The indisputable best part of 2018’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom came at the end, when dinosaurs ran amok in America. We watched as a T-Rex challenged a lion in a zoo, a Mososaurus went after surfers on a beach and our favorite raptor Blue gazed at a valley filled with homes, possibly speculating who to eat first. Jeff Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm even told a packed courtroom, “We’re gonna have to adjust to new threats that we can’t imagine. We’ve entered a new era. Welcome to Jurassic World!”
It seemed that Jurassic World Dominion would finally fulfill Jurassic Park’s promise of uncontained dinosaurs but THAT’S NOT THE MOVIE WE’RE GIVEN, FOLKS.
Nope, Jurassic World Dominion only briefly focuses on dinosaurs in the streets. It then ships them off to another remote facility, which is controlled by another wealthy megalomaniac, where things go sideways and people are chased by dinosaurs…again. It is, despite a few tweaks, the exact same story.
A touch of fun is added by uniting the casts of Jurassic Park and Jurassic World, but it doesn’t provide the spark needed to boost this film. Sam Neill and Laura Dern even seem confused at times, like they thought they’d be doing something different in this movie. The introduction of Kayla, a new character played by the stunning DeWanda Wise, brings new life to the team but even she isn’t allowed to do much more than run.
It’s incomprehensible that director Colin Trevorrow made this choice given the wealth of possibilities. They were explored in Jurassic World YouTube shorts like Battle of Big Rock where dinosaurs ravaged a campground or The Prologue, where a T-Rex tore through a drive-in theater. Trevorrow was clearly having fun with these concepts, but he chose to take this overly-familiar path instead. As a longtime and hopeful fan of the franchise, I have to ask, “WHY?”
Jurassic Park still sits on my list of Top 10 Favorite Scary Movies of All Time. The original T-Rex scene is the only time I’ve come close to leaving a theater out of sheer terror. I loved that movie and have sat through each film that followed, eagerly waiting to be terrifed. I always leave a bit disappointed but never so much as my disappointment in Jurassic World Dominion. Come on, Trevorrow. It’s time to let the dinosaurs out. (D)
Jurassic World Dominion is rated PG-13 and opens in theaters June 10th.