Monday, September 5, 2022

Jurassic World: Dominion

Movie Name:
Jurassic World: Dominion
Year of Release: 2022
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, Campbell Scott, BD Wong, DeWanda Wise, Mamoudou Athie, Isabella Sermon, Omar Sy, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, Scott Haze
Genre: Action, Adventure
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 3
Watch it on Amazon Prime

Synopsis and Review
Following the critical lambasting of "The Book of Henry", his previous feature, and some high profile projects that subsequently were dropped from his plate, director Colin Trevorrow has returned to the franchise that made his name more recognizable to film audiences. The film takes place after the events of the previous chapter and finds Owen and Claire now living remotely while raising Maisie Lockwood. The dinosaurs roam freely causing all sorts of incidents. Biosyn Genetics in the meantime, under the direction of Dr. Lewis Dodgson, has established a dinosaur preserve in Italy, with the intent of creating groundbreaking pharmacological applications. Maisie is kidnapped, as is one of the Velociraptors who is near Owen and Claire's cabin, which sends them on a desperate rescue mission. In the meantime, Dr. Ellie Sattler is called upon to investigate the destruction brought on by massive locusts on several crops, except for the crops that are using Biosyn, which raises suspicions they may be genetically modifying these creatures. Ellie seeks the help of her former partner Alan Grant, and they are eventually reunited with Ian Malcolm, who is now working for Biosyn, but who is intent on exposing what he has uncovered of Lewis Dodgson's illegal activities. They all eventually converge on Biosyn's main offices, where things quickly lose control, threatening their lives and of the living dinosaurs. 
This third chapter of the Jurassic World franchise is oddly enough the least interesting of all films in the series (and odd, since one would assume the creative team behind this universe would in reality consider learning lessons from the previous installments). The most interesting aspect of the film is the way it almost cannibalizes the events and everything that made the original Steven Spielberg film from 1993 so iconic and indelible. This installment almost replicates some of the events and scenes from the original film. While that aspect of making an homage to the original feature is somewhat interesting, it also begs the question if the creative team didn't have something to say for themselves or for the narrative they've been crafting throughout the trilogy. On par with these narrative issues, which also include the obvious inclusion of the corporate villain (once again barely defined), there are quite a few perplexing scenes during the film itself, which are borderline amateurish in their construction, including for instance the obvious stage scenes inside Owen and Claire's cabin and even the scenes in Malta. The characters populating this feature are once more rough drafts, with the director holding on to the fact that hopefully they've all been established previously, and therefore this particular narrative doesn't have to provide any additional dimension to them. This volume of the Jurassic Park franchise is akin to Gary Nelson's "Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold", which was desperately trying to capture the charisma of Indiana Jones, but turned out to be more kitsch than anything else. This volume of Jurassic World, while not reaching kitsch, fails to bring anything new to the table, with the only highlights being the gathering of Laura Dern, Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum, who are always superlatively great, with support from the always fantastic Campbell Scott, who sadly doesn't get much of a role. The film is a bit of a mess, questioning the director's ability and taste level. Forgettable.