Jurassic World Dominion: A Film to Skip

‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ is one of the most difficult films to sit through. Colin Treverrow’s final movie to the reboot trilogy delivers on very little. It is unfortunate that this is the send off the classic Jurassic Park film is receiving. With a convoluted plot that goes nowhere, mixed messaging and tedious action sequences, this film has very little to commend.

Let’s get the positives out of the way first. Jeff Goldblum in his role of Ian Malcolm was, as always, comedic and entertaining, bringing some much-needed charm to the film. Isabella Sermon as Maisie also delivers a good, likeable performance. The visual effects of the dinosaurs showed amazing technical skill, with some CGI fight sequences capturing the audience.

The film simultaneously has too much and nothing happening. Far too many plot lines are started and then either forgotten about or resolved in the next scene. Too much of the plot seems to rely on coincidences. The only plot line that runs through the entire film involves a scientist genetically engineering giant locusts (yes, really!). However, instead of actually developing the story around this, the locusts are simply treated as another boogeyman, in trying to create interesting visuals by setting them on fire. The problem is solved almost entirely off-screen at the end. Ultimately, our heroes spend the 2-hour run-time accomplishing very little.

The movie also does a poor job of establishing a sense of space or time. Too often, I found myself turning to my friend and asking, ‘Where are they?’ ‘How much time has passed?’ or ‘Why are they here?’ only to find out that she was just as lost as I was. One must also keep questioning why there are so many dinosaurs on the entire planet, common as alley dogs and nothing is being done about it by anyone in a position of authority.

 Of course, with any film, the audience must have some suspension of disbelief when it comes to our heroes’ capabilities. However, this film truly pushes that to its limits; we are expected to just go along with it when the main characters are plummeting down in an airplane that is on fire, crash land, and walk out of the wreckage with no explanation. The action was so long and drawn out, that it became difficult to focus. Nearly every single scene entailed some fight with a dinosaur.

The film desperately tries to cling to the original Jurassic Park’s message of how greed harms the environment. Sporadically, throughout the film, we are given small speeches to remind us that. But, this message is severely undercut by Chris Pratt punching 4 raptors in the very next scene. While the violence toward the dinosaurs may appeal to younger children, most of the audience will be able to see it for what it is: physical assault toward animals that are already being mistreated. How do you show your audience a dinosaur dog market, complete with a dogfight style dinosaur arena, and expect us to root for the protagonists when they start fighting the dinosaurs immediately after? Not all violence is just self-defence. At times, it just seems like the characters might be sadistic towards dinosaurs.

The climax of the film, while beautifully shot and with incredible effects. It is a three-way battle between dinosaurs and has absolutely nothing to do with the film’s story. The film treats the killing these dinosaurs as some kind of epic victory, though we are never given any reason to root against it. Meanwhile, the main conflict is solved in a brief conversation right after the fight. The film ends by teasing a better film in its last few scenes; one where dinosaurs become part of the Earth’s ecosystem and learn to cohabit with other species. One where authorities across the world must handle the climate disaster. It is quite unfortunate that this is not the film that we expected. 

This is easily the loudest film I have ever seen. One can expect lots of roaring dinosaurs in a film like this, but the constant screeching of the raptors was migraine-inducing. Additionally, the film’s theme music blaring loudly every few scenes did nothing to help. It really felt like overcompensation for how iconic the original film’s theme music is. If you are sensitive to sound at all, this is not the film for you. Unless you want to entertain very young children for 2 hours, this film is not for you and you should avoid it like a swarm of fiery locusts.

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