A scene from Jurassic World Dominion.

Jurassic World Dominion is a shocking dramatization of the fraud and deception involving the first, prehistoric Dominion voting machines that robbed Donald Trumposaurus of his bid to be re-elected as President of Fire and Really Big Rocks. The resultant uprising led to the deaths of 2001: A Space Odyssey’s angry monkeys and Fred Flintstone.

Actually … it’s just another really dumb movie about cloned dinosaurs.

Jurassic World Dominion feels like a movie that was meant to be something completely different than what it became. It is basically a bunch of ideas thrown together to fill a running time—and none of them are sufficiently fleshed out.

Director Colin Trevorrow (who also directed 2015’s Jurassic World) returns and injects some of the likability of the original Jurassic Park trilogy into the proceedings with the return of Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum, who also had a small role in the lousy Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom). These returnees are cute enough in this film, but what they are given to do doesn’t jibe with a movie that was advertised as depicting what happens when dinosaurs basically take over the world.

Instead, this movie is primarily about evil scientists trying to control the world’s food production via giant, genetically enhanced locusts. Yes, there are dinosaurs all over the world, but much of this movie features the likes of Dern and Neill running around indoors in HAZMAT suits and trying to figure out how locusts got engineered into flying monsters the size of … poodles? (They aren’t actually that big.)

Why? Why advertise your movie as being about dinosaurs taking over the Earth, and then just use them as sidebar elements? Whatever the reason—the pandemic may very well have played a part—the film spends too much time on locusts and human cloning, rather than the dino clones we are plunking down the cash to see.

Trevorrow released a fantastic prologue earlier this year, a short film that showed a T-Rex getting killed back in the original dino days, getting bit postmortem by a mosquito, and then terrorizing a drive-in. None of this actually shows up in the movie. I tell you with great confidence: Nothing in the finished product is better than anything in that prologue preview.

Too much screen time is spent on the scientist played by BD Wong. He was evil in the previous films, but now he’s in redemptive mode (as shown by his unkempt hair, big tan-colored cardigan and whiny line delivery), and he wants to help the world after being such a dick. Why the screenwriters thought this would be at all appealing to moviegoers is quite the conundrum. Wong’s character was fun because he was evil and unscrupulous; we want to see him torn apart by raptors, not releasing a world-saving locust in a golden wheat field with a big smile on his face. Eff that noise.

The dino action that does make it into the film is quite good—which makes the movie all the more infuriating. That aforementioned prologue had a quick showdown between the T-Rex and a larger dino, and this film has the rematch. It looks fantastic. Seriously: This should’ve been the center of the whole movie and not a quick coda.

Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard have their own chunk of the film to handle, involving a bunch of garbage about the human clone Maisie (Isabella Sermon). No disrespect to Sermon, who appears to be a fine actress, but the human-clone stuff is about as interesting as cake frosting on Brussels sprouts.

This is being touted as the final Jurassic Park movie. No way is that happening. Jurassic World Dominion concludes what turned out to be a very mediocre second trilogy. Expect a reboot at some point—and hopefully, the makers of that reboot will remember that these films are supposed to be about dinosaurs, and not big bugs created by a sad BD Wong wearing a big, stinky sweater.

This film, like so many blockbusters as of late, would have been better as a limited streaming series so it could showcase all of its silly little subplots instead of jamming them into a single feature. Or perhaps producers could have taken a cue from DC and Marvel and done spinoff movies with different characters, with each film having a simple, clear objective rather than three or four plots jockeying for screen time.

Jurassic World Dominion is better than its immediate predecessor (Fallen Kingdom), but still way short of decent. There are a few scenes where the effort is visible onscreen—and those scenes are appreciated—but they are buried beneath a bunch of contrived and stale subplots.

Hey, producers: Take a breath, and down the line, give us a movie that actually focuses on dinosaurs smacking each other around, thank you very much.

Jurassic World Dominion is playing at theaters across the valley.

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