Colin Trevorrow’s “Jurassic World Dominion” is simultaneously the worst James Bond film, the worst Indiana Jones film, and the worst film of the entire “Jurassic Park/Jurassic World” series.
So much of this film’s screenplay (written by Emily Carmichael and Trevorrow) is a pastiche of Bond film, Indiana Jones rip-offs, and call backs to Steven Spielberg’s original “Jurassic Park,” each scene making me think back on a time when all of this was new.
The awe that Spielberg so brilliantly infused into the original film is long gone and replaced by short bursts of dinosaur action that is neither thrilling nor jaw-dropping.
This was the film that could’ve been the biggest yet. Now that humans and dinosaurs walk the Earth together for the first time, the picture (the final of the “World” trilogy) had the potential to wow with visions of dinosaurs all over the world. Imagine the cinematic possibilities. Yet, the filmmakers fail to live up to the challenge.
Owen and Claire (an underwhelming Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard) live off the grid to protect Maisie (Isabella Sermon) from the evil corporation Biosyn Genetics.
Campbell Scott is the film’s Bond villain Lewis Dodgson (complete with a lair and a henchman). The character runs the standard sinister corporation trope and plays it as one would expect. Scott’s portrayal is the definition of tedious.
In a film that could’ve had nonstop dinosaur action, the script decided to concentrate on Dodgson’s plan, one that involves mutant locusts gobbling up America’s food supply.
Too much time is dedicated to the locusts. Characters speak about them constantly. We see the creatures destroy crops. People are surrounded by them. Characters step on them. Finally, the locusts play a big part in the sequence inside the Biosyn lab. It all plays like a bad remake of Irwin Allen’s disaster film “The Swarm.” At least, that film had Henry Fonda in it.
For nothing but the sake of pure fan service, Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern, and Sam Neill all return to this final chapter of the franchise.
Ian Malcom (Goldblum) has infiltrated Biosyn and is in the film to recreate (clumsily) his moment of distraction from the original by lightning a torch and waving it so others can get away.
Ellie Sattler (Dern) and Alan Grant (Neill) awkwardly stumble over the bad writing as they attempt to steal a locust from Dodgson.
The presentation of the legacy cast fails to ignite any spark, having none of the wow factor the filmmakers were likely hoping for.
An awkward moment where the three members of the original film find themselves face to face with the three members of the new film is designed with fandom in mind, but instead, induces giggles.
Michael Giacchino’s score is adequate, only because he recycles John Williams’s beloved “Jurassic Park” themes. Most of the music for this entry never rises above pedestrian. A very good modern composer, Giacchino’s work here is forgettable, the score playing like overhead music in a crowded restaurant.
DeWanda Wise (notable in Spike Lee’s “She’s Gotta Have It” series) plays Kayla Watts, a mercenary smuggler who is a mix of Sallah from the Indiana Jones films with a dash of a certain scoundrel from the “Star Wars” saga. Her role is exactly what it seems to be, holding no surprises and less interest.
Add to this the character of Ramsay Cole (Mamoudou Athie), the disillusioned partner of Dodgson and you have two characters with the same dramatic function—a redundancy.
Trevorrow probably waited too long to unleash his first big sequence. When it comes, it doesn’t go off, same goes for every action sequence that follows.
The exhaustingly lengthy action sequence in Malta (Claire and Owen must rescue Maisie from cardboard cutout kidnappers) plays as a slapdash of different Bond and Indiana Jones films.
There is a black market where bad elements traffic in dinosaurs that looks phony and falls completely flat. The following chase through the streets where a motorcycle-riding Owen escapes from Bond bad guys in the form of dinosaurs, feels lazy and is never quite the excitement it wishes to be. This is a sequence where everything and everyone are in constant motion, but there is no drama or inventiveness to the action. It all just happens.
Sidestepping a potentially interesting exploration of a changed world where man and dino walk together, the film bogs itself down in insipid dialogue, bad decisions and dull action scenes.
“Jurassic World Dominion” may look like there is a lot going on, but for all its pomp and circumstance, this is one empty and terrible film.
There is a moment where a character mentions the former park, Jurassic World. Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm hears this, turns around, and says, “Jurassic World? Not a fan.”
And neither am I, Malcolm—neither am I.