I just read this artice “What Hollywood Needs to Learn from the Creative Disappointment of Jurassic World: Dominion” and this sentence makes me laugh: “While the film earned nearly $150 million at the domestic box office this weekend, reviews weren’t kind and the film currently sits at a dismal 30 percent on Rotten Tomatoes (the lowest of any film in this trilogy or the previous one).”
It’s an article that bemoans that Crimes of the Future discusses “difficult questions about what happens when humankind exploits technology to change the natural course of evolution” while this Jurassic Park sequel — the sixth — ” is a mess of ridiculous plot twists and cheeky fan service with an overabundance of monster movie CGI.”
I don’t want to be one of those people that says, “What did you expect?” but the original Jurassic Park was a soulless piece of moviemaking livened up with great effects and it really has been all downhill from there, other than, you know, that time a dinosaur was on an airplane.
That article also says, “Dominion frustrates because it arrives at a moment when the global film industry needs every type of movie that contributes to the broader ecosystem to thrive,” and I have no idea what they’re going on about. Of course this movie doesn’t have the themes and nuances that you expect from a movie. It’s a rollercoaster summer blockbuster, not Chauncer.
These are the same critics that demanded the same level of character development and — again — nuance in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as Everything Everywhere All at Once and therefore wrote reviews that were hamfisted with the same thesis statement repeated again and again until they hit the word limit that their corporate masters and SEO overlords demand with none of the nuance — use it three times and an angel gets its wings — they pay lip service to.
So yes, the sixth movie does everything it can to bring together everyone from the past: Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) with everyone from now: Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) and their adopted daughter Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon). It even has the Barbasol can that Dennis Nedry used to sneak out dinosaur embryos way back all those years ago. It also has BD Wong in it and nothing his character Dr. Henry Wu touches ever works out.
So while the last movie — Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom — ended promising us a Dinosaurs Attack! world of humans trying to co-exist in a world where dinosaurs are suddenly everywhere, now horses and dinos live in perfect symbiosis and happiness within the space of a few years. The real problem? BioSyn leader Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott) wants the world to only eat his crops, so he’s made gigantic locusts that get out of control. I mean, Locust World is not a title that will get summer audiences, so maybe this is a backdoor pilot for a locust TV series.
There are also two new characters, whistleblower Ramsay Cole (Mamoudou Athie) and rogue pilot who gets redeemed Kayla Watts (DeWanda Wise). They both have just about the same journey to make as those on the side of wrong that find their way to helping our heroes.
Honestly, just like how as a kid I was only into kaiju movies for the kaiju, I’m only here for the dinosaurs. It takes two hours — TWO HOURS! — until to get to the island and unleash dinosaurs on humans. That’s also my other problem: why would they build another island? Every single time they build an island of dinosaurs — and BD Wong is involved — it goes bad. Fool me once, fool me four times…
Actually, I want a whole movie about that Mos EIsey dinosaur flea market. People have baby triceratops in cardboard boxes like puppies at Trader Jacks and other dudes are just eating dinosaur meat on a stick like we didn’t have a whole wet markets thing that destroyed the world. And where did Soyona Santos (Dichen Lachman) disappear to at the end of that scene? She’s set up to be a major villain and then…nothing.
Look, if anything, filmmakers should learn from the adult video industry and forego the story and just give audiences what they want: non-stop dinosaurs spitting in people’s faces, smashing them into liquid and eating them while they try to ride on Segways. Give us a Jackass style blast of non-stop human decimation if you’re not going to put together a great story. No story — the anti-story — will save us!
This is the third of the series that Colin Trevorrow has co-written (this time with Emily Carmichael, who also wrote Pacific Rim: Uprising). That article I mentioned up above bemoaned the fact that he hasn’t made another movie like Safety Not Guaranteed and has been swallowed by the big film machine. Well, yeah. Some people like to make money instead of good movies. Well, after his Star Wars experience, he came back to direct this one and it’s fine. There are some good moments of fright in the tunnels that connect the new and old casts and everyone gets a laughable line and Sam Neil does that silly train a raptor pose and I thought, “Man, you were in Possession, Sam Neil! How does one get from a movie where you’re cucked by a demonic alien baby to the biggest movie of the summer? Again?!?”
If you don’t have air conditioning, this movie will get you out of the heat for 2 hours and 33 minutes. Put my review on the poster, Hollywood!