Jurassic World Dominion has a wafer-thin plot and yet, it will mint money. For franchise films in Hollywood, fan loyalty is a boon they never shy away from exploiting.
Director Colin Trevorrow tries to answer one question in the film: ‘Can humans and dinosaurs coexist?’ If you have been a fan of the 1993 Steven Spielberg original, the answer is fairly simple. Yet, 29 years later, the same question, with no different conclusion, has resulted in six movies. Jurassic World Dominion, the final instalment of the second trilogy stars Chris Pratt as raptor trainer Owen Grady and Bryce Dallas Howard as ex-Jurassic World manager Claire Dearing. The film also brings back the franchise’s OG trio—Sam Neill as Dr Alan Grant, Laura Dern as Dr Ellie Sattler, and Jeff Goldblum as Dr Ian Malcom.
A tired plot
For all those who have watched Jurassic Park films over the years, certain elements are classics—attempts to control/rule over dinosaurs gone wrong, a tussle between carnivorous dinosaurs and an opportunistic corporate honcho going against people who wish to keep the ‘balance of nature’ intact. What keeps the thrill alive in Jurassic World Dominion is probably the execution of these familiar tropes.
However, these tropes have simply been exhausted over the years. Twenty-nine years of filmmaking and absolutely no change in plotline can hardly be justified, even at the cost of nostalgia.
Top Gun: Maverick (2022) too relied on nostalgia, but it blended contemporary elements to create a laudable cinematic experience. The same isn’t true for the Jurassic Park franchise. The worst bit is, it doesn’t even try.
While it begins on an interesting premise of illegal trade of dinosaurs in a world that is now full of them, 10 minutes into the film, it flits from Texas to Italy and forgets itself completely, making you wish you were watching a documentary on dinosaurs instead.
Nostalgia makes you want more
Watching Dern, Neill and Goldblum definitely induced some nostalgia as you are transported back to what had first brought magic and dinosaurs into the world of cinema. The trio manages to impress the audience, with Goldblum taking the limelight. His classic dry humour in the face of calamity makes you laugh and wish even more for a better ending to the trilogy. Dern and Neill, too, hold up their own with their romantic undercurrent making you almost simp for them.
Chris Pratt and Bryce Howard try but barely show any character development to make a strong impression. It’s a sheer waste because they are brilliant actors and could have brought more to the film, but, in Jurassic World Dominion, their chemistry feels way too sanitised.
The movie makes abundant use of advanced Computer-generated imagery to bring a variety of dinosaurs to the screen — from raptors to Giganotosaurus and T-Rex. Their appearance will make your inner child clap before lapsing into wishing they had put more heart and soul into the story. Even the final fight between three carnivorous dinosaurs is just basic at best. The action scenes are well-shot and almost give off a Mission Impossible vibe with Pratt roaring across in a motorbike, except that it’s two dinosaurs in hot pursuit on the streets of Malta.
What could have been a roaring end, literally, just barely whimpers through. It might make all the money, but it is definitely winning no hearts.
(Edited by Humra Laeeq)