The third Jurassic World movie – and the sixth Jurassic Park movie overall if you’re counting – Dominion is the one fans have been waiting for as it finally brings together the lead casts of both franchises for the first time on the screen.
However, it takes a long time (in a movie that’s an unnecessary two and a half hours long) to unite Owen and Claire (World’s Pratt and Howard) with Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler and Ian Malcolm (Park’s Neill, Dern and Goldblum) – and while there’s some dinosaur fun and a pretty cool motorbike chase along the way, it is only when all of them are in the same place (a research facility in the Italian Dolomite mountains) two-thirds of the way in that Jurassic World: Dominion really gets going.
The set up to their Jurassic get-together is this: it’s a few years after the events of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and dinosaurs now roam among us, occasionally chomping or stomping on humans or being illegally traded as exotic animals. Owen and Claire are hiding out in the woods with Maisie (Isabella Sermon), the cloned daughter of Jurassic Park’s late co-founder, but then she’s kidnapped and they have to head off to Malta to rescue her.
Why Malta, you ask? Well, it has some cinematic old streets and it looks like director Colin Treverrow wanted to make a Bond movie as Owen bumps along on his motorbike looking like he’s auditioning to replace Daniel Craig.
Meanwhile, Ellie has discovered that a company called Biosyn may be responsible for some mega cat-sized locusts (upping the ‘ick’ factor) decimating crops, so she enlists the help of Alan to come with her to Biosyn’s research facility in Italy to meet up with old pal Ian Malcolm, who has hinted to her that something dodgy is going on there.
While there are some impressive new dinosaurs and threats a-plenty before the group – with the addition of helpful pilot Kayla (an underused DeWanda Wise) – all end up at Biosyn together, director Colin Trevorrow never manages to deliver any tension during their journeys.
Potentially dangerous moments are dealt with quickly with little suspense – for example, when Owen falls beneath an icy lake where a monstrous dinosaur is swimming about, mouth open, he effortlessly pops up again onto the ice without explanation of how he managed to evade the creature – while the baddie is just a weak Steve Jobs-type rich guy (Campbell Scott) who makes little impression on the film.
The movie does improve immeasurably once everyone is at Biosyn – especially in the scenes with the wonderful Dern, Goldblum and Neill, plus Dern with Howard – but even a finale battle between Jurassic’s two biggest dinosaur predators and some nods to the original Jurassic Park can’t lift this beyond an average entry in the dinosaur movie genre.
Is Jurassic World Dominion suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
There are a few jump scares, but they are pretty mild and won’t scare younger viewers who have seen the previous Jurassic movies.
As mentioned in the review, the giant locusts are pretty horrible – and viewed up close – and they appear in numerous scenes. If you (or your child) don’t like creepy crawlies, there will be quite a few moments where you will want to look away.
The characters are often in danger, but never for very long and there isn’t a strong feeling of peril at any point.
Young viewers may find some of the dinosaurs scary, especially when the focus is on their teeth (and one has very long, frightening claws). Little injury is shown on screen, however.
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