Jurassic World: Dominion – Review | The Dino-Mayhem We’ve Been Craving is Mediocre at Best

Director: Colin Trevorrow
Screenwriters: Emily Carmichael and Colin Trevorrow
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Isabella Sermon, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neil, DeWanda Wise, Mamoudou Athie, BD Wong, Omar Sy, and Campbell Scott
Cinematographer: John Schwartzman
How to Watch: In theaters Friday, June 10, 2022

It’s hard to imagine how a film about Dinosaurs inhabiting Earth long after their extension would be anything less than extraordinary and fun. But Jurassic World: Dominion manages to flatline in its attempt to blend the old with the new, yielding a mediocre adventure that barely reaches its maximum potential.

The story follows ethologist and Velociraptor trainer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and founder of the Dinosaur Protection Group Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) four years after Isla Nublar has been destroyed. After Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon) unleashed dinosaurs onto the U.S. mainland, this new livelihood forced humans to live with the predators. That isn’t the worse of their problems, however. When Dr. Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott), CEO of Biosyn Genetics, promises to reshape the world by working with the DNA of his new dino-friends, a global crisis threatens to take down humanity for good.

In the opening sequence of Colin Trevorrow’s fast-paced Jurassic World: Dominion, a news segment introduces us to a world in which dinosaurs and humans inhabit the world alongside one another to fight for their ultimate survivals. It promises to be an exhilarating ride full of chaos and destruction in ways the first two installments never provided. Yet, within the efforts to blend the human elements and the mayhem caused by the dinosaurs is a third storyline that overtakes the former two. As a result, the film struggles to offer a consistent quality watching experience.

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Carmichael and Trevorrow’s screenplay leans heavily on the reliance of human connection and the decisions that causes characters to make. These moments are often interrupted by cringe-worthy dialogue. In between the exploration of these human elements is also when the script ventures off into a third plot within the film: the stereotypical billionaire genius tries to take over the world. In a way, Scott’s Dr. Lewis Dodgson is trying to save it. But of course, he leaves any rationale and compassion for humanity behind in the process. This storytelling angle is unoriginal and reliable at best, yes. But expecting audiences to fall in line with a film called Dominion yet not executing on its potential is… a choice.

And leading up to this third chapter of the Jurassic World franchise, it’s not hard to imagine how we got to this mediocre film. Dominion, after all, means supremacy or control. The frequent mistake the filmmakers have made over the course of this franchise is attempting to control the narrative of a “Jurassic World” from a human perspective when the reign of dinosaurs is what audiences have been craving the entire time.

Throughout Trevorrow’s two hour and twenty-five-minute feature, audiences can also expect cheesiness and convenience galore. With a cast as stacked as this one, it kind of had to be. However, Dominion truly relishes in its forced character meetups and storylines that never come together naturally. It’s thrilling to see the old cast again (with the new one), but every moment feels conveniently placed to ensure audiences get that satisfying ending the filmmakers so desperately wanted to give us. But it simply takes away from the stakes.

Were there entertaining moments in Jurassic World: Dominion? Yes, there were plenty! But should audiences expect anything better than what we’ve already been given? Unfortunately, no… I’m afraid we’ll just have to wait until the next installment of this franchise.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Check out the trailer for Jurassic World: Dominion — in theaters June 10, 2022!

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