Friday, January 13, 2023

Jurassic World: Dominion (2022)

Streaming Service: Amazon Prime
Movie Name/Year: Jurassic World: Dominion (2022)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Length:  2h 26min
Rating: PG-13
Production/Distribution: Amblin Entertainment, Latina Pictures, Perfect World Pictures, Universal Pictures, United International Pictures, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, Starz!, Peacock, Warner Brothers Home Entertainment
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Writers: Emily Carmichael, Derek Connolly, Michael Crichton
Actors: BD Wong, Bryce Dallas Howard, Campbell Scott, Chris Pratt, Daniella Pineda, DeWanda Wise, Dichen Lachman, Isabella Sermon, Jake M. Johnson, Jeff Goldblum, Justice Smith, Kristoffer Polaha, Laura Dern, Mamoudou Athie, Omar Sy, Sam Neill, Scott Haze
IMDb Blurb: Four years after the destruction of Isla Nublar, dinosaurs now live--and hunt--alongside humans all over the world. This fragile balance will reshape the future and determine, once and for all, whether human beings are to remain the apex predators on a planet they now share with history's most fearsome creatures in a new Era.

Selina’s Point of View:
I’m a huge fan of the Jurassic Park series. The first is one of my favorite movies ever, and I can find good in all the rest of them. I even enjoy Jurassic Park III (2001), to a point. It would be very hard for any movie in the series to make me feel like I wouldn’t watch it again.
I’ve heard a lot about Dominion at this point, none of it good. Nevertheless, I was ready to make my own decisions. I’m willing to forgive a whole lot when it comes to the dinosaur goodness that is the Jurassic series. I did try to see good here, but there really wasn’t a whole lot to grab onto.
At least, in the first half.
By only a half hour in, I was already done with Jurassic World: Dominion. The lingering exposition, the badly timed – hollow – nostalgia aspects and the janky dialogue had me shaking my head. It was lazy.
It felt like Jurassic World: Dominion was to the Jurassic series what Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) was to the MCU. It’d gone so far that it looped around to parody.
And at least you could laugh at Thor: Love and Thunder.

The second half was a bit better. There were several action scenes that got my blood pumping, and the inclusion of feathers on some of the dinosaurs felt like an upgrade. Even the script seemed to get better.
I don’t think the second half was enough to save the film for me, but it made me a little less angry at it.
The biggest issue I had was the graphics.
One of the most amazing things about the original Jurassic Park (1993) was the insane use of animatronics that keep it looking up to date even 30 years later. It became the best example of a film utilizing practical effects in a way that elevated it way above anything CGI could create alone. Phil Tippett’s (Mad God, Starship Troopers, RoboCop) visual effects made Jurassic Park what it was. As a result, I continue to expect good things – at least in visual effects – where the Jurassic series is concerned.
Even when the effects looked alright, the movements in Jurassic World: Dominion were still exceptionally janky. It’s something I could look past in other franchises – but not in the Jurassic series. Those effects are what the whole damn thing was built on.
It felt like spitting in the face of everything the series once was.
In the end, Jurassic World: Dominion was a disappointment. If they continue the story, I hope they go back to their roots. 

Cat’s Point of View:
Jurassic Park – the book – remains one of my favorites of all time, and so is the franchise launched with the titular 1993 movie. The first and last movies of this 6-film journey are bookends to one hell of a sci-fi journey down the rabbit hole of genetic ethics and the dinosaur fantasies of our youth.
The pair of novels penned by the late Michael Crichton and used as source material for these productions also remain dear to me. Just remember, if you’ve read them the movies need to be taken with not a grain, but a chunk of salt. The very first movie tosses the progression of the story out the window by the end. I’ve never attended these movies with the expectation that I’d see the pages of the novels come to life verbatim. I just wanted to see the dinosaurs and go on an adventure.
That very adventure has led here, to Jurassic World: Dominion, and it was everything I hoped it would be – and more.
The Jurassic franchise has always ensnared my imagination with wonder at the scope of the practical effects of the dinosaurs. I could easily place myself in the shoes of the characters on the screen and felt awe at their experiences because they looked and felt real. The narrative has always been a secondary factor for me. I was very happy that this second trilogy had enough teeth to keep me interested – both literally and otherwise. This final installment was no different. In fact, Jurassic World: Dominion had reportedly more practical animatronic dinosaur effects than the last two movies.
Further, that the production team has remained dedicated to preserving the science around these ancient creatures through consultation with scientists at the head of their field. Jurassic World: Dominion gave us our first look at feathered dinos and it was gloriously terrifying. There was one in particular that was straight-up nightmare fuel. I can’t even describe it here because you should absolutely get your first impression of it from the screen.

I was absolutely giddy when news broke that the original Jurassic Park trio would be returning together in Jurassic World: Dominion. We got to see an epic team-up with Dr. Grant, Dr. Sattler, and Dr. Malcolm joining Owen Grady and Claire Dearing through yet another harrowing dino-riddled landscape. I really don’t have any faults with any of the cast. I’m never really watching these films caring about that sort of thing, though. I will say that there weren’t any performances that took me out of the experience – that is, ultimately, what was important here.
I have always appreciated how the Jurassic World trilogy has made so many subtle nods to the original movies. There have been myriad little Easter Eggs sprinkled throughout that either bring up nostalgia from the first or are point-blank callbacks to the first three productions. Jurassic World: Dominion is no different. There was one particular Easter Egg… well maybe two… that had me nudging my kid next to me in the movie theater and whispering “look at THAT, it’s the [thing] from the earlier movie.”
That’s right. I watched this one in the theater, originally. I don’t get to do that very often lately but there are some movies that I will go out of my way to cram into the budget. Jurassic World: Dominion was one of them and I don’t regret it for a second. I’ve watched this movie several times since then via streaming and On Demand. I will likely watch it more in the future.
If you have enjoyed these movies, I encourage you to absolutely give Jurassic World: Dominion a shot. I believe you’ll be glad that you did. The series is tied up very nicely on many layers. I was very satisfied with how this ride ended.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 29%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 77%
Metascore – 38%
Metacritic User Score – 4.9/10
IMDB Score – 5.6/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating – 2.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 5/5
Movie Trailer:

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