‘Jurassic World: Dominion’: A Vapidly Entertaining Disaster.

Now I know, I preach about the theatrical experience and support your local theatres but I just couldn’t muster up the energy to pay to see this final Jurassic entry and waste two and a half hours of my life… so I decided to do that at home! Considering how behind I currently am on movies, this movie has already made it to digital purchase. It was the next movie on my list to review and I am a fan of this franchise even if I only truly love two movies from it, those being the first ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘Jurassic World’. After despising the atrocious ‘Fallen Kingdom’, I honestly wasn’t at all excited to watch ‘Dominion‘ but I still gave it a shot and even though this is one of the worst movies of the year, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t entertained most of the time.

i would give a spoiler warning but for the two and a half hour runtime, the plot developments quite literally don’t affect the story.

‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ is an unfocused, self-indulgent, horribly written awkward mess of a movie, if you can even call it that. We’ve strayed so far from the genius of that first movie that all we are expecting as an audience is to have some fun with some dinosaurs. I know that one of the many, many complaints this movie faced was that it didn’t feature enough dinosaurs, I honestly didn’t really mind. I went into this movie with the lowest of expectations, like the bar was in hell. I didn’t expect anything clever or smart or even entertaining and considering the fact that I knew what I was getting into, I was able to have fun with it. I’ve seen comparisons between ‘Jurassic World: Dominion‘ and ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ and that to me, is actually quite laughable actually because that would imply that there is an actual plot in the ‘Jurassic‘ franchise which demands character arcs and finality. There clearly wasn’t this immense pressure for this movie to be good, it just had to be fun and nostalgic and it almost was in certain parts. It is honestly indescribable to put into words what this movie tries to be, it lacks an identity because it’s essentially a rehash of all the other movies packed into one. The jokes mostly fall flat, the script is insanely awkward, and at one point, two dinosaurs start fighting because the movie has twelve minutes left and it absolutely needs to fill in the insane two-hour and thirty-minute runtime.

It says a lot about the movie when they decided to remove the fantastic prologue from the theatrical version. A prologue that features these majestic creatures in their own time living in peace. It was honestly the closest this trilogy has ever gotten to the magic of the first movie and it wasn’t even in the actual final product. From then on, it cuts to the present day with the iconic T-Rex which even though isn’t real, I can physically feel how tired it is of being in this goddamn franchise. It terrorizes a drive-in movie and the way the scene plays out is so underwhelming. This was such a great set-up and they did not put any effort into writing it, they set up one specific shot with the T-Rex in front of the movie and that’s all it was meant to do which is sad because when you think about the build-up of tension from the first T-Rex scene in 1993, this doesn’t even begin to compare. In fact, that scene is an excellent precursor to what the rest of the movie is actually like. The movie is an amalgamation of old tropes, aesthetics and tones that set it back by ten years. It doesn’t feel particularly modern in any aspect. It feels like the type of movie that is specifically made for those late nights back when you would switch channels back when cable television was around and you would stumble upon a weird old blockbuster, you’re not that compelled by it but you leave it on in the background because you are slightly invested. In a less complicated sentence, it doesn’t feel real.

All of this being said, it was more or less fun to just roll with whatever the movie was trying to do. The moment I saw Justice Smith and Daniella Pineda from ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ in this movie I accepted that I just did not care for this trilogy because I was so convinced they got eaten in the last one. I was truly baffled when they entered the frame. The return of Owen and Claire did absolutely nothing for me, the reveal that they’re a couple did nothing for me. Character arcs are virtually non-existent throughout this franchise but this trilogy really did not care at all, they never bothered with these characters. The most development this trilogy has seen is the lack of interest, charisma and energy from Chris Pratt who couldn’t look less enthusiastic to be here. I liked his character because we shared the same first name but I cannot tell you a single thing about him other than that. At one point, I was rooting for the dinosaurs to chomp a limb off or something because that’s how little of an impact his character has on the story. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes when the movie insisted that he and Alan Grant are the leaders of their respective groups when Ellie and Claire have carried their movies on their backs this entire time. It was actually ridiculous.

The inclusion of Malta was truly, genuinely one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen in a blockbuster and it’s because I am Maltese. I’m sure other people who have their nationality represented like this in a huge American blockbuster can relate. As soon as this Moroccan type of music started playing I lost it. The underground dino battle betting event in Valletta where they were roasting snakes and locusts over a fire and spoke literal gibberish actually took me out. In the fifteen-ish minutes the movie spends in Malta, not a single Maltese word was uttered, when a dinosaur crashes into a Maltese apartment the woman could almost be speaking Sims language. Maybe she was speaking in another language but why do that? I will say, however, that seeing dinosaurs roam around Valletta and places I’ve been to was actually very fun to watch! The action overall was just rushed, there were some entertaining chases here and there but I cannot name a single cohesive, long action sequence. It’s really not memorable or special, Spielberg inspired with his incredible ingenuity, Colin Trevorrow merely aims to entertain and that’s the problem.

However, I won’t lie, out of all the legacy sequels that are coming out right now, ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ manages to at the very least bring an element of warmth with it’s legacy characters that I just can’t say for similar movies. At the very least, it reunited the trio unlike the ‘Star Wars’ sequels and the dynamic works just as well here as it did back in 1993. I know a ton of people hated, actually despised the locust plotline but I honestly didn’t mind being with Laura Dern and Sam Neill as they go undercover in a secret science facility, it was very ’90s, highly doubt it was intentional but I enjoyed it either way. The only person worth being mentioned in the same vein as Dern, Neill and Goldblum is Bryce Dallas Howard who honestly deserves more love both in front of and behind the camera. She outran a dinosaur doing parkour in platforms people! Not to mention she has the best scene of the theatrical cut where she goes underwater to hide from a long-nailed dino even though once again, they never really do much with it.

At the end of the day, this might be one hell of a hot take, but I would much rather rewatch ‘Dominion‘ over ‘Fallen Kingdom’ and to me that’s a win. Is this a suitable end to the trilogy or the franchise? No, it’s quite laughable actually. It’s not even as good as the first ‘Jurassic World’ but I can’t say I hated the movie. It’s not good, that much is clear but I do think it’s entertaining enough where you can turn your brain off and have fun with it. Again, the literal bare minimum but at least I was entertained.

‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ is in theatres now.

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