Jurassic World Dominion’s popularity is likely propelled by a coterie of loyal sci-fi fans of special effects and 3-D movies. The notion of dinosaurs now inhabiting the entire planet is an evocative twist to this chapter in the Jurassic story, and initial reports indicate the film has done well financially on its first weekend.
The film score is notable, and the chase scenes in scenic Malta were exciting, but the intrigue and mystique of the 1993 version were missing. The film seemed a bit long as I noted several individuals seated near me dozing off.
The gravitas provided by the patrician Richard Attenborough as entrepreneur John Hammond and the sheer inventiveness of Steven Spielberg‘s 1993 triple Oscar-winning version was absent. Although Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, and Laura Dern returned for this installment, much of their dialogue sometimes seemed fatuous and glib. They are no longer the erudite scientists delving into the mysteries of DNA fueling Hammond’s grandiose plans to bring dinosaurs back to life for a mega amusement park. The emerging re-romance of Ellie Sattler and Alan Grant seemed a bit vague and contrived.
The film presents a vacuous study of greed, smuggling, kidnapping, and destroying the world’s food sources, but the bad guy (Campbell Scott as Lewis Dodgson) doesn’t seem that evil. He was more misguided and disorganized, surrounded by sycophants creating mayhem behind his back. He couldn’t keep his giant locusts under control.
So why the big audiences this premiere weekend? Perhaps it’s because since Covid has waned, more people are going to movies again. Although theaters gradually reopened, audiences were masked and minimal, and there was a shortage of interesting new films. The Jurassic series boasts a history of success and interest; logically, audiences would turn out, if not just out of curiosity.
Attendance at this film may reflect a basic social need to enjoy a night of cinematic fantasy with family or friends. It’s certainly innocent fun, 3-D glasses, popcorn and all, and some newer faces in the cast we’ll be hearing from. It was nice to see young people with Jurassic memorabilia and playing Jurassic video games in the lobby. Maybe someday, Jurassic collector cards will be as valuable as Pokemon cards.
Directed by Colin Trevorrow
Starring Chris Pratt as Owen Grady, Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire Dearing, Laura Dern as Ellie Sattler, Sam Neill as Alan Grant, Jeff Goldblum as Ian Malcolm, Isabella Sermon as Maisie Lockwood, and DeWanda Wise as Kayla Watts.
Jurassic World Dominion
Runtime 2h 26m
Music by Michael Giacchino
Cinematography by John Schwartzman.