Chris Pratt and the team are back in Jurassic World: Dominion, joined by none-other than the original cast themselves. You would think that the return of Sam Neill and Laura Dern would herald a new era of dino-greatness but, let's be real, there hasn't been a truly good Jurassic movie since the original movie debuted back in 1993. Now, look, we haven't forgotten Jeff Goldblum, but he was already in the other Jurassic World movies so get off our backs! How is Jurassic World: Dominion, though? Well, I'm sorry to inform you of this, but this is possibly the worst one to date and I would implore you to do one simple thing: avoid this movie likes it's the bubonic plague.
It is truly extraordinary that, in a year overseen by fantastic films like The Batman, Joaquin Phoenix's Come On, Come On (otherwise known as C'mon, C'mon) we are greeted by a film so utterly lacking in originality that it's shocking even for a Jurassic Park/World movie. From the outset of Dominion, we are greeted by a never-ending bombardment of cringeworthy dialogue, awkward moments, and a movie so badly directed that they even do that classic "ba boo baaaaa" musical note when the baddy turns up. It feels like they're saying to us "Hey guys, hey guys, these are the baddies, see? These are the baddies!" For goodness' sake, guys, enough already. It's hard for me to say this, but I would rather watch Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. Ouch.
Jurassic World: Dominion Review | Poor Writing = Poor Performances
Before I sat down to watch Jurassic World: Dominion, a mate of mine and I sat down in a lovely bar on the river here in Munich. On a small napkin with a felt-tip pen, we jotted down a little bingo game. What was going to happen in this new Jurassic World film, what could we expect? Would it be surprisingly enjoyable, or just a Jurassic flop (heh)? It probably goes without saying that our little makeshift bingo game wasn't particularly optimistic, so when I say that we were almost 100 percent correct, that's not a good thing. Most shocking, though, is that Dominion managed to disappoint even our lowly expectations.
At least Secrets of Dumbledore had its redeeming qualities. It was, after all, a fun movie with some decent performances from the likes of Jude Law and Mads Mikkelsen. There are no stand-out performances here, even from the likes of Chris Pratt and Sam Neill and – to be honest – I can't blame them for that, who the fork wrote this script? Filled with cliché's, one-liners and insulting attempts at humor, whoever came up with some of this stuff really needed to go back to the drawing board. One particularly egregious example came when one of the "baddies" was being eaten alive by two raptors, each arm slowly disappearing into the Dino's mouths'. Pratt kneels beside the man as it's happening and does a classic Liam Neeson "Where did they take my daughter" routine, before getting on the phone – as the man is being eaten by the raptors! – and calls Bryce Dallas Howard to deliver the news. Like, seriously, who wrote this?
The problem with Jurassic World: Dominion, though, is not entirely centered on the screenplay and script itself. As we'll go into in the next section, it's hard to get engaged with something that makes no sense whatsoever. It's even harder to get engaged when the film is full of so many clichés and well-trodden tropes that you feel like you're wading through a worse version of almost any action film from the last decade. That's where the bingo comes in: a giant dinosaur attacks a boat in the first shot of the movie (check), the baddie is basically Mark Zuckerberg combined with Elon Musk (check), there's another Jurassic Park-style locale (check), Laura Dern and Sam Neil get together (check), Jeff Goldblum talks as if every sentence is a question (BINGO!). Again, come on guys, you can do better than this, surely?
Jurassic World: Dominion Review | Seriously, Nothing Makes Sense
It's hard to complain that a Jurassic Park / World movie doesn't make any sense. After all, the whole concept is preposterous. This one, though, gets to a whole new level. Let's start off with the "big-bad dinosaur end-of-the-world thing". Locusts. Yes, you read that right. Locusts. This dinosaur movie is literally about locusts. You know, those bugs that eat wheat and s**t? Yeah, those locusts. Why? Again, who thought that this was a compelling plot for a Jurassic World movie? Dominion just seems to fail in every way it counts, because it even fails to deliver on the locust story. I mean, how?
There is one great scene at the end of the first act of the movie where Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard end up in Malta in a sort-of underground dodgy dino-black-market place. They're trying to find that annoying girl from the second movie and everything of course goes to utter s**t. This scene has a cool aesthetic and delivers on that big thing that we all wanted from this movie: Dinosaurs in the real-world, what's up with that? It's pretty awesome and has a bit of a James Bond x Fast & Furious vibe to it, but it also makes me feel even worse about Jurassic World: Dominion as a whole. This is a movie that has a set which could have been turned into an absolutely fantastic film. This is a little taster of what that film could have been, and it's painfully bittersweet.
I truly fail to see how the writers of Jurassic World: Dominion couldn't see how hackneyed and forced this movie was turning out to be. The return of those original cast members was fun, it's always great to see Sam Neil, and it was great that they were used quite extensively and that it wasn't just a li'l cameo. It wasn't enough to save this film, though, it wasn't enough to pull it from the rubble of its script, direction, its utter boredom, and its preposterous plot. It hurts to say that Dominion is probably the worst Jurassic movie, and this is in a world where Jurassic Park 3 and Fallen Kingdom exist. It's honestly shocking. What's something good that I can say, though? Well, after racking my brains for a while I have a single thing to share: the dinosaurs do look pretty great.
Jurassic World: Dominion Review | The Verdict
Jurassic World: Dominion is a mess of a film, hammered into place by screenwriting and direction so hackneyed, poorly thought out and bad that even its all-star cast couldn't save it. Chris Pratt is here, and so is Sam Neil, and the dinosaurs look pretty great, but there is really nothing else to say about this movie except point to the one kind-of okay scene in Malta. We'll likely never know what was going through Universal Pictures' heads here other than "Dinosaurs-Jurassic-Merchandise-Money", and honestly do we really want to? Avoid Jurassic World: Dominion and, if you really have to watch it, please just make sure that you're drunk.
- Rating: 3/10
- Release Date: June 9, 2022
- Director: Colin Trevorrow
- Genre: Dinosaur-Action-Movie-Thing
- Running Time: 2 Hours 26 Minutes