Universal has two major franchises on its hands: The Fast Saga is one and the other is the Jurassic Park franchise. These two franchises have grossed billions of dollars collectively. The reason being is that people go to these film installments over and over again. They are both very marketable, and for the most part, these franchises have been fun for all audiences all around the world. Plus, they’ve been a staple in Universal’s summer movie schedule. This summer, a new installment in the Jurassic Park franchise is coming out. Universal hopes to go back to the bank once again with this sixth film in the franchise. Have they gone back to the well one too many times? We will have to see.
When this third film in the Jurassic World trilogy picks up, dinosaurs have been running amok freely everywhere, from the plains to big cities. They are claiming what they want for themselves. We’re not the dominant species on the planet anymore; it’s literally a dinosaur world, and we’re just an afterthought to them. The characters from the previous two Jurassic World films have been spread out all over the place except Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard). They have been rescuing dinosaurs on their own terms but living off the grid in the Sierra Nevadas. They have been trying to keep Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon) safe from those who wish to do her harm and or experiment on her. The same goes for Blue, the Velociraptor, and her progeny… until they aren’t safe anymore.
In a parallel storyline, Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) notices a plague of locusts going around the plains states, devouring millions of crops and endangering the planet’s food source. She recruits her old friend Alan Grant (Sam Neill) to investigate this phenomenon. And it turns out it’s tied to a genetics company named Biosyn Genetics, another company with deep pockets medaling in things they shouldn’t meddle with. Eventually, these two parallel storylines intersect, and we have a pretty fun action film with plenty of dinosaurs.
One of the things I’ve always liked about the Jurassic Park franchise is that the filmmakers and writers set their films in a world of science and intelligence. I felt this film does that again with the whole plague of a locusts plot point and the study of certain characters’ and dinosaurs’ genetics. This has always been the pinpoint for these films, creating the action and drama for which the franchise is known. This film had multiple action set pieces, but one involving a chase through the streets of Malta is by far the best one. It’s straight out of a James Bond film, but I loved it all the same. I was riveted the whole way through the scene, which involves dinosaurs chasing motorcycles and a rickety old truck until it climaxes on a plane that is taking off. This scene was incredible.
Another aspect of the film that I liked was that it had a light-heartedness that these films have scattered through them at times. During tense sequences, the comedy gets thrown in by one specific character brought back from the original franchise. The actor who plays this character has been known to have a quick wit and snarky attitude in their career. The humor broke up the action scenes and tension very nicely. I found the mix of these three aspects of the film and storyline worked well together. When characters are in danger, it’s nice to break up the tension with a little bit of humor here and there.
One part of the film I didn’t like much was the owner of the genetics company. He came off as a complete weirdo, and I didn’t think he worked very well as a mustache-twirling villain. He just seemed like a sniveling little child who wasn’t getting his way until he finally got his comeuppance, which was a very satisfying conclusion to his character. A new character, pilot Kayla Watts (DaWanda Wise), was a pleasant surprise. She had this aloofness to her, similar to Han Solo in Star Wars, where she didn’t want to get involved until she reluctantly did. The film is much better for her involvement. She’s a fine addition to the cast.
Jurassic World Dominion isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel or anything. It takes what it has been given — dinosaurs in our world — and builds an intelligent story around that premise. Throw in the obligatory dino-on-dino action, and you have a fun, action-packed, smart film. That is all I’m asking for when I go see these films. The nostalgia factor was also a plus for me, and I’m sure it will be for many others who enjoyed the Jurassic Park franchise. This film ties all of these films together, which was pretty cool. Fans of both these trilogies will get their cake and eat it too. That is all they need to be thrust back into this make-believe world of dinosaurs and man living side by side. That’s all I needed, that’s for sure.
3 1/2 stars
Dan Skip Allen
Sean Boelman Founder/EIC disappointment media