ever elicited to screen, here the audacity comes in the form of these beasts being unchained wherever they roam, which in turn with it supplants an unpredictability factor to the unraveling of the conflict that completely eviscerates shelter and separation in ways that have protected our human protagonists in the previous films. In those human figures, we’re given plenty of surprises along the way to how each of them is used, but none are more satisfying than the original trilogy, which here serve a vital purpose to their casting that helps to elude this as anything even remotely similar to cheap fan service. Instead, Neill, Goldblum and Dern channel an infectious charisma and impeccable chemistry that serve as the driving force in the narrative by the midway point, all the while the duo of Pratt and Howard resolve their respective arcs with the former commanding attention as an Indiana Jones of sort as the series’ resilient action star, and the latter swinging her best work without the grating direction that stunted her character growth through the first two films. Beyond these cherished figures, the newfound addition of DeWanda Wise prescribed a badass female heroine that I wish was present two films earlier, especially for the caustic wit and eager fearlessness that felt like a hybrid of the best of aforementioned ensemble members.
On the other side of the spectrum, while “Dominion” is the fitting conclusion to the series that helps fans restore some of that goodwill they lost in its previous installment, it isn’t exactly one that capitalizes on the building anticipation, as a result of some uninspired decisions that kept it from seeing itself completely through. Most of this problem stems in the story itself, which lacks emphasis with a predictable screenplay with no major twists or lasting impact as a result of the conventional conflict. Speaking of conventional, the last thirty minutes of the film, while the most entertaining with it being the moment our generations cross paths on-screen, takes more than a few familiar turns in direction that borrows from every single film throughout the franchise, leaving little of an influential impression for this installment that affords it the capability to breed its own originality. In many ways, it feels like the same hybrid dinosaurs that this franchise introduces with each installment, with constructed aspects and convoluted idealism overwhelming the general outline, leaving little lasting impact even minutes after seeing it play out on screen. In addition to this, another major problem with this film is its overstuffed run time, which at 135 minutes feels crucially unnecessary after you see what they do with the length. There’s a plot hole, a missing linking character development, an entirely unnecessary subplot wasting valuable time by explaining the extent of its meaning, and a weakly one-dimensional antagonist who is the embodiment of every cinematic cliche of greed that you’ve ever seen. Add to this an inconsistency in pacing that begins abruptly by undercutting the nuance and beauty of this established world, before eventually finding its proper footing at around the one hour mark, and you have an experience that bares the weight of its length, with as much as thirty minutes that could’ve been cut to make the film even better.
“Jurassic World: Dominion” manages to evade individual flaws with a sum of its whole that captures much of the wonder and spell-binding fantasy that its fans grew up adoring. With an enthralling series of intensely gut-wrenching action sequences and a complete ensemble that vividly conveys the magnitude of the story throughout three respective decades, Trevorrow capitalizes on sentimentality with an endearing note of optimism about co-existence that resonates just as strongly off-screen as it does on.
My Grade: 6/10 or C