Jurassic World: Dominion Review
I like to believe this Blog rarely focuses on the negative aspects of productions. Even when something isn't exactly widely beloved, I do my best to observe a piece of media in all its aspects and make a determination based off my feelings alone; without any interfering outside judgment. Unfortunately, these said feelings have determined a rather negative fate for Jurassic World: Dominion. On my blog, at least. I'm sure it's been making millions at the box office since debut, but I digress.
To put it simply, Jurassic World: Dominion is the tired culmination of a desperate attempt to capitalize off a franchise's former glory, as seems a common case with most mega-corporate attempts at widespread cultural entertainment nowadays. A superficial story that has no real lesson aside from a vague 'unchecked greed is bad' and 'don't trust corporate overlords' take, which I'm sure at this point the unchecked corporate overlords have already hijacked and manipulated the message of, complete with resurrected characters brought back solely to nostalgia bait a captive audience, the current generation characters that seemed to have been reduced to a spiteful caricature of their former selves, and a villain that seems more a bumbling idiot without purpose than an actual serious threat. Best of all, in this movie supposedly about dinosaurs now loose and plaguing modern civilization, the plot revolves around a confusing 'locust farm plague' attempt with some strange climate change allegory ingested in there somewhere. The movie's pacing is so shockingly quick yet at the same time brutally slow that I couldn't make heads or tails of what exactly was going on. Storylines were cut abruptly and any meaningful relationship between characters that wasn't simply a propped up resurrection of old nostalgia for generational viewership could never develop. The atrocious 'clone girl' plotline from Fallen Kingdom remains a focal point of this storyline, and the Lockwoods have been further retconned into Jurassic Park's past despite having no actual reason to be there. The movie gains nothing from this storyline aside from more confusing questions that are simply too enraging to think of actual answers for.
The Lockwood story here involves the girl being kidnapped by mercenaries working for main evil company Biosyn (since InGen at this point must be defunct considering how bastardized they've made everything and how unrealistic it'd be for them to keep chugging on with the same peddled crap from the first movie), whom seek to use the clone girl's DNA to cure cancer... or something. For this end, they also kidnap the main raptor Blue's daughter. Something about splicing their genes. The villain behind these atrocities is none other than Jurassic Park's arguable overarching enemy; Lewis Dodgson, the same man responsible for the original Park's downfall via hiring Dennis Nedry to cause calamity and acquire for Biosyn necessary embryos that'd skyrocket his own company into prosperity. At first presented akin to a big tech mogul in the vein of Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, we quickly learn that Dodgson is... just that. An awkward, goofy, and when the cards are down; ultimately self-defeating and idiotic madman with little vision of the future and only a vague conception of how exactly consequences work. He literally manufactures a deadly locust plague to destroy farmland and doesn't predict the creatures would spiral out of control, and also kidnaps a dinosaur and orders the creation of a dinosaur habitation zone; basically like Jurassic Park but without any of the financial gain considering no amusement attractions were built around it. The movie, whether intentionally or no, ultimately circles back to surviving dinosaurs in an enclosed space and stopping a villain. The Lost World's final act with the T-Rex wreaking havoc in San Francisco honestly did the 'dinosaurs in our world' act better than the movie about DINOSAURS IN OUR WORLD!
Not once did I feel a care about the plot of this movie. Given how awkward and segmented it feels, with both plots being so far from each other and only colliding solely based off a predictable coincidence, I could barely call this a story and more a patched together series of scenes without a cohesive direction. Things happen way too fast to be believable, such as when a new character decides to help Owen Grady and Claire Dearing solely because she feels bad for the clone girl, so decides after a short meeting with them at the underground dinosaur black market to help them escape on her plane and risk her life countless times. We never receive any background on this person by the way. They just show up. The return of Doctor Grant, Ellie Satler, and Ian Malcolm was slightly welcome, as their plot was by far the more interesting despite still being a nigh-unwatchable snoozefest. It was very obvious they wanted to pair Satler and Grant together to fulfill the fans' desires after believing their potential as a romantic item had been lost from the original movie trilogy onward, and Ian was there solely as a novelty character to add onto the chemistry of the scenes? I actually don't know why Ian Malcolm was in this movie. Absolutely nothing would have changed if they replaced him with some generic, random professor intellectual character. That is not something you want said when you put a legacy franchise character into your newest installment; that their role is an easily-replaceable fad. You want them to have a definitive place in the story. At least Alan Grant and Ellie Satler were there because they wanted to investigate Biosyn... or something. Ian on the other hand was simply a plot device to get them to the Biosyn compound. Oh yeah, I almost forgot that Henry Wu is also in this movie undergoing a redemption arc that we barely see until the climax. But yeah, he's here. I guess. He also knew Maisie Lockwood's mother. As did Ellie. Go figure.
If you believe I haven't mentioned the dinosaurs enough, it's because simply put; they are entirely irrelevant here. Blue the Raptor shows up as a plot device (she can share the plot device seat of shame with Malcolm) as her baby is stolen by the bad people. We see a news story describing how the dinosaurs have become an invasive problem for much of the world and mankind is struggling to co-exist with their presence, leading us to (falsely) believe this is what the movie shall focus on. Unfortunately, it's a smokescreen to provide a semi-interesting backdrop for what is entirely some amalgamation of a spy thriller corporate storyline. We see T-Rex for a bit and she's cool or something. The final dino villain also shows up, the 'Giganotosaurus'. It doesn't really act like a villain monster though, it just walks around and tries to kill our heroes once, fails, and runs away and ultimately dies at the hands of a Therizinosaurus, the one dino with the Freddy Krueger claws. This is more realistic considering any predator, Dinosaur or not, wouldn't put immense stock into being a constant menace, but considering we've gotten two nightmare dinosaurs as the villain last time, why does it really matter whether or not the behavior of these animals is realistic? It doesn't matter. The best part about this movie is that it ends.
Don't watch it. Just watch the original one instead. As Ian Malcolm said, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” Just replace scientists with movie studio. See you guys next time.