*It’s a Jurassic movie folks
The future of mankind hangs in the balance as humans and dinosaurs coexist following the destruction of Isla Nublar.
“I promise you, I am gonna get her back.”
The Jurassic movies for some reason have a special place in our culture, even though to be honest there is only one really good movie in the entire franchise. Sure, JURASSIC PARK is one of the greatest movies of all time, but kind of like STAR WARS, everything that came after suffered because of it’s quality. This new trilogy of movies have had one movie that had Vincent D’Onofrio trying to put Raptors in the military, then another movie with Toby Jones auctioning Dino’s in a basement, and now they are bringing us Dominion. And Dominion is a globe-trotting, nostalgia inducing mess to be honest that never really know what it wants to be.
DOMINION brings us back to the world of Owen (Christ Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), two characters I know everyone is invested in, and shows us their life with Maisie (remember the clone for FALLEN KINGDOM, yeah neither did anyone else). We also see that our boy Blue has reproduced a baby by herself and is named Beta. When Maisie and Beta are kidnapped for their DNA the rescue is on to bring them back. We also get a side story to bring back the original characters, where there are giant locusts eating fields all over the US and Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), and Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) feel a corporation called Biosyn is creating them to control the worlds food supply. Yes, you heard that right, another Jurassic movie with a corporation behind everything. Needless to say it was not the most natural way to bring back the original beloved characters.
The biggest issue though we need to talk about is how the end of the last movie has nothing to do with this movie. At the end of FALLEN KINGDOM the Dinosaurs are released to the earth so we thought that we would see a lot more of that in DOMINION. However, by the beginning of the movie the Dino’s had been moved to a sanctuary so we hardly even see them interacting with the real world, which stinks. Because it basically then is just another Jurassic movie when they had a chance to give us something different. It feels lazy and almost like they got scared they did not have any ideas. We hardly even get to see the Dino’s at all besides a few scenes that are way too similar to previous movies. I get that like THE RISE OF SKYWALKER they wanted to play the hits, but it just does not work here.
As far as the technical side, you have John Schwartzman a veteran studio DP and of course Michael Giacchino helming the score. Schwartzman is someone who has done a ton of big movies for studios, however nothing of his is super memorable, but he is extremely capable and will always give you a workable product. What I was disappointed with more than his cinematography was the actual look of some of the Dinosaurs. Why do the Dino’s from 1994 look better than the ones in 2022, explain that to me? Giacchino’s score is solid but again the most memorable parts of it were just him doing the John Williams notes from the original movie. Why do you hire someone like him if you are not going to let him really let loose?
Stock Down – Chris Pratt
I cannot believe I am saying it but I think his appeal is wearing off on me. I will always love him for his work on Parks and Rec, but his time as a franchise movie star feels like it has reached its peak. It will be interesting to see what he does now that this is over and GUARDIANS is ending.
Stock Neutral – Bryce Dallas Howard
I enjoy her as an actress, but again nothing about her really shines for me. I always leave movies with her in them thinking that I just wanted more. And trying to shoehorn a storyline of her being a surrogate mother to Maisie just felt like it did not fit with the same character who could not even spend a couple hours with her nephews two movies ago.
*A couple other tidbits
- Again I loved seeing the original characters, I just felt they were not used very well and only there to have people do the Leo pointing meme at the screen.
- Campbell Scott was fine as the villain but he just felt like a rinse, wash, repeat of the previous movie villains.
- The chase in Malta was actually very fun and was the only time my blood was really pumping.
- How in the world did B.D. Wong make it out alive again?
This is a sad end to a franchise that has been fading for years in my opinion. At the end of the day the first movie is about why we should not be making Dinosaurs, yet they have made 5 more movies continuing to try and make them. I am happy that at least for now this franchise can rest.
*You can find my 2022 Movie Rankings here.
*You can find all of my Movie Ratings here.
*You can follow my Letterboxd account here.