I finally watched JURASSIC WORLD: DOMINION, including the additional fourteen minutes within the extended edition. What a fun romp of a dinosaur bonanza! Giant reptiles have been loosed upon the world and are wreaking havoc here and there. The biotech company Biosyn Genetics has secured legal rights to capture, breed, and study them for posterity, or so we think. Additionally, a massive black market thrives around the illicit sale of dinosaurs, including for pets and to fight other dinosaurs in betting arenas. A number of people are charged in their various roles with setting things right, particularly after a certain cloned child (Isabella Sermon) is kidnapped and huge foot long locusts are suddenly eating up grain crops, except for Biosyn’s genetically modified ones.
I enjoyed many deep belly laughs, especially during a long chase scene where fast dinos pursue the main hero (Chris Pratt) and heroine (Bryce Dallas Howard) as they each speed through narrow, old streets of Malta, he on a motorcycle and she in the back of a truck driven by the kick-ass other heroine (DeWanda Wise). Endearing Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm effectively delivers one liners like he did back in 1993’s JURASSIC PARK. He also gets a moment of glory against a particularly big, carnivorous ‘saur.
This movie is filled with wonderful CGI of prehistoric reptiles and over-sized locusts, pokes fun at apocalyptic-minded people and, yet, also cautions about mass genetic modification of grain and insects. I imagine director and co-writer Colin Trevorrow and the other writer Emily Carmichael drew inspiration from stop motion B movie classics such as 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH and THE VALLEY OF GWANGI. Only, now, with such advanced technology, the creatures seem so life-like in their look and movements. Dinosaurs running across plains with elephants and horses or swimming in the sea with whales appears both natural and wondrous. The various, earth-tone hues of these ancient beings are beautiful, their skins canvases painted by Mother Nature. (Of course, who knows if the colors are accurate to the actual animals that once walked the land over sixty five million years ago? “Blue,” the genetic hybrid velociraptor is most likely not factually correct in color or behavior.) At times, I wanted to reach out and touch the less deadly ones. As a youth, I hoped and sensed that, someday, big, scary creatures, such as dinosaurs, would appear real up on screen. Well, that day has arrived and it’s…thrilling.
The fairly ethnically diverse ensemble cast of men, women, and a young teenaged girl is refreshing. Three main stars (Laura Dern, Sam Neill, and Jeff Goldblum) from the first JURASSIC PARK movie return and join forces with the stars of the recent JURASSIC WORLD trilogy, of which DOMINION is the conclusion. Everyone gets to shine and be “all in this together.”
Campbell Scott is amusing as the calculating, overly-controlled, high tech villain, Lewis Dodgson, who heads Biosyn. I enjoyed disliking him. He had me thinking of Steve Jobs, who his character is probably modeled from– plus possibly also somewhat from Jeff Bezos for good measure.
This is a visual feast and solid thriller in the old sense. Much of the dialogue ranges from so-so to lame, except for Goldblum’s witty and silly lines delivered with tongue-in-cheek dryness and perfect timing. The creators of this cinematic extravaganza knew exactly what they were going for: adrenaline rushes, visual wonderment, and laughs. Laura Dern’s character sums up how I felt about watching JURASSIC WORLD: DOMINION when she exclaims after a particularly arduous action scene: “Damn, that felt good!” Yes, it sure did!