Jurassic World: Dominion

Review by Rich Cline | 3.5/5

Jurassic World: Dominion
dir Colin Trevorrow
scr Emily Carmichael, Colin Trevorrow
prd Patrick Crowley, Frank Marshall
with Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, Isabella Sermon, DeWanda Wise, Mamoudou Athie, Campbell Scott, BD Wong, Omar Sy, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda
release US/UK 10.Jun.22
22/US Universal 2h26

athie scott wong
Jurassic World (2015) Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

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goldblum, neill, dern, howard, pratt, sermon and wise
Once again chronicling repeated calamities brought about by naked human greed, this sixth Jurassic blockbuster takes the story global, offering whizzy settings for dinosaur mayhem. Plot and dialog are rather corny, and most characters get lost in the mayhem. But at least there's some vaguely intriguing science at work, and the film is expertly structured with an entertaining array of witty gags, thrilling action and knowing cinematic references.
Dinosaurs have now spread around the world, forcing humans to coexist with them, while shadier types are poaching and illegally breeding them for profit. Then multinational corporation Biosyn tinkers with the DNA of a locust, and suddenly Earth's ecosystem is in peril. Experts Ellie and Alan (Dern and Neill) are called to consult with Ian (Goldblum) at Biosyn's mountain sanctuary, running into Owen and Claire (Pratt and Howard), who are here to rescue the kidnapped Maisie (Sermon) with the help of pilot Kayla (Wise). But big boss Lewis (Scott) is determined to keep his secrets.
While the narrative is so silly that it feels made up as it goes along, at least it has an internal logic that propels the movie forward through a relentless series of outrageous set-pieces in North America, Malta and Biosyn's Italian mountain hideaway, which is like a Mesozoic Shangri-La. Almost all of these are gratuitous, but they are so much fun to watch that we don't mind much. And while we know only the baddies will get munched by drooling dino-teeth, there are some terrific moments of suspense along the way.

There's not much an actor can do in the face of such preposterous situations, but this ensemble manages to bring some spark to their interaction, with lots of throwaway humour and even a whiff of emotion. Pratt and Howard mix tenacity with just enough pathos for us to cheer them on, while Dern and Neill thankfully underplay the absurd romantic subplot between them. All four have impeccable timing, even when saying something ridiculous. And as always, the wonderful Goldblum gets the best scene-stealing moments.

It's rather more timely these days to so brazenly take on our willingness to acknowledge cataclysmic climate change and then fail to do what needs to be done to save the planet and humanity. The rather nutty locust plotline heightens this cleverly, while the cycle of colourful effects, comedy, violence, adventure and thrills keeps us hanging on, enjoying the ride while knowing that nothing too terrible will ever happen to our heroes.

cert 12 themes, language, violence 10.Jun.22

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© 2022 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall